Namibia Becomes First African Country Eligible to Export Beef to the United States

Namibia can now export beef to the United States of America, according to a July 13 decision by the U.S. government.  A final ruling from the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service published on July 13 adds Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States.

U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Thomas Daughton welcomed the final rule, which makes Namibia the first and only African country eligible to export beef to the United States.

“This is truly great news and represents the culmination of literally years of hard work by officials of our two great nations,” Ambassador Daughton said.  “This move opens an important new market to Namibian beef producers.  I look forward to the day when Americans can grill Namibian beef on their backyard barbecues.”

In the ruling, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service concluded “that Namibia’s meat inspection system is equivalent to the United States’ inspection system for meat and meat products.”  Specifically, the decision allows Namibia to export boneless (not ground) raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck, blade, and beef trimmings from certified establishments to the United States.

Despite objections raised by U.S.-based individuals and trade organizations during a comment period in late 2015, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service determined that Namibia has the appropriate procedures and measures in place to ensure standards are maintained.

In the past, the Namibian government projected the potential volume of meat exports to the United States to be as much as 860,000 kg in the first year after the ruling’s enactment, increasing to as much as 5.7 million kg in five years.