FSIS reviewed Argentina’s documented inspection program for raw beef and conducted an on-site verification audit of Argentina’s beef slaughter and further processing from Nov. 29 – Dec. 13, 2016, and has concluded that Argentina has implemented a raw beef product inspection system that is equivalent to that of the United States (U.S.) inspection system. After the audit, FSIS continued to work with Argentina to clarify issues and verify that the country’s inspection system for raw beef products is equivalent to FSIS’ inspection system. FSIS and Argentina resolved all issues, and FSIS has verified the country’s inspection system for these products is equivalent to FSIS’ system. FSIS has, therefore, reinstated Argentina’s eligibility to export raw beef derived from cattle slaughtered on and after Nov. 27, 2018 to the U.S.
Argentina has been ineligible to export raw beef products to the U.S. due to animal health restrictions imposed by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Argentina requested that FSIS reinstate its eligibility to export raw beef to the U.S. following the 2014 USDA APHIS rule that lifted restrictions on the importation of raw beef from certain regions of Argentina, which APHIS classified as free of rinderpest and FMD. In 2015, APHIS determined that the remaining regions of Argentina could safely export raw beef under certain conditions.
Within six months of this reinstatement, FSIS will conduct an additional onsite audit of Argentina’s inspection system for raw beef products. The 2016 FSIS audit report is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/6034bff4-bc1b-4ca1-9c46-53fc30301e7c/Argentina-2016-FAR.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.