Minister announces removal of under 30 month restriction for beef exports to Japan

Beef tongue being served in Japan.
Beef tongue being served in Japan.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Irish beef bound for Japan will no longer be bound by an under 30 month rule, after the terms of exports health certificates were changed.

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed made the announcement and said it came after negotiations with the Japanese authorities.

“I am pleased to announce that we have successfully changed the terms of the export health certificate for beef so that the previous age restriction of under 30 months has been removed and beef from cattle of all ages are now eligible for export" Minister Creed said. 

This follows on from a successful beef audit to Ireland by a team of inspectors from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in March 2019. It comes around three weeks before Minister Creed will lead the next agri-food Trade Mission to Japan between 10 and 12 June.

Speaking about the development the Minister said: “This comes at a particularly opportune time shortly before my Trade Mission to Japan, and on top of the recent good news from China in relation to the approval of Irish beef plants. It is a testament to the strong co-operation of Team Ireland and our very productive realtions with our Japenese counterparts in progressing market access. Team Ireland is growing in Japan with the addition later this year of an agricultural attaché in the Irish Embassy in Tokyo and also the placement of a Bord Bia Market specialist in Japan.” 

Ireland exported €3.6m worth of beef, with a volume of 840t, to Japan in 2018 according to the CSO trade statistics. The majority of this was in the form of bovine tongues, a delicacy in Japan, and other beef offal. As of the end of March 2019, around 200t had been exported.

Minister Creed also said that efforts to progress sheepmeat access to Japan will come to the fore now in advance and during the Trade Mission there.

"I hope to meet my counterpart and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare during my Trade Mission."

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