Colombia Rice Export Quota, Inc. last month issued the U.S. share of the net proceeds from administration of the U.S. rice tariff rate quota in Colombia to the six state rice research boards. The U.S. share was $3.19 million, split as follows among the six rice-state boards based on each state’s recent average rice production:

Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board, $1,444,599; California Rice Research Board, $691,226

Louisiana Rice Research Board, $434,178; Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, $235,406; Texas Rice Producers Board, $194,852; and Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, $186,835.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement established annual increasing tariff rate quotas for U.S. rice for 18 years, during which time Colombia’s import duty on U.S. rice will decline to 0 from 80 percent.

The Trade Promotion Agreement provided for tariff rate quota management through an export trading company, which is a not-for-profit company established under U.S. law.

The company — Colombia Rice Export Quota — was established in May 2012. It conducted an auction of certificates in October entitling the winners to export U.S. rice to Colombia duty-free. U.S. exporters bid for the right to ship under the 2012 tariff rate quota (79,000 metric tons on a milled equivalent basis, MRE). The auction generated $7.21 million.

After deducting for expenses for setting up Colombia Rice Export Quota, fees of the administrator and provision for a contingency fund, the U.S. and Colombian sides split evenly the net revenue, which was $6.37 million.

The Colombian partner FEDEARROZ (Colombia’s rice producers’ association) will use its share to develop Colombia’s rice production sector.

The U.S. recipients must spend the funds on rice research projects as defined by each state research board to benefit the United States rice industry.

“The Colombia Rice Export Quota distribution to the state rice research boards is a great example of the benefits of trade agreements,” said Bob Cummings, USA Rice Federation COO. “Following years of hard work and tough negotiation by the U.S. rice industry and U.S. government, we now have long-term access to a new market for U.S. rice sales.”

The members of Colombia Rice Export Quota are the six rice-state research boards, the USA Rice Millers’ Association, the USA Rice Merchants Association and FEDEARROZ. In addition, INDUARROZ, Colombia’s rice millers’ association, is represented on the Colombia Rice Export Quota board. Only FEDEARROZ and the rice-state research boards receive distributions of Colombia Rice Export Quota’s net auction proceeds.

“At a time when federal research dollars are in question, the operation of Colombia Rice Export Quota provides the prospect of a steady stream of revenue to promote basic rice research that will benefit all segments of the rice industry,” said Carl Brothers, Colombia Rice Export Quota chairman.

The tariff rate quotas for U.S. rice increase 4.5 percent annually and the 2013 tariff rate quota is 82,555 MT milled rice equivalent. The auction for this tariff rate quota is schedule for early February 2013.