Import Assessments on Honey Increased 50 Percent
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a final rule that, effective May 22, will increase from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound the assessment levied on importers and first handlers of honey under the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order. Under this rule the assessment will be increased to $0.0125 per pound for the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after Jan. 1, 2016. Importers who import less than 250,000 pounds of honey and honey products annually, and importers of 100 percent organic honey and honey products, will continue to be exempt from these assessments.
AMS states that the additional funds raised by this increase will allow an expansion of production research activities and promotional efforts designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad.
This rule also:
- clarifies that the assessment rate applies not only to the listed Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but also any other numbers that may be used to identify honey or honey products in the event the HTSUS numbers change;
- increases from two to three years the length of time that books and records are to be held; and
- clarifies that exemptions from assessments for a calendar year are effective on the date approved by the Honey Packers and Importers Board.