Dairy Import Licensing Program
Import licensing is one of the tools USDA uses to administer the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system for U.S. imports of dairy products. For dairy products subject to TRQs, an license from FAS is generally required to import items at the low-tier tariff rate. Individuals must apply annually for a license between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15.
Under these TRQs, a low tariff rate, called the low-tier rate, applies to imports up to a specified quantity. A higher tariff rate, called the high-tier rate, applies to any imports in excess of that amount.
TRQs replaced Section 22 import quotas for dairy products on Jan. 1, 1995, as a result of the Uruguay Round Agreement. High-tier tariff rates were reduced by 15 percent in the six years after the agreement's implementation in 1995, while quantities subject to low-tier rates were increased gradually over that same period. TRQ rates and quantities vary by product.
No license is required to import products at the high-tier rate, to import products for an agency of the U.S. government, or to import products for personal use, as long as net weight does not exceed 5 kilograms (11 pounds) in any one shipment.
- Costa Rica: NSPF - 4/29/2013
- Iceland: NSPF and Swiss - 5/7/2013
- New Zealand: NSPF and Cheddar - 5/23/2013
Eligible individuals must apply annually for a license between September 1 and October 15. FAS issues licenses in late December for the following calendar year.