China lifts ban on British beef imports after two decades

june 30, 2018 

China has announced it will lift the ban on beef imports from the UK that was originally imposed as a result of an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, more than 20 years ago.

China’s announcement comes after Prime Minister Theresa May’s trade mission to the country earlier this year, which resulted in an agreement regarding the implementation of new measures to improve the UK’s access to the Chinese market.

China is currently the UK’s eighth-largest export market for agri-food, and reports indicate that more than £560m worth of British food and drink was purchased by Chinese consumers in 2017.

The agreement is expected to provide a major boost for British producers and will be worth an estimated £250m in the first five years alone.

The lifting of the embargo follows several years of site inspections and negotiations between the two countries. The development is anticipated to enable official market access negotiations to commence, which normally take around three years to complete.

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