U.S. beef and beef products are now eligible for export to Morocco. Documentation requirements and other details are posted in the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library for Morocco. Exporters with questions may email Travis Arp or call 303-623-6328.
The United States has a free trade agreement (FTA) with Morocco and can therefore export beef at zero duty, within tariff rate quotas. The duty-free quota volume for USDA Choice or Prime beef cuts is 6,404 metric tons (mt) for this year and 6,660 mt in 2019. The quota volume for other beef cuts and variety meat is 2,343 mt this year and 2,390 mt in 2019.
All duties on U.S. beef will be phased to zero by 2023, but Morocco’s out-of-quota duties are extremely high – with applied rates of 150 to 200 percent on imports from non-FTA suppliers. Therefore, U.S. beef should have an advantage over competitors. Through September, Morocco’s 2018 beef imports were mainly from the European Union (1,894 mt, +10 percent year-over-year, mostly frozen boneless beef, valued at $9.8 million), Argentina (680 mt, -70 percent, mostly frozen bone-in and boneless beef, valued at $2.9 million) and Brazil (207 mt, -11 percent, mostly frozen boneless beef, valued at $900,000). The EU is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with Morocco.
NOTE: On Dec. 6, 2018, USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued this joint news release on the market opening.