European Union dairy quotas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources manages 2 European Union (EU) export dairy quotas, which were put in place after the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round (1994):

  • EU Table Cheddar
  • EU Cheese for processing.

Quota is made available, via an allocation system, to Australian companies that wish to export dairy products to the EU. Any quota that is not allocated through this process will be made available on a first-come, first-served (FCFS) basis.

Australian exporters can export specific quantities of the above products to the EU at reduced tariff rates through these quotas.

The quota year runs in line with the calendar year. Exporters are invited to apply for quota in September for use in the next quota year.

Key dates to remember

1 January—New quota year commences
15 June—Deadline for forfeiture of annual quota
1 October—Deadline for annual quota allocation applications for the following year
31 December—Quota year ends

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Current quota usage

The quota usage report shows the total quantity of quota available and shipped by Australia for all dairy quotas.

Check the current EU quota usage for dairy.

Apply for an allocation of EU dairy quota

Each September dairy manufacturers are invited to apply for an allocation of EU dairy quota for the upcoming quota year. An application for dairy quota must be made to the department’s Quota Unit, on the relevant approved online form, before the deadline of 1 October each year. To apply:

The amount of dairy quota to be allocated to each exporter is calculated based on past shipping history and penalties. Each applicant is then notified of their dairy quota allocation/s for the next quota year.

Apply for an EU dairy quota certificate

If you are successful in obtaining an allocation of quota you can then apply for an IMA1 certificate (quota certificate). To do this, you must lodge a request for permit (RFP) through EXDOC, the department’s electronic documentation system.

To complete the RFP, you may need to refer to the Dairy quota codes.

When your RFP has reached ‘complete’ status in EXDOC, the application will be received by the Quota Unit for processing on the next business day. IMA1 certificates are issued by the department’s Melbourne office but require an approval number issued by the Quota Unit, which we will supply to the Melbourne office after the application is approved.

Apply for first-come, first-served (FCFS) quota amounts

After the annual allocation process is complete, the Quota Unit will publish on this website how much quota is available on a FCFS basis.

FCFS quota can be secured as an allocation for multiple shipments or on a one-off shipment basis.
There is no charge for a FCFS allocation and there are no eligibility or volume restrictions on accessing FCFS quota.

Exporters with allocated quota will receive a notice from the Quota Unit before the forfeiture of annual quota deadline of 15 June. Any unused quota is withdrawn from an exporter’s account after 15 June if an exporter fails to outline whether they intend to use their remaining allocation. This quota is then made available to all exporters on a FCFS basis.

To apply for FCFS quota:

Check the currently available FCFS quota for EU dairy.

Request to transfer or voluntarily return quota

Dairy entitlements can be voluntarily returned, or transferred, at any point in the quota year, using these downloadable forms:

Historical quota usage

These tables show how the EU dairy quotas have filled in previous years.

2019 quota entitlement holders (last updated January 2019)

This listing of current quota entitlement holders can be used by exporters to check which exporters hold quota, should they wish to approach another exporter for a transfer.

Entitlement holders list

Table cheddar cheese—Account E:

  • Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd
  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter
  • Beston Pure Dairies Pty Ltd
  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd

Cheese for processing—Account P:

  • Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd
  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter
  • Beston Pure Dairies Pty Ltd
  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd ​


The dairy quotas are governed by the Export Control (Dairy Produce Tariff Rate Quotas) Order 2016. This order outlines the rules and how quota allocations are calculated. Exporters should be familiar with the order.

Data collection

The Quota Unit collects and manages the data presented on this website for commercial and government use. The data comes from the RFPs received by the department.

Contact us

For queries or assistance with the EU dairy quota application process, contact the Quota Unit:
Phone: 02 6272 4068
Email: Quota Admin

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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