USDA Announces Sugar Tariff Rate Quotas for Fiscal Year 2012

August 1, 2011   |   News Release   |   FAS-PR-0113-11

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 raw and refined sugar tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), an extension of the FY 2012 raw sugar TRQ time period, and an increase in the FY 2011 specialty sugar TRQ.

The FY 2012 TRQ for raw cane sugar is set at 1,231,497 STRV (1,117,195 metric tons raw value, MTRV*), the minimum to which the United States is committed under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture. Pursuant to Additional U.S. Note 5 to Chapter 17 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Section 359k of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, USDA published this decision in the Federal Register. Raw cane sugar under this quota must be accompanied by a certificate of quota eligibility and may be entered under subheading 1701.11.10 of the HTS until Sept. 30, 2012. 

USDA also today announced that sugar entering under this FY 2012 raw sugar TRQ will be permitted to enter U.S. Customs territory beginning Sept. 1, 2011, a month earlier than the usual first entry date of Oct. 1. This action is in response to increased tightness in the U.S. raw cane sugar market. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will allocate this TRQ among supplying countries and customs areas.

In addition, USDA is establishing the FY 2012 refined sugar TRQ at 124,251 STRV (112,718 MTRV). Of this quantity, 101,825 STRV (92,374 MTRV) is reserved for the importation of specialty sugars as defined by the USTR. The total refined sugar TRQ includes the 24,251 STRV (22,000 MTRV) minimum to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, of which 1,825 STRV (1,656 MTRV) is reserved for specialty sugar. Because the specialty sugar TRQ is first-come, first-served, tranches are needed to allow for orderly marketing throughout the year. 

The FY 2012 specialty sugar TRQ will be opened in five tranches. The first tranche, totaling 1,825 STRV (1,656 MTRV), will open Oct. 12, 2011. All specialty sugars are eligible for entry under this tranche. The second tranche will open on Oct. 26, 2011, and be equal to 37,000 STRV (33,565 MTRV). The remaining tranches will each be equal to 21,000 STRV (19,051 MTRV), with the third opening on Jan. 11, 2012; the fourth, on April 11, 2012; and the fifth, on July 11, 2012. The second, third, fourth, and fifth tranches will be reserved for organic sugar and other specialty sugars not currently produced commercially in the United States or reasonably available from domestic sources. The USTR will allocate the refined TRQ, other than the amount reserved for specialty sugar, among supplying countries and customs areas.

USDA is also increasing the FY 2011 specialty sugar TRQ by 10,000 STRV (9,072 MTRV). This increase is needed to accommodate a rapidly growing processed organic foods sector. A new tranche will open on Aug. 4, 2011.  The Aug. 24, 2011 specialty sugar tranche of 18,229 STRV (16,537 MTRV) will open as previously scheduled.  

The Federal Register notice is viewable online here:

* Conversion factor: 1 metric ton = 1.10231125 short tons.