U.S., Brazil Liberalize Two-Way Trade in Fresh Beef
The Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 1 an agreement with Brazil that will allow the resumption of bilateral trade in fresh beef for the first time since 2003.
According to a USDA press release, the agreement reflects the United States’ negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and aligns Brazil’s regulations to the OIE’s scientific international animal health guidelines. Both countries will immediately begin updating their administrative procedures to allow U.S. exports to resume, and U.S. companies will need to complete Brazil’s regular facilities registration process.
The press release notes that USDA has taken “aggressive efforts” to eliminate BSE-related restrictions since January 2015 and thereby restored market access for U.S. beef in Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Macau, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam and Brazil.
In addition, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that Brazil’s food safety system governing meat products remains equivalent to that of the U.S. and that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from Brazil. FSIS is therefore amending the list of eligible countries and products authorized for export to the U.S. to allow fresh beef from Brazil. Press sources state that the U.S. will impose a tariff-rate quota on such imports of about 60,000 tons.