• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Regulatory Information

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Import Milk Act

TITLE 21 - FOOD AND DRUGS

CHAPTER 4 - ANIMALS, MEATS, AND MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS

SUBCHAPTER IV - IMPORTATION OF MILK AND CREAM

Sec. 141. Prohibition of importation without permit

On and after May 16, 1927, the importation into the United States of milk and cream is prohibited unless the person by whom such milk or cream is shipped or transported into the United States holds a valid permit from the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sec. 142. Milk or cream when unfit for importation

Milk or cream shall be considered unfit for importation (1) when all cows producing such milk or cream are not healthy and a physical examination of all such cows has not been made within one year previous to such milk being offered for importation; (2) when such milk or cream, if raw, is not produced from cows which have passed a tuberculin test applied by a duly authorized official veterinarian of the United States, or of the country in which such milk or cream is produced, within one year previous to the time of the importation, showing that such cows are free from tuberculosis; (3) when the sanitary conditions of the dairy farm or plant in which such milk or cream is produced or handled do not score at least fifty points out of one hundred points according to the methods for scoring as provided by the score cards, used by the Bureau of Dairy Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture at the time such dairy farms or plants are scored; (4) in the case of raw milk if the number of bacteria per cubic centimeter exceeds three hundred thousand and in the case of raw cream seven hundred and fifty thousand, in the case of pasteurized milk if the number of bacteria per cubic centimeter exceeds one hundred thousand, and in the case of pasteurized cream five hundred thousand; (5) when the temperature of milk or cream at the time of importation exceeds fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

Sec. 143. Inspection; certified statement in lieu thereof; waiver of requirements of section 142; regulations; suspension and revocation of permits

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall cause such inspections to be made as are necessary to insure that milk and cream are so produced and handled as to comply with the provisions of section 142 of this title, and in all cases when he finds that such milk and/or cream is produced and handled so as not to be unfit for importation under clauses 1, 2, and 3 of section 142 of this title, he shall issue to persons making application therefor permits to ship milk and/or cream into the United States: Provided, That in lieu of the inspections to be made by or under the direction of the Secretary he may, in his discretion, accept a duly certified statement signed by a duly accredited official of an authorized department of any foreign government and/or of any State of the United States or any municipality thereof that the provisions in clauses 1, 2, and 3 of section 142 of this title have been complied with. Such certificate of the accredited official of an authorized department of any foreign government shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary, who is authorized and directed to prescribe such form as well as rules and regulations regulating the issuance of permits to import milk or cream into the United States.

The Secretary is authorized, in his discretion, to waive the requirement of clause 4 of section 142 of this title when issuing permits to operators of condenseries in which milk and/or cream is used when sterilization of the milk and/or cream is a necessary process: Provided, however, That no milk and/or cream shall be imported whose bacterial count per cubic centimeter in any event exceeds one million two hundred thousand: Provided, further, That such requirements shall not be waived unless the farm producing such milk to be imported is within a radius of fifteen miles of the condensery in which it is to be processed: Provided further, That if milk and/or cream imported when the requirements of clause 4 of section 142 of this title, have been so waived, is sold, used, or disposed of in its raw state or otherwise than as condensed milk by any person, the permit shall be revoked and the importer shall be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other penalty prescribed by this subchapter.

The Secretary is directed to waive the requirements of clauses 2 and 5 of section 142 of this title insofar as the same relate to milk when issuing permits to operators of, or to producers for delivery to, creameries and condensing plants in the United States within twenty miles of the point of production of the milk, and who import no raw milk except for pasteurization or condensing: Provided, That if milk imported when the requirements of clauses 2 and 5 of section 142 of this title have been so waived is sold, used, or disposed of in its raw state, or otherwise than as pasteurized, condensed, or evaporated milk by any person, the permit shall be revoked and the importer shall be subjected to fine, imprisonment, or other penalty prescribed by this subchapter.

The Secretary is authorized and directed to make and enforce such regulations as may in his judgment be necessary to carry out the purpose of this subchapter for the handling of milk and cream, for the inspection of milk, cream, cows, barns, and other facilities used in the production and handling of milk and/or cream and the handling, keeping, transporting, and importing of milk and/or cream: Provided, however, That unless and until the Secretary shall provide for inspections to ascertain that clauses 1, 2, and 3 of section 142 of this title have been complied with, the Secretary shall issue temporary permits to any applicants therefor to ship or transport milk and/or cream into the United States.

The Secretary is authorized to suspend or revoke any permit for the shipment of milk or cream into the United States when he shall find that the holder thereof has failed to comply with the provisions of or has violated this subchapter or any of the regulations made hereunder, or that the milk and/or cream brought or shipped by the holder of such permit into the United States is not produced and handled in conformity with, or that the quality thereof does not conform to, all of the provisions of section 142 of this title.

Sec. 144. Unlawful receiving of imported milk or cream

It shall be unlawful for any person in the United States to receive milk or cream imported into the United States unless the importation is in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

Sec. 145. Penalties

Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this subchapter shall, in addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $2,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Sec. 146. Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $50,000 per annum, to enable the Secretary of Health and Human Services to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

Sec. 147. Repeal of inconsistent laws

Any laws or parts of laws inconsistent with this subchapter are repealed.

Sec. 148. Powers of State with respect to milk or cream lawfully imported

Nothing in this subchapter is intended nor shall be construed to affect the powers of any State, or any political subdivision thereof, to regulate the shipment of milk or cream into, or the handling, sale, or other disposition of milk or cream in, such State or political subdivision after the milk and/or cream shall have been lawfully imported under the provisions of this subchapter.

Sec. 149. Definitions

When used in this subchapter -

  • (a) The term ''person'' means an individual, partnership, association, or corporation.
  • (b) The term ''United States'' means the fifty States and the District of Columbia.