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NMPF Presses for Delay on New EU Certification Requirements

July 6, 2021

NMPF’s trade policy team, collaborating with the USDEC, continues to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to press for a delay in onerous European Union (EU) new certification requirements for dairy and composite products, as well as new flexibility from the EU on its overly prescriptive mandates for imports.

NMPF staff have met repeatedly with USDA, USTR and FDA officials to emphasize the issue’s urgency of the issue, outline key concerns and impacts of the EU certification scheme, and explore routes forward. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has engaged on the issue in June, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has been active in pressing the EU for relief as well.

To complement this effort, NMPF and USDEC worked with leading members of Congress to support a Congressional letter sent on June 14 to the EU Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis. The letter urged the EU to extend flexibility to these regulatory changes that are unduly prescriptive and ensure that U.S. dairy exports to the EU do not come to an abrupt stop. An additional Congressional spotlight was placed on the urgent need for resolution on June 24 when Sen. Thune (R-SD) emphasized the urgency of relief on the certification issue with Deputy USTR Nominee Jayme White during his confirmation hearing. White assured the Senate Finance Committee that he would prioritize resolution of the issue.

NMPF continues to insist that this and the wider set of challenges the U.S. dairy sector faces in shipping to the EU must be addressed more effectively.

“U.S. exporters continually have to chase new mandates by the European Union to retain our current access, even when there are no safety concerns with American dairy products,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “Too often dairy trade with the EU is a one-way street. The EU’s frequent approach to import requirements is to mandate prescriptive procedures that U.S. dairy exporters need to make time-consuming changes to conform just to retain access to that market for our safe products. The products we export today are entirely safe; new EU mandates that would seek to force the U.S. to change our regulatory system match theirs would do nothing to enhance that.”