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  September 5th, 2016 | Written by

Brazilian Market Reopened to U.S. Beef Exports

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  • Knocking down barriers to U.S. exports.
  • Since last year, USDA has eliminated mad cow-related restrictions in 16 countries.
  • In 2015, U.S. beef exports reached $6.3 billion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reached agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply to allow access for U.S. beef and beef products to the Brazilian market for the first time since 2003. Brazil’s action reflects the United States’ negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, a.k.a. 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.

After many years of diligently working to regain access to the Brazilian market, the United States welcomes the news that Brazil has removed all barriers to U.S. beef and beef product exports,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We are pleased that Brazil, a major agricultural producing and trading country, has aligned with science-based international standards, and we encourage other nations to do the same. Since last year alone, USDA has eliminated BSE-related restrictions in 16 countries, regaining market access for U.S. beef and pumping hundreds-of-millions of dollars into the American economy. The Brazilian market offers excellent long-term potential for U.S. beef exporters.”

Both countries will immediately begin updating their administrative procedures in order to allow trade to resume. U.S. companies will need to complete Brazil’s regular facilities registration process.

In a separate decision, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) also recently determined that Brazil’s food safety system governing meat products remains equivalent to that of the United States and that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from Brazil. Following a multi-year science based review consistent with U.S. food safety regulations for countries that export meat, poultry, and egg products to the U.S., FSIS is amending the list of eligible countries and products authorized for export to the United States to allow fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from Brazil.

The Brazilian agreement is the latest example of USDA’s ongoing efforts to knock down barriers to U.S. exports. In 2016, these efforts have led to the reopening of the Saudi Arabian and Peruvian markets for U.S. beef, the South Korean market for U.S. poultry, and the South African market for U.S. poultry, pork, and beef. Since January 2015, U.S. beef has gained additional market access in Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Macau, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam and, now, Brazil. In 2015, U.S. beef exports reached $6.3 billion.