Key Topic – CSF Rule for Mexico

CSF Rule for Mexico – In July 2014, USDA-APHIS published a proposed rule that addresses Mexico’s status with regard to classical swine fever (CSF). APHIS currently recognizes nine Mexican states as CSF-free. The proposed rule would recognize the remainder of Mexico, with the exception of the state of Chiapas, as a low-risk region for CSF. If the rule is adopted, the U.S. would allow pork imports from all Mexican states except Chiapas. However, imports from the low-risk region would be subject to certain conditions, including documentation that all pork and pork products were derived from herds in which CSF antigen exposure has not been detected and that these herds are tested annually for CSF antibodies. Comments on the proposed rule were due Sept. 29, 2014.

UPDATE: On Aug. 7, 2017, APHIS announced that it is proposing to recognize Mexico as free of CSF. APHIS also noted that it is withdrawing a previous proposed rule (see above) that would have recognized a low-risk CSF region in Mexico. Since the “low-risk region” rule was proposed in 2014, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized Mexico as CSF-free, which prompted the Mexican government to request that APHIS suspend its 2014 rulemaking and continue evaluating Mexico’s CSF status. APHIS reopened its evaluation and conducted a site visit in 2015, the findings of which support recognition of CSF-free status for the entire nation of Mexico.

UPDATE: APHIS accepted comments in this proceeding through Oct. 10, 2017. Comments received and other details are linked in this Federal Register notice.

UPDATE: On Jan. 12, 2018, APHIS announced that it is officially recognizing Mexico as free of CSF. The announcement notes that while APHIS is removing most CSF-related restrictions on pork and pork products imported from Mexico, it must still consider other animal health concerns related to the import of live swine and swine genetics.

When responding to media inquiries on this proceeding, USMEF has said this:

While it is possible that recognizing Mexico as CSF-free could create new opportunities for Mexican pork products in the U.S. market, it is important that these decisions are based on sound scientific principles, just as the U.S. expects from its trading partners. In the long run, science-based trade policies benefit all countries – including both the U.S. and Mexico – that are committed to growing their red meat industries through exports and free trade.