Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has lifted a ban on beef imports from the US that had been in place since December 2003 in response to concerns over mad cow disease. The government agency said it was satisfied that the US has effective safeguards to guarantee the safety of its meat.

However, according to a report by Dow Jones, an AVA spokesperson said that it had not yet finalised with the US Department of Agriculture the operational details of the re-entry of US beef into Singaporean market.

The removal of the ban will mean that de-boned beef cuts from US-raised cattle less than 30 months old can now be imported. US beef represented around 5% of Singapore’s beef imports before the ban which was initiated after the detection of a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Washington State.