As we reported in previous editions of the Export Newsline, USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently announced the reopening of Saudi Arabia to U.S. beef and beef products. This market had been closed to U.S. beef since mid-2012, following confirmation of a BSE case in California.
In late July, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted an export verification (EV) program required for all packers and processors intending to export to Saudi Arabia. USMEF has since had an opportunity to discuss the details of the EV program with AMS, and can provide the following clarifications for exporters:
- All documentation of the post-weaning feed requirements must be conducted by a third-party verifier. If packing plants are supplied by producers or feedlots that would like to be eligible to supply cattle for the Saudi EV program, those producers or feedlots should contact a third-party verification company to conduct verification of cattle eligibility.
- Third-party verifiers, in some cases, must conduct verification past the feedlot to the backgrounding phase if calves were weaned and made an intermediate stop between weaning and the feedlot. Animal protein and tallow requirements must be verified on any supplements, lick tubs, etc., that calves may consume between weaning and entering a feedlot.
- Feedlots may feed beef tallow as a ration ingredient, provided that it is manufactured from beef-only raw materials and sourced from an FDA-inspected rendering facility that is on the approved rendering plant list housed on the AMS website. No rendering plants can be added to this list at the present time, until further direction is provided by AMS.
- Feedlots are allowed to back-verify cattle that are currently in production to allow for eligibility under the Saudi EV program.
- Packing plants must receive cattle with verifications that they are Saudi EV eligible. This can include a statement that the cattle are Saudi EV eligible on bills of lading or shipping manifests, or letters of guarantee when the cattle arrive at the packing plant. Packers need to keep approved supplier lists of approved feedlots and provide any verification procedures of cattle receiving in their quality manual.
- Once cattle arrive at the packing plant, less-than-30-month (LT30) and Saudi eligibility segregation must be demonstrated, as well as providing Saudi-specific product codes to AMS.
- Further processors must receive raw materials with statements on bills of lading or shipping manifests, or letters of guarantee, stating “Product meets the EV Program requirements for Saudi Arabia, excluding final fabrication requirements.” Further processors must also continue to segregate Saudi EV product and provide Saudi-specific product codes to AMS.
Exporters with additional questions may email Travis Arp or call 303-623-6328.