EU beef to return to US

EU beef to return to US

The US market has re-opened to imports of beef from the EU, reversing trade ban imposed at the hight of the BSE crisis in 1997.

The US Department of Agriculture said it is bringing US legislation in-line with international standards for BSE, meaning that EU beef products will again gain access to the US market, which has an estimated value of around GBP60m.

It is expected the USDA decision will be published on the Federal Register "soon", with the rule becoming effective within 90 days.

"The re-opening is a welcome, albeit late, step to abolish the unjustified ban and to re-establish normal trading conditions," the European Commission said. "This market opening also sends an important signal to the EU's trading partners worldwide that EU beef is safe, and that imports of EU beef should resume quickly."

The EC added that it expects remaining import restrictions on EU sheep and goat products will be lifted "soon".