The USDA and the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) announced last week that Vietnam has removed all cattle-age restrictions for imports of beef from the United States. Previously, U.S. beef for export to Vietnam had to come from cattle slaughtered at less than 30 months of age, verified through the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Export Verification (EV) program.

Vietnam is a relatively small but growing market for U.S. beef, and removal of the age restrictions should encourage continued growth, particularly for lower-priced beef products. Our 2014 beef exports to Vietnam totaled 2,869 metric tons valued at $22.1 million, according to the USMEF.

“It is encouraging whenever a trading partner removes BSE-related restrictions and grants full access to its market,” said Thad Lively, USMEF senior vice president for trade access. “This indicates that the ongoing educational efforts of our U.S. trade officials are paying dividends, as well as the negligible BSE risk status granted to the U.S. by the OIE in May of 2013.”

According to AMS, beef from cattle slaughtered on or before March 27, 2015 no longer needs to be verified through the EV program for export to Vietnam.