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Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced the country-specific in-quota allocations under the tariff-rate quotas on imported raw cane sugar, refined and specialty sugar and sugar-containing products for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.Tariff-rate quotas allow countries to export specified quantities of a product to the United States at a relatively low tariff, but subject all imports of the product above a pre-determined threshold to a higher tariff.
On August 1, 2011, the Secretary of Agriculture announced sugar program provisions for FY 2012. The in-quota quantity for the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) on raw cane sugar for FY 2012 is 1,117,195 metric tons* raw value (MTRV), which is the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreements. USTR is allocating the raw cane sugar TRQ of 1,117,195 MTRV to the following countries in the quantities specified below:
Country FY 2012 Raw Cane Sugar Allocations (MTRV)
Costa Rica 16,100
Cote d’Ivoire 7,258
Dominican Republic 188,908
El Salvador 27,907
Papua New Guinea 7,258
South Africa 24,687
St. Kitts & Nevis 7,258
Trinidad & Tobago 7,513
These allocations are based on the countries’ historical shipments to the United States and consultations with quota holding countries. The allocations of the raw cane sugar TRQ to countries that are net importers of sugar are conditioned on receipt of the appropriate verifications of origin, and certificates for quota eligibility must accompany imports from any country to which an allocation is provided.
On August 1, 2011, the Secretary of Agriculture also announced the establishment of the in-quota quantity for the FY 2012 refined sugar TRQ at 112,718 MTRV for which the sucrose content, by weight in the dry state, must have a polarimeter reading of 99.5 degrees or more. This amount includes the minimum quantity to which the U.S. is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreement (22,000 MTRV, of which 1,656 MTRV is reserved for specialty sugar). Based on consultations with quota-holding countries, USTR is allocating a total of 12,050 MTRV of refined sugar to Canada, and 8,294 MTRV of refined sugar to be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Imports of all specialty sugar will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis in five tranches. USDA has announced that the total quantity of specialty sugar will be the 1,656 MTRV included in the WTO minimum and an additional 90718 MTRV. The first tranche of 1,656 MTRV will open on October 12, 2011. All types of specialty sugars are eligible for entry under this tranche. The second tranche of 33,565 MTRV will open on October 26, 2011. The third, fourth, and fifth tranches of 19,051 MTRV each will open on January 11, 2012, April 11, 2012, and July 11, 2012, respectively. 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.
With respect to the in-quota quantity of 64,709 metric tons (MT) of the TRQ for imports of certain sugar-containing products maintained under Additional U.S. Note 8 to Chapter 17 of the HTS, USTR is allocating 59,250 MT to Canada. The remainder, 5,459 MT, of the in-quota quantity is available for other countries on a first-come, first-served basis.
In response to increased tightness in the U.S. raw cane sugar market, USDA also announced that it will open the raw cane sugar TRQs on September 1, 2011, a month earlier than the usual entry date of October 1, 2011. This early entry date does not apply to TRQs for refined and specialty sugar and sugar-containing products.
*Conversion factor: 1 metric ton = 1.10231125 short tons.