April 9, 2013


US agency to support export of US agricultural products


The efforts of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support exports of the US agricultural products are expected to help increase exports of US cattle and poultry products by over US$85 million annually.


This was announced by US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).


APHIS is announcing the opening of export markets to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia for US day-old chicks and hatching eggs, increasing US exports by an estimated US$25 million a year.


"This is a significant agreement for poultry exporters in the US," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "For nearly 10 years, APHIS has pursued the opening of the Russian market to US day-old chicks and hatching eggs, and now we have also secured access for these products to Belarus and Kazakhstan."


In February, APHIS veterinary health personnel and their counterparts in Moscow developed the export documentation that APHIS will issue for products shipped to the three countries. In 2010, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus formed a Customs Union, and are currently working to harmonise import requirements for cattle and other live animals and livestock products.


The market access for poultry commodities represents the first of nearly 40 new agreements related to live animals and animal products that USDA will work to negotiate with the Customs Union.


Following direct negotiations with Iraqi animal health officials in February, APHIS officials reached agreement with their counterparts on export certification requirements for US dairy cattle shipments to that country.


"The Middle East is an important and emerging market for US cattle exporters," said Vilsack.


The annual market value is projected to be more than US$60 million. APHIS will work with exporters to ensure the exported cattle meet the terms of the agreement with Iraq.