The UK can now export beef rib cuts and other specified bone-in products, except vertebral column cuts, from cattle less than 30 months to the former colony. Boneless beef imports, excluding offal from cattle less than 30 months old, resumed in June 2009.
Peter Hardwick, head of trade development for Eblex, said: “In trade terms this is an interesting development, but limited. In terms of progress, this is an important development.”
The deal struck between Defra, the Hong Kong authorities and Eblex, agreed in principle last December, is part of a staged approach to opening up the market to fifth-quarter products.
From March 1996 to May 2006, UK exports were restricted to small quantities of UK beef exported under the strict criteria in the Data-Based Export Scheme (DBES) and to foreign origin beef re-exported under the Export Approved (XAP) Scheme.
Since DBES ended, exports within the EU have been permitted, but have had to be negotiated with nations outside the eurozone on a case-by-case basis.