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, a 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.

Globalization 2020
Date Country Commodity Note Percent Globalized
April, 2020 Iceland OT -  NSPF 16 100%
    SW - Swiss Emmenthaler 25 100%
May, 2020 Israel OT -  NSPF 16 100%
    Low Fat 23 100%


7 CFR Part 46, Subpart - Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing

FileListing of Dairy License Recipients Under Regulation 1 (as of April 13, 2020)


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.


Multilateral Affairs, Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs
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