Dutch, Swedish and Japanese beef now allowed in Taiwan

The barbecue season of Taiwan usually falls around the mid-autumn-festival (October 4 in 2017). Just two weeks before, Taiwan’s government has announced that cattle raised in Japan, The Netherlands and Japan is now allowed for import, ending a long-standing (and unnecessary long) ban. That’s right, the Wagyu beef at your last “Yakiniku” (grilled meat in Japanese) Restaurant in Taiwan was very likely from Australia and not from Kobe, Japan (let alone Europe). Kobe’s Wagyu beef is known for its perfect marbling and texture and a delicacy that could now be enjoyed in Taiwan.

Although Europe is among the largest beef exporters in the world, cattle raised in the Netherlands and Sweden only represent a small fraction of it.

Statistics for meat produced in these two countries (in thousand tonnes of carcass weight):

Country Total Calves and young cattle Heifers Cows Bullocks Bulls
EU-28 7799 1015 1179 2447 720 2450
Netherlands 416 238 3 147 0 27
Sweden 131 3 17 43 11 58

In 2016, livestock population of bovine animals was 4.29 million in The Netherlands and 1.44 million in Sweden (totally 89 million in EU-28).

Source: Eurostat

So it remains to be seen how much European beef we’ll see in Taiwan.
One could also wonder if it would be OK for those of us who travel through Amsterdam and Stockholm to bring canned of meat from those places (if they are on the authorized list).

Rules for import are still strict. Taiwan’s health authorities may conduct onsite inspections and rely on a list of approved exporters provided by the foreign authorities (MHLW of Japan, NVWA of The Netherlands, NFA of Sweden). The list is provided to the Taiwan government by the foreign trade offices in Taiwan.

Rules applying to Japan, Sweden and The Netherlands:
Only beef derived from cattle and raised in Sweden or from cattle born in a country deemed eligible by Taiwan to export beef and raised in Sweden for at least 100 days prior to slaughter in Sweden will be considered eligible to export to Taiwan.

Differences what can be imported from each country in terms of beef age:
Sweden & Japan: Only beef derived from cattle less than 30 months of age (Bos taurus and Bos indicus).
The Netherlands: Only beef derived from cattle less than 12 months of age (Bos taurus and Bos indicus).

Finally, the list (as of November 2017) of authorized custom codes for import provide an idea which meat is accepted (applies to all three countries):

HS code Items
0201.30.10.10-7 Ground meat from special quality beef quarter-carcasses and cuts of steaks (rib, loins, sirloins, rump), of bovine animals, boneless, fresh or chilled
0201.30.20.10-5 Ground meat from prime or choice grade shin/shank, short plate, brisket, ribs, rib finger, of bovine animals, boneless, fresh or chilled
0201.30.90.30-6 Ground meat from other meat of bovine animals, boneless, fresh or chilled
0202.30.10.10-6 Ground meat from special quality beef quarter-carcasses and cuts of steaks (rib, loins, sirloins, rump), of bovine animals, boneless, frozen
0202.30.20.10-4 Ground meat from prime or choice grade shin/shank, short plate, brisket, ribs, rib finger, of bovine animals, boneless, frozen
0202.30.90.30-5 Ground meat from other meat of bovine animals, boneless, frozen
0206.10.90.20-7 Edible livers of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.10.90.30-5 Edible eyes of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.10.90.40-3 Edible brains, spinal cords and skull of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.10.90.50-0 Edible hearts and lungs of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.10.90.60-8 Edible kidneys and spleens of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.10.90.91-1 Edible pancreas and uteri of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
0206.22.00.00-6 Livers of bovine animals, frozen
0206.29.90.10-8 Edible eyes of bovine animals, frozen
0206.29.90.20-6 Edible brains, spinal cords and skull of bovine animals, frozen
0206.29.90.30-4 Edible hearts and lungs of bovine animals, frozen
0206.29.90.40-2 Edible kidneys and spleens of bovine animals, frozen
0206.29.90.91-0 Edible pancreas and uteri of bovine animals, frozen
0504.00.29.11-5 Guts (including intestines and rectum) of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, fresh or chilled
0504.00.29.12-4 Guts (including intestines and rectum) of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, frozen
0504.00.29.13-3 Guts (including intestines and rectum) of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, salted, in brine, dried or smoked
0504.00.29.21-3 Stomachs of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, fresh or chilled
0504.00.29.22-2 Stomachs of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, frozen
0504.00.29.23-1 Stomachs of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, salted, in brine, dried or smoked
0504.00.29.31-1 Bladders of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, fresh or chilled
0504.00.29.32-0 Bladders of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, frozen
0504.00.29.33-9 Bladders of bovine animals, whole and pieces thereof, salted, in brine, dried or smoked
1602.20.20.10-0 Prepared or preserved livers of bovine and swine, frozen
1602.20.20.20-8 Prepared or preserved livers of bovine and swine, canned
1602.20.20.90-3 Other prepared or preserved livers of bovine and swine
1602.50.20.11-2 Prepared or preserved internal organ (including hearts, lungs, livers, large intestine, small intestine, spleens, stomachs, kidneys, pancreas, bladders, uteri) of bovine animals, frozen
1602.50.20.12-1 Prepared or preserved eyes, brains, sinal cords and scull of bovine animals, frozen
1602.50.20.21-0 Prepared or preserved internal organ(including hearts, lungs, livers, large intestine, small intestine, spleens, stomachs, kidneys, pancreas, bladders, uteri) of bovine animals, canned
1602.50.20.22-9 Prepared or preserved eyes, brains, sinal cords and scull of bovine animals, canned
1602.50.20.91-5 Other prepared or preserved internal organ (including hearts, lungs, livers, large intestine, small intestine, spleens, stomachs, kidneys, pancreas, bladders, uteri) of bovine animals
1602.50.20.92-4 Other prepared or preserved eyes, brains, sinal cords and scull of bovine animals

Sources: Eurostat, TFDA (Taiwan), MOHW (Taiwan)