Japan lifts age restriction on Canadian beef, access for OTM beef achieved

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Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

Expanded access for Canadian beef to the Japanese market has been achieved as Japan has lifted its over 30-month (OTM) age restriction for beef exports, effective immediately. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) appreciates the implementation of this decision to eliminate the rule instated in the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) era and hopes that other markets will follow Japan’s lead.

Japan is an important market for Canadian beef under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Statistics Canada data from three months since the December 30 implementation of the CPTPP (March 2019 YTD) indicates a significant increase in volume up 100.2 per cent to 9,826 metric tonnes and up 117.4 per cent in value to CDN$68.7 million compared with the same period last year.

The CCA expects exports of Canadian beef to increase further still now that expanded access for OTM beef has finally come to fruition, said CCA President David Haywood-Farmer. “The CCA has and will continue to advocate for free and open trade. We were pleased to see the access to Japan attained under CPTPP and are happy to see the market potential grow with new access for OTM,” he said.

The CPTPP was implemented on December 30, 2018. On April 1, 2019 the second round of tariff cuts came into effect and tariffs were reduced to 26.6 per cent on both Canadian fresh and frozen beef and further cuts will continue over the next several years. The initial tariff cut on December 30 lowered the Japanese beef tariff of 38.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent on Canadian fresh beef and to 26.9 per cent on frozen beef. Tariffs were also reduced for a range of offal products.

The CCA has been closely monitoring developments regarding the OTM rule in 2019, as Japanese officials moved through their processes towards recommending the elimination of the requirement that imported beef be from cattle under 30 months of age.

Canada’s new access became effective on May 17, 2019 and is part of the OTM access Japan announced late last week for the United States and Ireland.

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