The Government of the UAE has lifted its ban on imports of U.S. beef from animals over 30 months old, effective January 24.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: UAE 2012 - 02
United Arab Emirates
UAE Lifts Ban on U.S. Beef from Over 30 Month Old
Market Development Reports
The Government of the UAE has lifted its ban on imports of U.S. beef from animals over 30 months
old, effective January 24. The Office of Agricultural Affairs, Dubai, expects the liberalization of beef
imports will further boost U.S. beef exports to the UAE which in 2011 reached an all time record at $41
On January 24, 2012, the UAE Government issued a decree that removed its restriction on U.S. beef and
beef products from Animals over 30 months of age, which have in place since 2009. The removal of the
restriction was the result of many years of sustained advocacy by U.S. Government Agencies, including
the United States Department of Agriculture, the State Department, as well as the U.S. Meat Export
The new decree also removes similar UAE restrictions on beef imports from other countries, including
Canada and European Countries, except the United Kingdom.
U.S. Beef Exports to the UAE:
Despite the UAE restriction on importation of U.S. beef from cattle over 30 months old, over the past
few years, U.S. beef exports to the UAE have been expanding. In 2011, exports reached an all time high
of $41 million compared to $5.7 million in 2005. The Office of Agricultural Affairs, Dubai, expects the
UAE market liberalization for beef will further boost U.S. beef exports to the country.
Chronology of events leading to the ban:
I. In December 2003, following the first BSE case in Washington State, the UAE banned
importation U.S. beef and beef products. .
II. In September 2004, Post, in cooperation with FAS, U.S. Meat Export Federation and USA
Poultry and Egg Export Council, organized a visit for UAE Government officials, representing
UAE General Secretariat of Municipalities (GSM) and the Ministry of Agriculture (currently,
Ministry of Environment and Water) to the United States, to meet with USDA officials, visit
slaughter houses, as well as meet with representatives of U.S. Islamic centers in different states
to review their Halal slaughter practices.
III. In 2005, the USDA and the GSM officials negotiated with the UAE terms and conditions for
lifting the ban on U.S. beef.
IV. In May 2005, the UAE lifted its ban on U.S. beef from animals less than 30 months of age.
V. In 2009, the UAE reinstated its import ban of beef from animals over 30 months old.
Current UAE beef import policy:
1. On January 24, 2012, the UAE Minister of Environment and Water (MOEW) issued Decree
number 34 for 2012, updating decree number 555 for 2009, regarding the UAE import
requirements for beef and beef products from countries that reported BSE cases.
2. The decree also removed restrictions on beef imports from animals over 30 months of age from
several other countries such as Canada, Germany, Ireland, France and Holland.
3. Below is an unofficial translation of Decree number 34, prepared in house:
Ministerial Decree number (34) for 2012
Regarding the Modifying Decree number (555) for 2009
On the Requirements of Importing Beef from Countries
In which BSE Incidences has been Recorded
Ministry of Environment & Water,
Having reviewed the following:
Federal Law number (1) for 1972 with regards to the specialization of the ministries and the authorities
of the ministers and its amendments;
Federal Decree number (6) for 1979 regarding the veterinary quarantine and its amendments;
Ministerial decree number (21) for 2009 regarding the organizational structure of the Ministry of Water
& Environment and its amendments;
Ministerial decree number (460) for 2001 regarding the organizational structure of the veterinary
quarantine system of the countries of the GCC;
Ministerial Decree number (18) for 2001 regarding banning the import of live cattle and its products
from countries of the European Union, East Europe and Scandinavia.
Ministerial Decree number (555) for 2009 regarding the conditions of importing beef from countries in
which BSE incidents have been recorded;
and based on:
the bulletin of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) with regards to BSE;
the preoccupation of the Ministry to execute its strategic goals regarding its contribution to achieving
the nation?s food security; protecting public health and the requirements of national interest;
the following has been decided:
Countries which have been banned from exporting beef to the UAE because of BSE must submit a
request to lift the ban through the official channels to the Ministry of Environment & Water attaching all
the documents and information which prove that the exporting country have fulfilled the following
1. The documents attached to the request must have complete information on the total number of
cattle and number of cases, number of cows that have been examined since the disease was
detected, results of the tests (positive or negative) and the procedures taken to contain the
disease or to limit it.
2. A binding legislation must have been issued in the exporting country banning the use of feed
containing ruminant (ground bones and meat MBM) and dried fats (graves) for feeding
ruminants, as per the recommendations of the OIE.
3. Reporting the disease to the authorities must be obligatory in the exporting countries.
4. Committing to adopting BSE and other animal diseases surveillance program at all sites
(abattoirs, farms, quarantines,?.etc) on slaughtered and live cattle which show signs of disease
of the nervous system appear or non-ambulatory.
5. The exporting countries must have a tracing for animals and their products, from their birth to
slaughtering and their products export.
6. Abiding to apply HACCP at organizations working in the production of beef and exporting to
the country (UAE).
7. If required, a visit by a UAE technical team to the exporting country will take place to ensure
compliance with the above mentioned requirements.
When importing beef from countries complaining with conditions mentioned in the First Clause of this
decree, the following is required:
The shipment of the imported meat must be accompanied by the following documents:
a. A valid and authenticated veterinary certificate showing the following:
A statement that the beef comes from healthy animals/herd that are free of
diseases, especially BSE, and that they are of local origin and are not genetically
A statement that the animals were not fed with feed containing ruminants, with
the exception of milk protein;
A statement that the animals have been slaughtered in approved facilities by the
exporting country, and were examined before and after slaughtering by the
concerned health authority at the exporting country;
In case imported beef is from cattle over 30 months of age; a statement
confirming that the imported beef and its products were produced in a manner to
ensure that they are free of risk materials; and that the beef does not contain meat
whose bones have been mechanically removed;
A statement that the preparation took place under the supervision of the
concerned health and veterinary authorities;
A Statement that the animals have been slaughtered according to Emirates
Standards number 998 and 993, which pertain to the conditions of slaughtering
according to the Islamic rule and under the supervision of an accredited by the
UAE Islamic associations at the exporting country.
A statement that the meat has not been mixed with other animal products during
the production and processing stages.
b. A certificate of Origin.
c. A Halal slaughter certificate issued by an Islamic center that is approved by the Ministry.
Beef ban will be lifted from countries that reported BSE cases after the ban on live cattle from those
countries is lifted; provided they follow the conditions stipulated in the Second Clause of this decree.
All shipments coming into the country are subject to the quarantine procedures, according to the
veterinary quarantine laws and decrees of the country (UAE).
The quarantine and food safety departments at the ministry, each in their specialization, must coordinate
with the concerned authorities in the country to execute this decree.
All the authorities concerned in the country must execute this decree, each in their specialization; the
decree must be abided by from the date it is issued; all previous decrees that are in conflict or in
juxtaposition with it are cancelled; and it must be published in the official gazette.
Issued on: 24/01/2012 Dr. Rashed Ahmed Bin Fahad
Minister of Environment & Water?
End of Quote
Actions taken by UAE and USDA Food Safety Authorities following the issuance of the
1. Based on the clauses of Decree # 34, The Food Safety Department of the MOEW has updated its
records and application mechanism by removing the 30 months of age rule to open the market
for beef coming from animals of all ages from eligible countries.
2. FSIS Export Library has been updated, and the EV program requirement removed, accordingly.
3. U.S. beef exports to the UAE may now resume as per FSIS guidelines in its Export Information