EU beef and sheep meat exports to Iran will soon be significantly facilitated, after the country adopts a single health certification system for exports from all EU Member States.
This single certification system will, in the first instance, be made available to those Member States which are currently authorised to export and will be extended to the rest of the Union, based on the recognition of the EU system as a whole.
It is expected that the new arrangements will be in place during the first half of 2018, reducing red tape and costs for exporters.
The Commission welcomes this decision from a trade partner who in 2016 imported EU agri-food products worth around €728 million.
Having led a business delegation of EU agri-food producers in Iran, Commissioner for agriculture, Phil Hogan said: “The confirmation of immediate progress in these areas is a clear demonstration of our mutual commitment to open up our respective markets to increased EU-Iran agri-food trade. I am convinced of the significant opportunities that exist for EU beef and sheep meat exports into an Iranian market of 80 million people. These steps will accelerate trade in beef and sheep meat from the EU to Iran. This is only the first step in the development of a new and mutually beneficial relationship for Iran and the EU.”
The Iranian announcement came following meetings Commissioner Hogan held with the Iranian Ministers for Agriculture, Mr Hojjati, and Minister for Health, Mr Hashemi.
In addition to certification, the Iranian authorities confirmed that they are considering the lifting of other sanitary measures which are currently resulting in restrictions to EU exports. These include the:
- prohibition on imports of bone-in beef;
- requirement that beef and sheep meat must come from cattle and sheep born, raised and slaughtered in the same EU Member State; and
- the rule that the meat must come from live animals slaughtered below a certain age.
The EU side responded positively on prioritising a number of authorisation requests presented by Iran to facilitate Iranian exports to the EU, notably in relation to the approval of exports of trout, ostrich and horses. They also agreed a number of areas for technical cooperation and assistance in the agri-food sector in order to stimulate two-way trade.
The Iranian authorities confirmed that they have started immediately the process of waiving double certification for beef and sheep meat from EU Member States so that, in future, health certificates issued by EU Member States would be sufficient for exports to Iran. In the future it will not be necessary to have the presence of Iranian health inspectors in the EU exporting country. Iranian authorities will also pre-list EU export establishments. This has the potential to increase EU exports and reduce costs for EU exporters.
In case the Member State is not yet authorized to export, the application of the pre-listing will not be automatic since the Member State in question may first receive an inspection mission by the Iranian authorities. Once the Member State is authorized, it could benefit from the new system. It is expected that the new arrangements will be in place during the first half of 2018.
20 November 2017