Beef Exports to Japan

Beef exports to Japan must meet specified requirements under the USDA Export Verification (EV) Program.  These requirements apply to U.S. companies—slaughterers, fabricators, and/or processors—that supply beef and beef products as listed on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) website. 

The specified requirements for exports to Japan include:

  • Beef and beef products must be derived from: 1) Cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. or from cattle that are legally imported from countries eligible to export to Japan listed on the FSIS Export Library criteria. 2) Imported meat destined for shipment to Japan must come from meat that is legally imported from countries that are eligible to export to Japan listed on the FSIS Export Library criteria.
  • Beef and beef products mean all edible parts of cattle and products derived from such parts of cattle and are produced in a manner that ensures the hygienic removal of the specified risk materials (SRMs).  With respect to heads, only tongues, cheek meat (Masseter Muscle), and skins of heads are eligible for export to Japan; all other parts of the head must be excluded from exports to Japan.
  • Specified risk materials (SRMs) mean: tonsils and distal ileum from cattle of all ages; and brain, eyes, spinal cord, skull including head meat (but excluding cheek meat-Masseter Muscle), dorsal root ganglia, and vertebral column (excluding vertebrae of the tail, transverse processes of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, and wings of the sacrum) from cattle 30 months of age and older at the time of slaughter.
  • Carcasses, beef, and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.

Companies already on the approved listing for Japan will continue to be approved for the past LT30 protocol and can continue to ship the product produced prior to May 17th under that protocol and FSIS Export Certificates.  Existing approved companies requesting to produce and ship product under the new protocol and QAD 1030J procedure will need to update and submit their changes to QAD for a desk audit and approval to the new protocol.

Only eligible products may be issued an FSIS Export Certificate.  The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) verifies that cattle and meat products meet the specified product requirements, as outlined in QAD 1030J Procedure, through an approved USDA Quality System Assessment Program (QSA) or USDA Process Verified Program (PVP).  These programs ensure that a company’s requirements are supported by a documented quality management system and are verified through audits conducted by AMS.

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