European beef producers resume exports to Canada

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EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Andriukaitis, Trade Commissioner Malmström and Agriculture Commissioner Hogan have welcomed the decision by the Canadian government to re-open Canada’s market for imports of European beef from 19 EU Member States, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

In a statement, they said the move will provide a welcome boost to Europe’s beef producers and exporters, particularly as it comes at a time when farmers across the EU are going through a particularly difficult period.

It added: “By re-authorising 19 Member States at once, Canada recognises that the EU functions as a single entity with uniform and harmonised rules and standards, where enforcement is overseen by the European Commission. This is an important development and will further improve the trade relations with Canada on Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues.

“Work is ongoing between the Commission - in close cooperation with the EU Member States - and the Canadian authorities to re-establish meat trade from the EU Member States that do not have access to the Canadian market yet.

“This move also forms part of a growing trend to recognise the robust, comprehensive and successful measures put in place by the EU to eradicate BSE. We call on our few remaining international trading partners who still maintain restrictive measures, to fully adopt recognised international standards.”

The Canadian market has been closed to any EU beef, including deboned beef, since 1996, when Canada introduced import restrictions on meat of ruminants on the basis of BSE concerns. The 19 Member States that have now been authorised to resume exports are the same that had access to the Canadian market before the BSE ban came into force: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.