United States dairy quotas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources manages the United States (US) export dairy quotas, which were put in place by the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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

Australian exporters can export specific quantities of eligible products to the US at reduced or zero tariff rates through these quotas.

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

Key dates to remember

  • 1 January—New quota year commences
  • 15 June—Deadline for ‘use it or lose it’ notice
  • 1 October—Deadline for annual WTO quota allocation applications
  • 12 October—Deadline for annual FTA quota allocation applications
  • 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 quota usage for US dairy.

Apply for an allocation of US FTA and WTO dairy quota

Each September dairy manufacturers are invited to apply for an allocation of US 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 for WTO quotas and 12 October for FTA quotas 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.

Dairy products and their equivalent US-FTA dairy categories

The information in this spreadsheet can be used by exporters of dairy products to the US to help them complete their application for a request for permit (RFP) through the department’s EXDOC system.


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AUSFTA dairy quotas: Guide to US/Australia equivalent products XLSXExcel Icon156 KB

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Apply for a US quota certificate

If you are successful in obtaining an allocation of quota, you can then apply for a quota certificate. To do this, you must:

To complete your RFP or application you may need to refer to the Dairy quota codes and the AUSFTA dairy quotas: Guide to US/Australia equivalent products table.

When your RFP has gone to ‘complete’ status in EXDOC, the data will go through to the Quota Unit on the next business day. When your application is approved, the Quota Unit will send an electronic certificate, known as an eCert, directly to US Customs and a more detailed eCert notification to you.

If the export consignment is altered in any way, you must notify the Quota Unit as the quota certificate may need to be altered to reflect this. Some information relating to your shipment cannot be altered once the eCert has been accepted by US Customs. Contact the Quota Unit to find out if your certificate can be amended or will need to be cancelled and reissued.

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:

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

Quota categories and 2019 entitlement holders (last updated 16 July 2019)

This listing of dairy quota categories and 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, or apply for FCFS quota.

Entitlement holders list


American cheese—Account A:

  • No quota allocated

Butter/butterfat—Account B:

  • Ausfine Foods International
  • Pure Dairy Pty Ltd

Condensed milk—Account D:

  • No quota allocated

Other milk powders—Account F:

  • Bega Cheese Limited

Cheddar cheese—Account H:

  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter
  • Ausfine Foods International
  • LD&D Australia Pty Ltd
  • Pure Dairy Pty Ltd

Skim milk powder—Account K:

  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter

Other dairy products—Account L

  • Unilever Asia Private Limited

Cream—Account M:

  • No quota allocated

Other cheese—Account O:

  • Ausfine Foods International
  • Bega Cheese Limited
  • Moondarra Cheese Pty Ltd

Swiss cheese—Account T:

  • No quota allocated.

European cheese—Account U:

  • LD&D Australia Pty Ltd
  • Ausfine Foods International
  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd

Goya cheese—Account Z:

  • No quota allocated.

Cheddar cheese—Account C:

  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd

American cheese—Account G:

  • No quota allocated

NSPF (other) cheese—Account N:

  • No quota allocated

Swiss cheese—Account S:

  • No quota allocated

Australia–US Free Trade Agreement

The Australia–US Free Trade Agreement was agreed to in 2005. Further information can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

The Dairy export quota TRQ categories table lists the quota categories available under the AUSFTA and WTO arrangements. It shows the annual increase in available tonnage (for AUSFTA quotas only) until 2019. This table may help exporters to understand how much extra quota they may be able to apply for in future years. Annual increases are not available under the WTO arrangements.

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 US beef quotas, contact the Quota Unit:

Phone: 02 6272 4068
Email: Quota Admin

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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