Uzbekistan has suspended imports of U.S. pork due to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). Although no prior notice was provided to the U.S. government, a 90-day suspension has been imposed with an effective date of Jan. 24, 2014. USMEF is seeking clarification of whether this is a production date or shipping date, and efforts are underway to ensure that any product already en route is not rejected or delayed.
The FSIS Export Library was updated Feb. 28, reflecting the suspension.
Uzbekistan is the first trading partner to ban imports of U.S. pork or pork products due to PEDv, which is not an OIE-reportable disease and poses no threat to food safety. While Uzbekistan is a very small destination for U.S. pork (only 19 metric tons last year, which were the first exports since 2005), the suspension heightens concerns that other countries could take similar action.
Late this week Costa Rica also imposed a ban on U.S. hog casings due to PEDv, making casings derived from animals slaughtered on or after May 17, 2013, ineligible. Costa Rica has not indicated that it will restrict imports of other U.S. pork products, which remain eligible.
USMEF will provide further updates on this situation as more information becomes available.