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Audio: Vietnam Lifts Restrictions on U.S. Beef

Published: Apr 13, 2015
00:00 / 00:00

You may download the audio file here

Vietnam recently removed its BSE-related restrictions on imports of U.S. beef, and now accepts a full range of cuts from U.S. cattle of all ages.

Travis Arp, Ph. D., U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) technical services manager, explains that Vietnam reopened to boneless U.S. beef cuts in 2005 and added bone-in cuts in 2006. But in both cases, access was limited to beef from cattle less than 30 months of age.

With this latest development, exporters can now ship a full range of beef cuts and face fewer regulatory hurdles when serving the Vietnamese market. For example, no USDA export verification (EV) program is needed, and segregation of cattle at the processing plant is no longer required.

Vietnam is also a participant in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Full access to the Vietnamese market will allow the U.S. beef industry to better capitalize on tariff rate reductions that may be achieved through the TPP.


Joe Schuele: Vietnam recently lifted all restrictions on imports of U.S. beef. In this U.S. Meat Export Federation report, USMEF technical services manager Travis Arp recaps U.S. beef’s gradual return to the Vietnam market following the 2003 BSE case, and explains the benefits of having full access for beef and cattle of all ages without the need for a USDA export verification program.

Travis Arp: It was a gradual easing back into the market with 2005 getting boneless less than 30-month beef, and then again in 2006 adding bone-in products. But this opening will really allow us to get full access for all range of products, and will negate necessity of EV programs. Packers and processors won’t have to do any more segregation between their over 30-month and under-30 month cattle, so that reduces costs associated with products for that market by a pretty substantial margin. And then, by the same token, we will have a lot of processors who do exclusively over-30 month cattle get access to this market who previously did not have it.

Joe Schuele: Arp explains that Vietnam does still have some unique documentation and registration requirements for exporters serving the market.

Travis Arp: There is still a registration process, if you will, for the Vietnam market in which exporters, specifically the producers of raw materials or further processors have to essentially register their facility, provide description of product flows and what products they will be exporting to the market. So that’s an issue that stays in place. It’s not an incredibly cumbersome for the plants, but it’s the one additional step exporters have to go through for Vietnam.

Joe Schuele: For more on this and other trade issues, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.