Dairy Import Licensing Program

Import licensing is one of the tools USDA uses to administer the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system for U.S. imports of dairy products. For dairy products subject to TRQs, importers are generally required to obtain a license from FAS to take advantage of low-tier tariff rate. Importers must apply for a license annually between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15. 

Under the TRQs, the low-tier rate applies to imports up to a specified quantity. A high-tier rate applies to any imports in excess of that amount. No license is required to import products at the high-tier rate, to import  products for an agency of the U.S. government, or to import products for personal use, as long as net weight does not exceed 5 kilograms (11 pounds) in any one shipment.

TRQs replaced Section 22 import quotas for dairy products on Jan. 1, 1995, as a result of the Uruguay Round Agreement. TRQ rates and quantities vary by product.

Globalization 2021
Date Country Commodity Note Percent Globalized
April 2021 Iceland OT-NSPF 16 100%
    SW-Swiss Emmenthaler 25 100%
April 2021 Chile B-Blue Mold 17 100%
    C-Cheddar 18 100%
May 2021 Canada OT-NSPF 16 50%
    SW-Swiss Emmenthaler 25 100%
May 2021 New Zealand C-Cheddar 18 100%
June 2021   OT-NSPF 16 100%
June 2021 Israel LF-Lowfat Cheese 23 100%
    OT-NSPF 16 100%
August 2021 Uruguay D-Italian Type Cheese 21 59%
August 2021 Costa Rica OT-NSPF 16 100%
August 2021 Australia A-American Type Cheese 19 100%
  Australia OT-NSPF 16 100%
  Australia SW-Swiss Emmenthaler 25 100%
August 2021 Norway E-Edam and Gouda Cheese 20 100%

Agricultural Trade License Administration System (ATLAS)

The ATLAS portal allows U.S. dairy importers to manage their licenses and information. 

How to Apply

Application Deadline: Oct 15, 2021
Status: Closed

Data and Analysis

World Production, Markets, and Trade Report

Dairy Monthly Imports

This monthly report includes information on U.S. and global imports of dairy products, including maximum quantities that can be imported under tariff-rate quota licensing.

News and Features

Contact: Abdelsalam El-Farra, FAS Office of Trade Programs, (202) 720–9439 WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced changes to the Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing Program, effective Sept. 1, 2015...
Contact: Abdelsalam El-Farra, (202) 720–9439 WASHINGTON, Dec.23, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a public comment period on proposed changes to the Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing Program. Import licensing is...
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2013—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today announced that it is seeking comments on the Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing Program. Import licensing is one of the tools USDA uses to...

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