January 18, 2011


Malaysia lifts BSE-related ban on EU beef



Malaysia has recognised that beef and beef products from the EU are safe and has lifted its ban on its imports.


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 (EC), the EU Delegation to Malaysia and EU Member States regularly raised this issue with Malaysia in all available for 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 EUR1.2 million (US$1.60 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 EC 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.

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