Canada gains full access to Japanese beef market

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OTTAWA, ON, March 27, 2023 /CNW/ – For the first time in two decades, Japan is reopening its doors to Canadian processed beef.

This accomplishment ushers in a new era for Canada and its second-largest market for beef and beef products: expanding market access for Canadian exporters — while also benefiting Japanese consumers who will have greater access to Canada’s high-quality beef products.

The development also removes the last restrictions on Canadian beef that Japan put in place in 2003, after the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alberta.

Under the new Indo-Pacific Strategy, the Government committed to seizing economic opportunities for Canada by strengthening its regional partnerships, including with Japan. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with the support of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, has worked tirelessly over the past few years to assert the highest production standards and quality assurance of Canadian beef in order to reopen full access in key markets, like Japan.

Japan is an important market for Canada and the world. In 2022, the Japanese market for Canadian beef and beef products had an estimated value of $518 million, largely due to Canada’s preferential access under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

This expanded market access opportunity follows another loosening of restrictions in 2019, when Japan approved imports of Canadian beef from cattle older than 30 months.


“Our Government will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ranchers and processors who export the finest and most sustainable products around the world. This is another big step in our trade relationship with Japan, a trusted partner in the Indo-Pacific.”

–  The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Cattle producers are grateful for the removal of trade barriers for processed beef in Japan, our second-largest export market for beef. Our industry will continue to support global food security by providing some of the most sustainable and highest quality beef in the world. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada to further remove remaining trade barriers and expanding our trade capacity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

–  Nathan Phinney, President of the Canadian Cattle Association

“The Canadian Meat Council is very pleased to see this expansion of our beef access to Japan. Our members view this as a critical market for their products, including processed beef and beef patties. This agreement will allow our industry to further build on the recent successes they have enjoyed in Japan since the CPTPP was ratified. Thank you to Ministers Bibeau and Ng, and the hard work done by CFIA to achieve this new opportunity.”

–  Christopher White, President and CEO of the Canadian Meat Council

Quick Facts
  • Japan is Canada’s third-largest market for agriculture and food.
  • Under CPTPP, Japan’s 38.5% tariff on beef imports (including primary processed products like ground beef patties) will decrease to 23.35% by April 1, 2023, and will go down to 9% by 2033. Tariffs on further processed beef products will be reduced even more and in some cases – eliminated altogether. This change provides Canadian exporters with a clear tariff advantage over our key competitors.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the total value of Canadian beef exports to all countries in 2022 was over $4.6 billion.
Associated links
  • Canada expands beef access to Japan, providing a boost for middle class farming families
  • Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy to support growth and prosperity for the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

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SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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