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Taiwan Receives First Shipment Of U.S. Boneless Beef

WASHINGTON -- The United States exported its first shipment of boneless beef to Taiwan on April 24, ending the 18-month ban on U.S. beef.

The beef products that can now be exported to Taiwan are boneless beef from U.S. cattle under 30 months old, offal and specific risk materials removed, including brain, trigeminal ganglia, dorsal root ganglia and spinal marrow, and with certificates issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ground beef is not allowed.

The samples taken from the shipment will be tested with results expected in two weeks. The USDA has been asked by Taiwan's Department of Health (DOH) to provide a list of approved U.S. slaughterhouses to compare with the sources of the exported beef.

DOH announced in late March that Taiwan would conditionally reopen its market to U.S. boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age, beginning April 16. COA officials have said that the import ban on live cattle from the United States will remain in place.

To herald the news, the U.S. Meat Export Association will sponsor a re-launch reception at the Ta-Ta U Restaurant at the Miramar Entertainment Park in Taipei on May 6 to celebrate the reopening of the Taiwan market to American beef.

According to published reports, four of the country's top chefs will prepare special Taiwanese, Japanese, Italian and American beef dishes for 300 invited guests. The reception will include a mini-trade show in which importers will show off new cuts of beef for the press, retailers and restaurant owners. The evening will end with a fireworks show.

Next week, major retailers will also host welcome-back in-store promotions that will revolve around the slogan, "Tease Your Taste, U.S. Beef." Restaurants will also feature U.S. beef specials.

In 2003, the United States shipped approximately $76 million of beef to Taiwan with boneless beef accounting for $56 million. The overall Taiwan beef market is valued at $325 million.
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