Saudi Arabia is reopening its market to U.S. beef and beef products following a four-year ban put in place as a result of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States in 2012.
"We are pleased that Saudi Arabia and the United States have reached an agreement to reopen the Saudi Arabia market,” said Ambassador Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a joint statement.
Beef and beef product imports will be allowed from cattle less than 30 months of age, expanding to products from U.S. cattle less than 48 months of age after a phase-in period. Products eligible for export include bone-in and de-boned beef, offal, and ground and processed beef.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is developing a program to certify U.S. beef meets Saudi Arabia’s import requirements.
“This agreement is yet another example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to addressing barriers blocking U.S. exports,” Froman and Vilsack said. “Reopening Saudi Arabia’s market will create additional export opportunities for American ranchers. The United States exported over $31 million of U.S. beef and beef products in 2011, prior to the ban.”
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service