Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service is seeking input by Aug. 8 on a new online system it is building to manage the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program, the Sugar Containing Products Re-Export Program, and the Polyhydric Alcohol Program.

The Refined Sugar Re-Export Program provides a raw cane sugar refiner a license that authorizes three types of activities: (1) importing low-duty raw cane sugar, refining it, and re-exporting it to the world market, (2) exporting refined sugar produced with domestic or imported raw cane or beet sugar and later importing low-duty raw cane sugar for any use, and (3) importing low-duty raw cane sugar for refining for any use and transferring refined sugar produced with domestic or imported raw cane or beet sugar to licensed U.S. manufacturers of sugar-containing products and/or licensed producers of polyhydric alcohol for non-food purposes.

U.S. manufacturers in the Sugar-Containing Products Re-Export Program obtain a license allowing them to buy world-priced refined cane or beet sugar from any licensed domestic cane or beet refiner for use in exported products.

U.S. producers in the Polyhydric Alcohol Program obtain a license allowing them to buy world-priced refined cane or beet sugar from any licensed domestic cane or beet refiner for use in polyhydric alcohols, except those incorporated as a substitute for sugar in human food consumption.

An online system called SUGARS currently serves to organize the many program transactions among the three sets of licensees but FAS is constructing a replacement system that will be highly automated, better protected, and more streamlined. FAS is seeking input that will inform efforts to build this system, including with respect to issues such as how to transmit, verify, and access data more easily and securely; whether licensees should have access to data and license documents without FAS permission; and whether the license application process should be incorporated into the new system.

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