logo logo

US-Korea beef protocol (2008)

As signed on 18 April 2008

The US "enhanced feed ban" referred to in point 2 of the Addendum of the protocol was officially published in the Federal Register on 25 April 2008 and is also attached.

On 25 June 2008, the Korean government published the following addendum as negotiated with the US:


7. Notwithstanding Addendum 2, in order to support a transitional private sector initiative, beef and beef products produced only by establishments participating in the USDA Less than 30 Month Age-Verification Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program will be allowed to enter Korea, until Korean consumer confidence in U.S. beef improves. During this transition period, if the Korean government finds that any beef from cattle of 30 months of age and over has been shipped to Korea, the relevant beef or beef products will be returned to its owner.

8. Brain, eyes, skull, or spinal cord from cattle less than 30 months of age are not SRMs or food-safety hazards. Nevertheless, as long as Korean importers do not place orders for these products, if these items are detected during the quarantine inspection process in Korea, the Korean government may return the relevant box or boxes to its owner.

9. For greater certainty, in interpreting Article 8, on-site audits of a "representative sample" do not prevent the Korean government from including in an audit a specific plant that it deems necessary to audit. If as a result of an audit, Korean auditors find what they believe is a serious non-compliance with these Requirements, the Korean auditors will immediately consult with FSIS personnel regarding appropriate corrective action. If these technical level discussions do not resolve the matter, the two governments will consult at a senior level. If the two governments cannot agree with respect to appropriate corrective action within four weeks, Korea may increase the rate of inspection of subsequent beef and beef products from that establishment over the next five shipments notwithstanding the fact that no food-safety hazards have been detected during import quarantine inspection of the products of that establishment. For greater certainty, in interpreting Article 24, if two or more food safety hazards are detected, during this period of increased inspection or generally, Korea may request FSIS to suspend the relevant establishment. Upon receiving the request, FSIS shall suspend the establishment. Korea may also re-audit that facility in its next system audit.