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Chile | Brussels, 8 March 2017

Chile opens its market to EU beef exports

The prospect of seeing EU beef exports to Chile took decisive step forward this week with the publication in the Chilean Official Journal of 7 March 2017 of the agreed definitions of meat marketing standards, the last major hurdle to resuming trade from the EU into Chile.

The excellent agricultural trade relations between Chile and the EU, recognised by Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis, Cecilia Malmström and Phil Hogan, responsible respectively for food safety, trade and agriculture, have allowed Parties to reach an understanding. Although not traditionally a major export market for EU beef, EU exporters could find Chile a potential new outlet for their veal export. It is an additional step in the European Commission's effort to open new foreign markets and boost exports.

The EU has not been able to export beef meat to Chile because of specific requirements set out in the Chilean legislation (Meat Law No 19.162/1992). The law requires that meat cuts be identified in accordance with a specific nomenclature and classification of bovine carcasses. The terminology and criteria it sets out differ to those applied in the EU. Both Parties have agreed on a correlation between Chilean and EU names for the cuts and classification of the carcases, which will open the way to EU exporters to trade again with this preferential partner.

The news come in a time in which both the EU and Chile are moving forward towards modernising their Association Agreement in place since 2002 to foster further cooperation and trade and investment flows between them.

An adapted sanitary export certificate is available on DG SANTE webpage (TRACES).

Background on EU trade on beef meat

The EU is increasingly finding export markets for beef. In 2016, EU exports of beef (702 883 tonnes in carcass weight equivalent) showed an overall increase of +17.9% in relation to 2015. Turkey was the biggest export market (10% of total exports) followed by Hong Kong, Lebanon and Israel. As regards imports into the EU, in 2016, EU beef imports (333 942 tonnes in carcass weight equivalent) increased by +3.4% compared to 2015 led by imports from Brazil (42% of total imports) followed by Uruguay and Argentina.

More on EU-Chile trade relations