HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam will allow businesses to import boneless beef under 30-month-old from France from May 1, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced.
The French beef imported into Viet Nam must meet the country's current regulations, it said.
The move is being considered a positive step in implementing agreements to remove trade barriers, which were reached during the annual high-level economic dialogue between Viet Nam and France on April 15 in Ha Noi.
Viet Nam banned French cattle and beef imports in 1998, when the mad cow disease was sweeping through Europe.
Scientists suspect the disease is linked to a similar fatal brain-wasting disease that occurs in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
In 2008, the World Organisation for Animal Health announced that France had successfully brought the mad cow disease under control.
France has since exported beef to other EU countries, Brazil, the United States, New Zealand and some ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
In 2011, relevant agencies in France had asked the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to lift the ban.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam consumes meat from about 4,000 cows a day. — VNS