Philippine Government Announces Intent to Impose Six-Month Shelf Life Requirement

Aerial image of the Philippine Islands

The Philippine Secretary of Agriculture has recently been quoted in the local media stating that the agency intends to deny access for any imported meat or poultry products that are six months or more past the slaughter date at the time of customs clearance. Importers in the Philippines currently operate under the assumption that the maximum allowable shelf life at the time of import is 12 months past the date of slaughter, although no formal rule exists and the FSIS Export Library for the Philippines makes no mention of any such requirement.

To implement this requirement, normal procedures call for the Philippine Department of Agriculture to issue an administrative order outlining the six-month rule, and to notify the WTO of its proposed change in requirements. As of this week, USDA-Manila has received no formal notification of the pending rule change. Philippine meat importers and meat processing associations have protested the proposed requirement, and USMEF will report further on this matter as more details become available. Exports with questions may email Travis Arp or call 303-623-6328 for assistance.

The Philippines is the largest destination in the ASEAN region for both U.S. pork and beef. In the first half of this year, pork/pork variety meat exports to the Philippines totaled 21,720 metric tons (mt) valued at $56.8 million. Beef/beef variety meat exports were 7,126 metric tons (mt) valued at $30.1 million.