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Cuba open for U.S. meat and poultry producers; cash required

Cuba open for U.S. meat and poultry producers; cash required

All federally inspected meat, poultry and egg plants in the United
States are now eligible to export to Cuba under export
requirements published this week.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) posted the list of
eligible products and documentation requirements for meat, poultry and
egg producers who want to ship products to Cuba. Eligible products
include fresh and frozen pork and pork products, fresh and frozen beef
and beef products, and fresh and frozen sheep and goats, and sheep and
goat products.

Eggs are not specifically listed as an eligible product, but poultry and
poultry products are included. There are restrictions on birds from
certain states before certain dates, apparently because of avian flu
outbreaks that occurred during those times.

States with those poultry export restrictions include Arkansas,
California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana,
Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and
Wisconsin. The restricted dates vary by state.

The FSIS export requirements note that trade with Cuba remains
restricted and that exporters must adhere to U.S. Department of Treasury
requirements, with the responsibility falling on the exporters to
comply. The FSIS export requirements are linked to the Treasury
Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Meat and poultry exporters to Cuba are also required to document their
shipments with letters of certificate for export.

Food exports to Cuba have been possible since before President Obama
resumed diplomatic relations with the island nation about a year ago.
However, cash sales are required, a reason many give for why U.S.
exports to Cuba have actually fallen off since Obama’s opening.

According to USDA, Cuba imported about $250 million on average in U.S.
food products from 2013 to 2015, with half of that being meat and
poultry exports. By comparison, about $1.3 billion in U.S. food products
were exported to the Dominican Republic, which is similar to Cuba in
economic size.

However, no Cuban meat, poultry or egg establishment has yet been
approved to export to the U.S.

Congress is considering legislation to allow private financing of U.S.
food exports to Cuba.

Source: Cuba open for U.S. meat and poultry producers; cash required |
Food Safety News –

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