The US will resume beef imports with Ireland according to Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney.

Coveney made the announcement Monday adding the news followed a successful inspection by US authorities of Ireland’s beef production systems last year.

“I am delighted with this confirmation that the US market is now open to Irish beef,” Coveney said. “This is the culmination of two years of intensive work between my department and our US counterparts to prove our credentials as a supplier of highest quality premium beef.

Beef from the EU had been banned from the US for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy reasons, commonly known as mad cow disease, more than 15 years ago. Ireland officials say this ban was only formally lifted in March of 2014. Since then, Ireland has called on the US to lift the ban, citing the high demand for the country’s beef around the world.

“This announcement by the US is a huge endorsement of Irish beef and our production and regulatory systems,” Coveney said. “It complements the other market access outlets we have secured in the last two years all of which are  a key element of our Food Harvest 2020 strategy to expand the overseas opportunity for Irish beef. It’s clear that diversifying our international beef markets as an exporting country is key to the long-term sustainability of our beef sector.”