USDA Invites Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Dairy Import Licensing Program

Commodities

Contact: Abdelsalam El-Farra, (202) 720–9439

WASHINGTON, Dec.23, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a public comment period on proposed changes to the Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing Program. 

Import licensing is one of the tools USDA uses to administer the tariff-rate quota system for U.S. imports of dairy products. The proposed rule amends the regulation at 7 CFR Part 6.20 – 6.37 that provides for the issuance of licenses to import certain dairy articles under the tariff-rate quota as set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

The proposed rule will suspend the historical license reduction provision, currently set to expire in the beginning of 2016, for an additional seven years. This change will allow license holders to adjust to changing market conditions impacting the dairy sector. Modifications to procedures for collecting licensing fees will allow the department to align fee collection to the costs of administering the program. The proposed rule will also require all communications, like applications and payments, to be electronic to reduce lag times and increase program operation efficiency.

Comments concerning this proposed rule must be received by Feb. 23, 2015, to be assured consideration. Comments may be submitted by email to dairy_ils@fas.usda.gov. For more information, please contact Abdelsalam El-Farra, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Sugar and Dairy Branch, Import Programs and Export Reporting Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720–9439; fax (202) 720–0876.

Visit https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-29807 to view a copy of the proposed rule.

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