Import Assessments on Honey Would See 50 Percent Increase Under USDA Proposal
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to 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 proposal the assessment would increase 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. AMS states that the additional funds raised by this increase would 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.
The proposed rule would also:
- clarify 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;
- increase from two years to three the length of time that books and records are to be held; and
- clarify that exemptions from assessments for a calendar year are effective on the date approved by the Honey Packers and Importers Board.
Comments on this proposal are due no later than Dec. 18.