Frequently Asked Questions – CETA Cheese Tariff Rate Quotas

1. How can I apply for an allocation under the new CETA Cheese Quotas?
2. I do not have an EIPA number; can I still submit an application?
  • Yes. If an applicant does not have an EIPA number, Global Affairs Canada will assign one based on the information provided in the application for an allocation.
3. Do I have to be able to demonstrate a history of importing cheese to apply for an allocation under the CETA cheese quotas?
  • No. Applicants’ eligibility for an allocation will be assessed on the basis of their activity (as a cheese processor, distributor or retailer) in the Canadian cheese sector in the period between October 1 and September 30 immediately preceding the allocation year. This is generally referred to as the reference period.
4. I am not active in the Canadian cheese sector, can I apply for quota as a new entrant and use the quota to become active?
  • No. The CETA Declaration states that, at a minimum, an applicant must be a resident of Canada and be active in the Canadian cheese sector regularly during the year.
  • Interested stakeholders who are not currently active in the domestic cheese sector as defined in the Notice to Importers, but who become active in the future will be able to apply for an allocation at that time.
5. The Notice to Importers states that an applicant must be active in the Canadian cheese sector regularly during the reference period and the allocation year. What does this mean?
  • This is normally understood to mean that applicants are able to demonstrate activity on a monthly basis.
  • This is why the application form requests applicants to complete a monthly breakdown of their activities in the cheese sector.
6. What is the application period for the CETA Cheese Quotas?
  • The application period for the CETA Cheese Quotas opens on October 1 and closes on November 15.
  • To qualify for an allocation, applicants must demonstrate that they were active in the Canadian cheese sector between October 1 and September 30, immediately preceding the allocation year in which they seek to obtain an allocation.
7. If I don’t apply for an allocation in one year, can I still apply for an allocation in subsequent years?
  • Yes. The CETA cheese quotas are allocated on an annual basis.
8. Do I have to submit a new application each year?
  • Yes. Applicants must submit an application on an annual basis and demonstrate that they are eligible for an allocation each year.
9. Will my allocation be the same each year, or will it change from year to year?
  • The amount allocated to each individual quota holder will vary from year to year.
  • How much quota an applicant will receive in any given year will depend on the level of that applicant’s activity in the domestic cheese sector in relation to the activity of all the other eligible applicants in his or her pool.
10. How will I know if I have qualified for an allocation?
  • Applicants will be informed in writing whether they have qualified for an allocation and the amount of quota they have been allocated.
11. When do the CETA Cheese Quotas open for imports?
  • Applicants who have been issued an allocation will be able to start requesting permits to import cheese as of January 1.
12. Is there any limit on the amount of the Quota that will be available for allocation to new entrants?
  • No. There is no limit on the amount of the Quota that is available to new entrants. However, individual allocations will normally be capped at a maximum 20 percent of the Quota.
13. I am related to an allocation holder under the WTO Cheese TRQ. Can I apply for an allocation under the CETA cheese quotas?
  • Yes. However, related parties may not receive more than one allocation under the CETA cheese quotas.
  • Applicants who are related to allocation holders under the WTO Cheese TRQ are not considered new entrants for the purposes of the new CETA Cheese quotas.
14. I sell cheese to further processors. Can I apply for an allocation under the CETA Industrial Cheese quota?
  • No. Only further processors that use cheese to manufacture non-cheese food products are eligible to apply for an allocation under the CETA Industrial Cheese quota.
  • However, if an applicant meets the definition of “distributor” under the Quota for Cheeses of all types, that applicant’s sales of cheese to further processors could be included in an application for an allocation under that quota.  
15. I believe I would be able to qualify for an allocation under both groups in the Quota for Cheeses of all types; can I apply for an allocation under both groups?
  • No. Applicants are eligible to apply under only one group.
16. In the Quota for Cheeses of all types, how can I determine which distributors and retailers pool to apply under?
  • The Department will determine whether an applicant qualifies as a large or a small/medium–sized distributor or retailer by calculating the applicant’s market share in the distributors and retailers group.
  • If an applicant’s allocation under the distributors and retailers group amounts to less than 20,000 kilograms, that applicant’s application will be considered under the small/medium-sized enterprise distributors and retailers pool and the size of that applicant’s allocation will be re-calculated on a market share basis within that pool.
  • During the five-year phase-in period (2017-2021), the Department will calculate distributors’ and retailers’ market share on the basis of the full access quantity of 16,000,000 kilograms to determine whether an applicant qualifies as small/medium-sized enterprise distributor or retailer or as a large distributor or retailer. The Department will use the result of this initial calculation to calculate the market share of each applicant in the applicable pool based on the amount available for allocation.
17. I am a distributor. Why can’t I include sales of cheese to other distributors in my application?
  • Sales to other distributors are not allowed to be included in a distributor applicant’s total sales in order to ensure that the sale of that same quantity of cheese is not used by multiple distributors to qualify for an allocation.
  • Distributors may include in their application all sales of cheese made to other types of businesses, including processors, retailers, food service, etc.
  • Distributors may also include quantities of cheese they exported during the reference period. 
18. I sell non-EU cheese. Can I include these sales in my application for quota?
  • Yes. The cheese must meet the definition of cheese as set out in the Notice to Importers. However, there is no restriction on the origin of the cheese.
19. I run a restaurant and sell cheese to my customers, am I eligible to apply for quota?
  • No. Restaurants and other food service operations are not eligible to apply for quota.
  • To be eligible to apply for quota, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are active in the domestic cheese sector as cheese manufacturers, distributors or retailers.
  • The definition of retailers does not include establishments primarily engaged in preparing meals, snacks or beverages.  
20. Why do I have to provide an accountant’s letter with my application?
  • An accountant’s letter ensures that the quantities claimed in applications accurately reflect the amount of cheese manufactured or sold by the applicant.
  • Given that the quotas are allocated on a market share basis, it is important to ensure that applicants do not inadvertently misrepresent their activity levels in their applications, as this would affect the allocation of all the eligible applicants.
21. How can I determine if I am related to another company?
  • The criteria for determining whether individuals or companies applying for quota are related are set out in Appendix 4, Information concerning related persons. Applicants who are uncertain whether they are related should err on the side of caution and list the individuals or companies to whom they may be related and seek an assessment from Global Affairs Canada.
22. What if I cannot use my entire allocation? Can I return some? How do I do that?
  • Allocation holders may return any portion of their unused allocation by no later than August 1.
  • Allocation holders who wish to return quota may do so by notifying Global Affairs Canada by no later than the applicable return date at: CETA.Quotas@international.gc.ca.
  • In the Quota for Cheeses of all types, all returned quota will be reallocated to distributor and retailer allocation holders who have not returned quota and who seek to obtain more quota.
23. Is it possible to transfer quota? If so, to whom and how?
  • Yes. All quota transfers must be referred to Global Affairs Canada for consideration.
  • Requests must be made by way of the Transfer Request Form.
  • An allocation holder who has been authorized by Global Affairs Canada to transfer quota to another allocation holder will normally not be authorized to transfer quota in.
  • An allocation holder who has been authorized by Global Affairs Canada to receive a quota transfer from another allocation holder will normally not be authorized to transfer quota out.
  • Transfer requests that would result in one allocation holder accumulating more than twenty percent of the quota will normally not be authorized.
24. How do I get more information about the allocation process?