USDA Publishes Final Rule, Establishing Paper Check-off Program

Jan. 22, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today published the final rule for the Paper and Paper-based Packaging Promotion program (Paper Check-off). The rule establishes the program and states the assessment of 35 cents per short ton on printing and writing, containerboard, paperboard and Kraft paper will begin on March 1, 2014.

Companies assessed are ones producing or importing 100,000 short tons or more of the four covered grades.

Newsprint and carbonless papers are not included in the program.

“Now that the Paper Check-off rule is final, the industry is ready to get started on the important work ahead to promote paper and paper-based packaging,” said Paper Check-off Panel Chairman John Williams, president and CEO of Domtar. “The value and benefits of our products is a story that consumers deserve to hear, and the Paper Check-off will provide the opportunity to tell that story.”

The paper industry voted overwhelmingly to create the Paper and Paper-based Packaging Promotion and Research program (Paper Check-off) in the November referendum. The publication of the final rule now puts in motion the steps to create the program. The Paper Check-off Panel has sent its recommendations for board seat nominations to USDA. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture will appoint the 12-person board responsible for overseeing the program.

“We appreciate the efforts of USDA to complete the final rule and look forward to USDA’s board appointments so our industry may begin the Paper Check-off program,” said Williams.

To learn more about the Paper Check-off program, please visit