At the end of each year, USDA reevaluated the checkoff assessment paid by importers bringing pork products into the United States. For 2002, USDA is increasing the assessments on imported pork and pork products from seven-hundredths to one-tenth of a cent per pound. The increase translates to or 0.015 to 0.022 of a cent per kilogram, effective Jan. 28.

This adjustment reflects the 36 percent increase in hog prices that occurred in the U.S. live-hog market last year. The national pork checkoff assessment rate of 0.45 of one percent of market price remains unchanged.

The adjustment on imported pork products will bring that assessment in line with those being paid by domestic pork producers, USDA officials said.

Notice of the increase appeared as a final rule in the Dec 28 Federal Register.

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