The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Monday the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments.
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted the requirements for its Export Verification program for U.S. establishments shipping to China, which will enable packers to apply for approval to export to China. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also updated its online Export Library specifying China’s requirements for certifying U.S. beef being shipped there.
China has emerged as a major beef buyer in recent years, with imports increasing from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016. However, the United States has been banned from China’s market since 2003. The United States is the world’s largest beef producer and was the world’s fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016. Until the ban took effect, the U.S. was China’s largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70 percent of their total intake.
According to the USDA-AMS page on “Beef Exports to the People’s Republic of China,” The specified requirements for exports to China include:
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S., cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the U.S., or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter;
- Cattle must be traceable to the U.S. birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the first place of residence or port of entry;
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age;
- Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. For a complete listing, refer to the FSIS Export Library; and
- Carcasses, beef, and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.
Visit the USDA’s Questions and Answers for AMS Export Verification Program for China for answers to additional questions.
For more information on the AMS Export Verification Program, please visit the Bovine, Ovine and Caprine Export Verification Programs page.
For more information on the FSIS Export Library, please visit the Export Library – Requirements by Country page.