Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 20, 2012 12:44 ET

South Korea Gives Canadian Beef Final Stamp of Approval : Canadian Beef Can Access Market Immediately

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2012) - Tremendous news for Canadian cattle producers and processors has come early in the new year, announced Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast. Starting today, Canadian beef under 30 months of age can re-enter the South Korean market.

"For the first time in nearly a decade, Canadian beef can be exported again to what was our fourth-largest market, South Korea", said Minister Ritz. "Improved trade with South Korea is a priority for the Canadian agriculture industry and the South Korean Government's co-operation in restoring access to Canadian beef will further strengthen trade relations between our two countries."

"Our government understands the importance of trade to the jobs and livelihoods of hardworking Canadians and their families, and the importance of helping our farmers and producers access global markets," said Minister Fast. "That's why we have consistently fought for fair and open access for our producers and exporters around the world, and against unscientific trade restrictions on Canadian products. Our government has worked tirelessly to ensure the Korean market is re-opened to high-quality Canadian beef, and the Korean Government's decision to restore access is the direct result of these efforts."

The South Korean Government today published their approval of the Import Health Requirements (IHRs) and notified the Government of Canada that all certification conditions are in place, meaning exports can commence from the Canadian beef establishments approved for export.

Canada has worked tirelessly - governments and industry together - to reopen the market. This work included an earlier request for a World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel, based on science and the safety and quality of Canadian beef, which is shipped world wide.

The Canadian beef industry estimates that this restored market access could mean more than $30 million for Canadian producers by 2015. South Korea is the last significant Asian market to lift the ban after the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak.

Backgrounder

Beef Access to South Korea

Following Canada's first case of BSE in May 2003, South Korea banned Canadian beef and beef products. After years of emphasizing that there was no scientific basis to the ban, Canada requested a WTO Panel to review South Korea's ban.

As a result, in June 2011, a process to restore access for beef under 30 months was established between Canada and South Korea. The South Korean government began its domestic process to approve the proposed import health requirements (IHRs) which included legislative approval and public consultations.

In December 2011 at the WTO Ministerial meetings in Geneva, Minister Fast once again raised this issue with his South Korean counterpart, urging him to recognize, as all other major trading partners have already recognized, that there is no scientific basis or any other justification for continuing to ban Canadian beef and beef products.‪

On December 30, 2011, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that the South Korean Government took an important step towards restoring access for Canadian beef, under 30 months of age, by passing the IHRs through the South Korean parliament.

Today, the South Korean Government published their approval of the Import Health Requirements and notified the Government of Canada that all certification conditions are in place, meaning exports can commence from the beef establishments approved for export.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

    Trade Media Relations Office
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada
    613-996-2000
    Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

    Rudy Husny
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
    Minister of International Trade and Minister
    for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
    613-992-7332