Despite recent concerns surrounding the safety of US beef exports to Asia, Taiwan has conditionally lifted its ban on US beef.

Imports will be restricted to boneless beef from cows under 30-months-old, the Bureau of Food Safety at the Department of Health is reported to have said. The department maintained a tentative stance, emphasising that cows’ innards and ground beef are still banned substances and warning: “The ban could be reimposed again if any serious violations of the requirements are found.”

The move, a response to US requests to resume trade in US beef, still requires cabinet ratification, and there is some pressure from Taiwanese parliamentarians to maintain the import ban.

In December 2003 Taiwan imposed a ban on US beef due to reports of mad cow disease. This was partially lifted in April, only to be reintroduced in June after a new case of mad cow disease was confirmed.

In 2003, before the first import restrictions were set in place, Taiwan purchased US$76.5m of US beef.