The European Union (EU) announced that it has reached an agreement with the US Government for the imports of hormone-free beef in Europe.

The Commission said that it has informed member states about its successful negotiations with the US to review the functioning of an existing quota to import hormone-free beef into the EU.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said: “With the successful outcome of the negotiations, the Commission has delivered on a very important issue with a major trade partner with which we are engaged in broader trade talks.

“With this step, the EU reaffirms its commitment to bring about a new phase in the relationship with the US, in line with the agreement reached between Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018.

“I also want to reiterate that the agreement will not change the overall volume, quality or safety of the beef imported into the EU, which will remain in compliance with the high European standards.”

As per the terms of the agreement in principle with the US and other substantial supplying countries, 35,000t of this quota will be allocated to the US in a phase-manner over a period of seven years, with the remaining to be allocated for other exporters.

In 2009, the EU and US signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was revised again in 2014 to provide an interim solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the use of certain growth-promoting hormones in beef production.

Under the agreement, the EU agreed to the imports of 45,000t of non-hormone treated beef for the qualifying suppliers, which also included the US.

Last October, EU member states consented the Commission’s proposal for a discussion with the US over imports of hormone-free beef into the EU.

With the satisfactory outcome in line with WTO rules, the Commission will be submitting legal proposals to the council for its authorisation signature and to conclude the agreement with the US in the coming months, after receiving approval from the European Parliament.