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USDA/AMS RIN: 0581-AC87 Publication ID: Fall 2010 
Title: National Dairy Promotion and Research Program; Dairy Import Assessments, DA-08-0050 
Abstract: The Dairy Act authorizes the Order for dairy product promotion, research, and nutrition education as part of a comprehensive strategy to increase human consumption of milk and dairy products and to reduce milk surpluses. The program functions to strengthen the dairy industry’s position in the marketplace by maintaining and expanding domestic and foreign consumption of fluid milk and dairy products. Amendments to the Order are pursuant to the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills. The 2002 Farm Bill mandates that the Order be amended to implement an assessment on imported dairy products to fund promotion and research. The 2008 Farm Bill specifies a mandatory assessment rate of 7.5-cent per hundredweight of milk, or equivalent thereof, on dairy products imported into the United States. Additionally, in accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill, the term “United States” is the Dairy Act is amended to mean all States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Producers in these areas will be assessed 15 cents per hundredweight for all milk produced and marketed. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 1150 
Legal Authority: 7 USC 4501 to 4514; 7 USC 7401 
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  Assessments on imported dairy products must be implemented by deadline.  09/19/2008 

Overall Description of Deadline: With the passage of section 1507 in the 2008 Farm Bill, the Dairy Act was amended to apply certain assessments to Alaska, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the Secretary to issue regulations to implement the mandatory dairy import assessment without providing a notice and comment period. However, due to the interest of affected parties, a notice and comment period was provided.

Statement of Need: In response to the May 19, 2009 (74 FR 23359), proposed rule (National Dairy Promotion and Research Program; Proposed Rule on Amendments to the Order), AMS received 189 timely comments from consumers, dairy producers, foreign governments, importers, exporters, manufacturers, members of Congress, trade associations, and other interested parties. The comments covered a wide range of topics, including 39 in opposition to the proposal and 150 in support of the proposal. Opponents of the proposal expressed concern over the lack of a referendum requirement among those affected; default assessment rates; lack of ability to no longer promote State-branded dairy products; lack of importer organizations eligible to become a Qualified Program; disputed the cost-benefit analysis for importers and producers; and cited unreasonable importer paperwork and record keeping burdens. Proponents of the proposal expressed support for an expedited implementation of the dairy import assessment; cited the enhanced benefits both domestic producers and importers will receive as a result of implementation; recommended new Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes; use of a default assessment rate; recommended regular reporting of the products and assessments on imports; and all thresholds for compliance with U.S. trade obligations have been met. AMS plans to issue a final rule implementing the dairy import assessment in the near future. In response to the comments received and after consultation with USTR, AMS is addressing, in the final rule, referenda, alternative assessment rates, and compliance and enforcement activity. All remaining changes are miscellaneous and minor in nature in order to clarify regulatory text.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The National Dairy Promotion and Research Program (National Program) is authorized under the authorized under the provisions of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 4501 to 4514), and the Dairy Promotion and Research Order (7 CFR part 1150). The Dairy Programs unit of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has day–to–day oversight responsibilities for the National Program.

Alternatives: There are no alternatives, as this rulemaking is a matter of law based on the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Assessments to dairy producers under the Order are relatively small compared to producer revenue. If dairy producers in Alaska, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico had paid assessments of $0.15 per hundredweight of milk marketed in 2007, it is estimated that $1.1 million would have been paid. This is about 0.6 percent of the $192 million total value of milk produced and marketed in these areas. Benefits to producers in these areas are assumed to be similar to those benefits received by producers of other U.S. geographical regions. Cornell University has conducted an independent economic analysis of the Program that is included in the annual report to Congress. Cornell determined that from 1998 through 2007, each dollar invested in generic dairy marketing by dairy farmers during the period would return between $5.52 and $5.94, on average, in net revenue to farmers. Assessments collected from importers under the National Program will be relatively small compared to the value of dairy imports. If importers had been assessed $0.075 per hundredweight, or equivalent thereof, for imported dairy products in 2007 as specified in this rule, it is estimated that less than $6.1 million would have been paid. This is about 0.3 percent of the $2.4 billion value of the dairy products imported in 2007.

Risks: If the amendments are not implemented, USDA would be in violation of the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  05/19/2009  74 FR 23359 
NPRM Comment Period End  06/18/2009   
Final Action  03/00/2011   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Whitney Rick
Promotion and Research Branch Chief
Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Service
1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250
Phone:202 720-6909
Fax:202 720-0285
Email: whitney.rick@usda.gov

 
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