Food Law News - UK - 2000

12 May 2000: BEEF - Ghana Lifts Ban on British Beef

MAFF Press Release (158/00) 12 May 2000

Ghana Lifts Ban on British Beef

Ghana is the latest country to join the list of markets open to British beef.

Minister Of State Joyce Quin met the Ghanaian Trade Counsellor to London, Mr Eric Amenuvor to celebrate. Joyce Quin said:
"I'm delighted that Ghana is once more open for British beef. This means that almost 70 countries outside the EU do not have bans in place. Ghana was previously an important market for British beef, which was why it was one of our top 13 target markets. The decision by the Ghanaian government demonstrates a clear belief in the very powerful public-protection measures we have introduced. I now hope the industry will take advantage of the re-opening of Ghana's markets to offer the people of Ghana the opportunity to once again enjoy the splendour of British beef."

The export ban was imposed in Commission Decision 96/239/EC on 27 March 1996. The conclusions of the European Council held in Florence on 22 June 1996 set out the pre-conditions for the gradual removal of the ban. On 25 November 1998 the European Commission adopted Commission Decision 98/629/EC which provided for the export from the UK of deboned beef and beef products under the Date-based Export Scheme (DBES). Commission Decision 98/629/EC permits the export of meat and certain products derived from animals fulfilling the following basic criteria:

The eligibility of animals is subject to official checks before slaughter. Abattoirs slaughtering bovines for export may not slaughter bovines which are not eligible. Other premises handling meat destined for export may not handle at the same time beef which is not eligible for export.

The European Commission undertook an inspection of the UK's Date-based Export Scheme procedures from 12-16 April 1999. The inspection was a requirement of the Florence agreement and Commission Decision 98/629/EC. The Commission's report confirmed that the UK procedures met the condition of the scheme and the Commission announced on 14 July 1999 that exports under the Date-based Export Scheme (DBES) could begin on 1 August 1999 (see News Release 248/99).

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