Food manufacturers and processors in the U.S. and Brazil will once again able to share their beef products with each other. USDA announced it reached an agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply this week, reopening each country’s respective markets to fresh beef exports for the first time since 2003.

In a separate decision, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) also recently determined that Brazil's food safety system governing meat products meets U.S. standards and that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from Brazil.

Brazil’s action reflects the United States’ negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and aligns Brazil's regulations to the OIE's scientific international animal health guidelines.

"The Brazilian market offers excellent long-term potential for U.S. beef exporters,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The United States looks forward to providing Brazil’s 200-million-plus consumers, and growing middle class, with high-quality American beef and beef products.”

Both countries will immediately begin updating their administrative procedures in order to allow trade to resume. U.S. companies will need to complete Brazil's regular facilities registration process.