First reported by Kyodo News, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a two-month notification on 17 July that Taiwan had decided in principle to lift the ban.
The Taiwanese government will now wait for the Japanese government to provide a list of government-certified facilities so Taiwanese importers can import Japanese beef from those facilities.
The ban had been imposed following the discovery of cattle with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). However, in 2000, Japan shipped only 4 tons, only 0.01% of the total amount imported by Taiwan that year.
According to the FDA website, when shipments resume, Japanese beef and beef products exported to Taiwan must come from cattle less than 30-months old as younger cattle are considered to pose less risk of mad cow disease.
According to the notification, beef imported from Japan should not include the brain, head, eyes, trigeminal nerve, spine, spinal cord or the dorsal root ganglion — all body parts that are susceptible to mad cow disease.
Taiwan also agreed to resume beef imports from Japan on the condition that the cattle are slaughtered or processed at government-certified facilities and come from cattle that can be traced to the farms where they were born and raised for more than 100 days.