As from 2 February 2016, Japan lifted its long-term ban on Danish beef based on an alleged risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The decision on products from Denmark follows an earlier opening of the Japanese market to beef products from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Japan introduced an import ban on beef from the EU in 2001, referring to a risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). This measure went beyond the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and did not take into account the stringent control and surveillance measures in place in the European Union guaranteeing the safety of European beef and beef products.
Commissioners Malmström, Hogan and Adriukaitis, responsible respectively for trade, agriculture and food safety, agree that "it is good news that Japan continues to approve beef exports from EU Member States. We look forward to seeing Japan open its market to remaining EU Member States in the near future. All Commission services, together with the EU Delegation to Japan, are working towards opening the Japanese market for EU beef and beef products for all those Member States that are interested in exporting".
This is also an encouraging signal for those EU Member States that have also applied to export beef, and whose equally high level of food safety has been internationally recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Exports of beef and beef products from the EU to Japan resumed in 2013. The exports from the first 4 authorised Member States were worth €4.6 million in the first half of 2015. For Danish beef exports to effectively resume, Denmark will now need to designate the exporting establishments.