October 9, 2003



Russia-US Agreement -- 5 Years Extension of Meat Import Quota



Russia and the United States have agreed to keep the system of import quotas for all kinds of US meat in place for 5 years with an option to extend, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said.


The agreement was reached during negotiations in Tokyo last week, Gref was quoted by Interfax as saying.


Russia will set quotas for its imports of beef, pork and poultry after negotiations with foreign suppliers, Gref said, noting that the US quota for 2004 will be proportional to the market share for American meat over the past 3 years.


The determined quota volume will be set on low duties, while above-quota shipments will be subject to high import tariffs, he said.


The United States shipped poultry products of about 700 million dollars to Russia in 2001. The exports dropped to less than 400 million dollars in 2002 due to Russia's restrictions for food safety concerns.


In April this year, the two countries resolved the squabble over health standards at US poultry plants that had suspended American chicken exports to Russia over the past year.


Russia is the largest foreign market for US poultry, the 5th largest for US pork and is also the 7th largest for US beef.