WASHINGTON, June 29, 2015— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from two regions in South America under specific conditions that mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the first step in a process for these regions to gain access to the U.S. market for beef. The two regions are:
APHIS risk assessments indicate that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported, provided certain conditions are met to ensure beef exported to the United States will not harbor the FMD virus. The assessments also concluded that Argentina and Brazil are able to comply with U.S. import certification requirements.
Fresh beef from both of these regions will follow the same import conditions imposed on fresh beef and ovine meat from Uruguay that we have been safely importing for many years.
APHIS’ regulations and conditions address potential animal health risks. This is the first step of a process for these regions to gain access to the U.S. market for beef. Brazil and Argentina also need to meet food safety standards prior to being able to export any beef to the United States. USDA will assess their equivalence with U.S. standards through a review of their regulatory programs as well as an in-country audit of their food safety systems.
These rules take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.