Qatar Lifts Ban ON US Beef

QATAR - Qatar has lifted a ban on import of US beef, a senior US embassy official in Doha said yesterday.
calendar icon 7 December 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
“We received an official notice from the National Health Authority (NHA) today that cleared the US beef or beef variety meat (BVM) of any harmful content,” the official of the Commercial Service Office at the US embassy told Gulf Times.

The ban has been in effect since the first outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease in December 2003.

The US Department of Commerce’s assistant secretary, Israel Hernandez, who was in Doha last week, had blamed Qatar’s stringent measures for the delay in lifting the ban.

According to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) market profile for Middle East, the buyers of US beef recognise the US as the producer of the best quality beef, though they have perceptions that it is expensive while safety concerns still need to be addressed. The US ‘Halal’ certification is also sometimes questioned.

Gulf countries have proposed standardised import procedures that will take effect on January 1. While this simplifies the preparation of documents, “adoption of the most restrictive requirements could impede trade,” according to the USMEF.

Source: Gulf Times
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