"We welcome the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) announcement that the US will open its market to exports of beef, pork, sheep and goat meat and derived products from Lithuania.
This further opening of the market to another EU Member State is a welcome step and is the outcome of the enhanced technical work carried out between the European Union, Lithuania and the United States department of Agriculture. The proposal reflects the good cooperation between veterinary authorities across the Atlantic.
This announcement comes at a time when farmers across the EU face particular difficulties. The Commission is relentlessly working to open up new markets and alleviate these problems by removing existing barriers and increasing export opportunities for European producers.
The US decision is recognition of the robust, comprehensive and successful measures put in place by the EU to control animal diseases and ensure safe handling and processing of food from farm to fork. We call on our few remaining international trading partners to follow the US and eliminate all restrictive measures on imports of EU meat."
In 2004, the government of Lithuania initially requested approval to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. In January 2012, Lithuania amended its request to include only meat and meat products. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) evaluated and inspected Lithuania’s inspection system to determine whether it is equivalent to the United States’ system. From that review, FSIS concluded that Lithuania’s laws, regulations, control programs, and procedures established in compliance with EU legislation were also sufficient to achieve the level of public health protection required by FSIS.