Cuba Open for U.S. Meat Producers
July 8, 2016

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 at www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products/export-library-requirements-by-country/Cuba.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service 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/goats and sheep/goat products.

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. 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 the 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.

Reprinted in part from Food Safety News