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Malaysia Lifts BSE-Related Ban On EU Beef

17 January 2011

MALAYSIA - Malaysia has finally lifted its ban on imports of beef and beef products from the European Union.

This measure is welcomed by the EU as by the lifting the ban, Malaysia shows that it recognises that EU beef and beef products are safe.

In 2001 Malaysia introduced an import ban on beef of EU origin, citing a risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) without providing any scientific justification for the measure.

This measure went beyond the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and did not take into account the stringent control and surveillance measures in place in the EU guaranteeing that EU beef and beef products can be consumed in all safety.

Since the introduction of the ban, the European Commission, the EU Delegation to Malaysia and EU Member States have regularly raised this issue with Malaysia in all available fora and in every bilateral meeting, at technical and political level. As a result, Malaysia has recently revised its import conditions and re-opened its market to all EU Member States.

Now that the ban has been lifted, EU exporters can apply to the Malaysian authorities to start approval procedures for abattoirs and processing plants processing beef and beef products for export to Malaysia. Although these procedures are considered lengthy and non-transparent, the removal of the ban is a major step forward.

In the year 2000, before the introduction of the ban, exports of EU beef to Malaysia were valued at over €1.2 million.

The lifting of the ban is welcomed by the EU, in particular in the light of the recently launched EU-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement negotiations. This development should allow EU exporters to access the Malaysian market again.

The European Commission will continue to raise the issue with Malaysia to ensure trade friendly approval procedures for meat and meat products in line with Malaysia's international obligations. EU business is invited to inform the Commission of any new developments in this matter.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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