Export of Uruguayan Beef

The EU High Quality Beef 620 quota, generally referred to as the ‘grain-fed’ quota, allows the duty-free import of beef from animals that comply with certain rules. Only 5 exporting countries can currently comply with these conditions: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay. As from July 1st 2012 the annual volume under this quota rises from 20.000 to 48.200 tons. Hitherto an importer applied for an import license without any necessity to demonstrate that qualifying beef had been produced. The European Commission will now introduce a ‘First-come-first-served’ system whereby the importer simply submits the required shipping documents as the ship arrives (including the certificate which proves the specification has been met), to customs who pass it free of duty for general EU circulation. The Uruguayan steer is the third most expensive in the world. It is more expensive than in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil or Argentina and the new High Quality Beef quota will help to sustain the prices. The big jump in exports will come during the second half of the year, when the quota will be larger in volume potentially exceeding the relevance of Hilton Beef