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The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has amended effective Sept. 1 the regulation that provides for the issuance of licenses to import certain dairy articles under tariff-rate quotas as set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The three most significant changes to the rule are to (i) suspend for an additional seven years the historical license reduction provision, which currently expires with the beginning of quota year 2016; (ii) modify the procedures for collecting licensing fees in order to better align the fee collection to the costs of administering the program; and (iii) exclusively use electronic communications in the application, reporting and payment processes.
FAS hopes the proposed changes will enable license holders to adjust to changing market conditions impacting the dairy sector, increase the USDA’s ability to more closely align cost recovery with the actual costs of administering the program, and allow the USDA to reduce lag times, minimize paper files and increase operational efficiency.
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