Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and providing the technical assistance necessary to facilitate successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement for the sample purchase price, the cost of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export, and then to the foreign port or point of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port or point of entry to the final destination will not be eligible for reimbursement. CCC will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting samples, for example, inspection or documentation fees. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, CCC will not reimburse the costs of providing technical assistance. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is complete.
As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following guidelines:
• Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and not a specific company or brand;
• Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product, rather than promote the substitution of one established U.S. product for another;
• Sample commodities provided under a QSP project must be in sufficient supply and available on a commercial basis;
• The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product;
• Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. However, the end product, that is, the product resulting from further processing, substantial transformation, or a technical seminar, may be provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate to importers consumer preference for that end product; and
• Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the destination country).
QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who:
• Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity which will be transported under QSP;
• Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attribute, or end-use characteristic of the U.S. commodity;
• Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, process, and market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary issues);
• Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the U.S. commodity; or
• Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. commodity.
Under this announcement, the number of projects per participant will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised of technical preparation seminars, that is, projects that do not include further processing or substantial transformation, will be limited to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement as these projects require smaller samples. Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis only; and cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant.
All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project.
Applicants planning to use the UES Internet-based system must contact the FAS Program Policy Staff at (202) 720-4327 to obtain site access information including a user ID and password. The UES Internet-based application, including a help file containing step-by-step instructions for its use, may be found at the following URL address:
Applicants who choose to submit applications on compact disc can obtain an application format at the following URL address:
Incomplete applications and applications which do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
FAS recommends that proposals contain, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Organizational information, including:
• Organization's name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number;
• Type of organization;
• Name, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the primary contact person;
• A description of the organization and its membership;
• A description of the organization's prior export promotion experience; and
• A description of the organization's experience in implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component.
(b) Market information, including:
• An assessment of the market;
• A long-term strategy in the market; and
• U.S. export value/volume and market share (historic and goals) for 2002-2008;
(c) Project information, including:
• A brief project title;
• Amount of funding requested;
• A brief description of the specific market development trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project, performance measures for the years 2009-2011, which will be used to measure the effectiveness of the project, a benchmark performance measure for 2007, the viability of long-term sales to this market, the goals of the project, and the expected benefits to the represented industry;
• A description of the activities planned to address the constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/technical servicing component (including who will provide and who will fund this component);
• A sample description (i.e. , commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a justification for selecting a sample with such characteristics (this justification should explain in detail why the project could not be effective with a smaller sample);
• An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with the project for which reimbursement will be sought;
• Beginning and end dates for the proposed project; and
• The importer's role in the project regarding handling and processing the commodity sample;
(d) Information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash and goods and services.
All applications on compact disc (with two accompanying paper copies) and any other form of application must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, August 15, 2008, at the following address:
Hand Delivery (including FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Program Policy Staff, Portals Office Building, Suite 400, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20024.
FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating proposals:
• The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal;
• The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive;
• The potential for expanding commercial sales in the proposed market;
• The nature of the specific market constraint or opportunity involved and how well it is addressed by the proposal;
• The extent to which the importer's contribution in terms of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the project;
• The amount of reimbursement requested and the organization's willingness to contribute resources, including cash and goods and services
• How well the proposed technical assistance component assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the intended end-use benefit.
Highest priority for funding under this announcement will be given to meritorious proposals that target countries meeting either of the following criteria:
• Per capita income less than $11,115 (the ceiling on upper middle income economies as determined by the World Bank [World Development Indicators, July 2007]); and population greater than 1 million. Proposals may address suitable regional groupings, for example, the islands of the Caribbean Basin; or
• U.S. market share of imports of the commodity identified in the proposal of 10 percent or less.
Proposals will be evaluated by the applicable FAS Commodity Branches in the Market Development and Grants Management Division. The Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs.
QSP agreements are subject to review and verification by the FAS Compliance, Security and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to CCC the original documents which support the participant's reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation.
For additional information and assistance, contact the Grants Management Branch, Foreign Agricultural Service, phone: (202) 690-4058, fax: (202) 690-0193, e-mail: