Saudi Arabia has announced that it has lifted a ban on U.S. beef exports, which was enacted four years ago after a mad cow disease scare.

"We are pleased that Saudi Arabia and the United States have reached an agreement to reopen the Saudi Arabia market to U.S. beef and beef products following a four year ban due to an atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States in 2012,” said Ambassador Michael Froman and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a joint statement.

"Saudi Arabia will allow imports of beef and beef products from U.S. cattle less than 30 months of age, with access expanded to include products from U.S. cattle under 48 months after a phase-in period. Products eligible for export include bone-in and de-boned beef, offal, ground and processed beef.

 "USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is developing a program to certify U.S. beef to Saudi Arabia's import requirements to address the specific conditions in that market and will publish details as soon as they are available. The AMS Program should be announced in the next few weeks.

“This agreement is yet another example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to addressing barriers blocking U.S. exports. Reopening Saudi Arabia’s market will create additional export opportunities for American ranchers. The United States exported over $31 million of U.S. beef and beef products in 2011, prior to the ban. Saudi Arabia consumers will now have the opportunity to enjoy high quality American beef.”

Source: US Trade Representative