The dairy sector is one of the most protected and regulated agricultural sectors. Many countries subsidize their dairy production, impose high tariffs and quota restrictions on imported dairy products, or establish rigorous non-tariff barriers to protect their dairy sector or safeguard domestic food safety. According to UN Comtrade data, in 2019, the United States exported $5B worth of dairy products to countries around the world, making the United States the fifth largest dairy exporter in the world, following New Zealand, Netherlands, Germany, and France.
Since 2004, the value of U.S. dairy exports more than quadrupled but fell by almost 30% in 2015 due to a change in global conditions, including Russia’s import ban on dairy products, decreased demand for dairy products in China, and increased supply of EU dairy products.  As the global dairy market continues to be volatile and competitive, it is critical for exporters to understand the trade environment in various destination markets prior to shipping dairy products. A few common examples of export/import documentation requirements include import license, health or veterinary certificate, certificate of analysis, certificate of origin.
U.S. exporters may be able to access dairy market opportunities more easily through preferential treatment under the trade agreements that the United States reached with its trading partners around the world. exporters are encouraged to gather sufficient intelligence prior to their export of dairy products to ensure exports can be cleared at foreign customs, as well as leveraging preferential treatment under trade agreements, such as reduced tariff rates, higher import quota amounts, and/or simplified import process and fewer documentation requirements.
The following resources provide further guidance for U.S. dairy exporters to enter foreign markets:
 Growth of US Dairy Exports, USDA Economic Research Service
https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/outlooks/81255/ldpm-270-01.pdf?v=3510.1, November 2016