The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced assessment rates effective July 1, 1997, on unmanufactured flue-cured tobacco imported for consumption. The assessment rates are the same as for domestically-produced flue-cured tobacco and will remain in effect through June 30, 1998. The No-Net-Cost assessment will be .3790 cents per pound, and the Budget Deficit assessment will be $1.6210 per pound. The total amount ($2.00 per pound) is due within 10 business days after the imported tobacco is released by the U.S. Customs Service for entry for consumption into the commerce of the United States. Failure to pay (or pay within a timely manner) the amount of assessment due can result in a marketing penalty of $1.38 per pound for the amount of tobacco on which the failure occurred.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the penalty rates that will be charged producers, dealers, and warehouse operators for marketing excess tobacco during the 1997-98 marketing year. The rates of penalty are: flue-cured, 138 cents per pound; burley, 144 cents; fire-cured (type 21), 134 cents; fire-cured (types 22 and 23), 168 cents; dark air-cured (types 35 and 36), 153 cents; Virginia sun-cured (type 37), 134 cents; Cigar filler and binder (types 42-44, 54 and 55), 111 cents. Section 314 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 sets a penalty of 75 percent of the average market price for that kind of tobacco for the last market year which applies to every kind of tobacco subject to marketing quotas.