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Beef and veal

The common organisation of the market in beef and veal governs the granting of aid to stock-farmers and trade with third countries.


Council Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 of 17 May 1999 on the common organisation of the market in beef and veal [See Amending Acts].


From 1 July 2008, products falling within the scope of this Regulation will be covered by the common organisation of agricultural markets (CMO).


The products covered are live bovine animals and the meat, offal, meat meal and fat of bovine animals.

Internal market

Community measures to encourage action by trade and intertrade organisations may be taken to improve:

  • stock breeding;
  • the organisation of production, processing and marketing;
  • quality;
  • forecasting;
  • the recording of market price movements.

The 2003 reform of the common agricultural policy severed the link between headage and payments and replaced it with a single income payment per farm based on historical entitlements. As part of this new legislative framework, Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes abolishes the direct payments provided for in this Regulation. It lays down that the amounts received by farmers as direct payments in 2000, 2001 and 2002 are one of the factors used to calculate aid under the new scheme. A system of premiums (special, deseasonalisation, suckler cow and slaughter premiums) and extensification payments remains in force, subject to certain conditions, in the form of additional payments to the farmer.

Since 1 July 2002 private storage aid has been granted where the average Community market price recorded is less than 103% of the basic price, set at €2 224 per tonne for male bovine animal carcases. The Council may adjust that price. From the same date, public intervention is triggered if the average market price in a Member State or region of a Member State falls below €1 560 per tonne for two consecutive weeks. In that event, the buying-in price and the quantities involved are determined by invitation to tender.

Trade with third countries

Import licences issued by Member States are required for imports into the Community of live bovine animals other than pure-bred breeding animals, meat and uncooked preserved or prepared products. No certificate is required for exports. For other products export/import licences are not compulsory, but can be provided for.

The Common Customs Tariff rates of duties apply to products in the beef and veal sector. In certain circumstances additional import duties may be levied on these products to protect the Community market. The tariff quotas which allocate a customs duty are administered on the basis of a number of methods established under this Regulation.

In order to enable products in this sector to be exported, the difference between the price in the Community and prices on the world market may be covered by export refunds. They are fixed at regular intervals and for given quantities by invitation to tender taking account of developments on the market.

Use of inward and outward processing arrangements may be prohibited where the smooth operation of the common market organisation so requires or in the event of a risk of disturbance on the Community market.

When trading with third countries, it is normally forbidden to impose charges having equivalent effect to customs duties or to apply any quantitative import restrictions or measures having the same effect.

Protective measures may be taken if the market may be disturbed as a result of imports or exports.

Other provisions

The Member States must monitor prices for bovine animals and beef and veal in accordance with the detailed rules laid down by the Commission.

Exceptional market-support measures may be taken where there is a sustained rise or fall in prices or when outbreaks of animal diseases occur. This support is given provided that the requesting Member State has taken suitable veterinary and health measures. The Community contribution to funding these exceptional measures varies depending on the disease in question.

The Commission is assisted by the Management Committee for Beef and Veal, composed of representatives of Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Outermost regions

The outermost regions of the European Union (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion, the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores) have specific measures, laid down by Regulation (EC) No 1455/2001, introducing specific limits for:

  • the number of animals eligible for special premiums;
  • maintaining suckler cow herds;
  • slaughter premiums.

Acceding countries

For more information on the changes to this common market organisation as a result of the entry of the new Member States, please consult the Act of Accession.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999



OJ L 160, 26.6.1999

Amending Act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1455/2001



OJ L 198, 21.7.2001

Regulation (EC) No 1512/2001



OJ L 201, 26.7.2001

Regulation (EC) No 2345/2001



OJ L 315, 01.12.2001

Acts concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, Republic of Estonia, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Malta, Republic of Poland, Republic of Slovenia and Slovak Republic to the EU.



OJ L 236, 23.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003


Application from 2005, except for some partial implementation in 2003 and 2004.

OJ L 270, 21.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1913/2005



OJ L 307, 25.11.2005

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 have been incorporated in the basic text. The consolidated version available here (pdf) is intended purely as a documentation tool.



Regulation (EC) No 1183/2006 [Official Journal L 214, 4.8.2006].

Community scale for the classification of carcases of adult bovine animals.

Regulation (EEC) No 1186/90 [Official Journal L 119, 11.5.1990]. Extension of the scope of the Community scale for the classification of carcases of adult bovine animals.

See consolidated version (pdf).


Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 [Official Journal L 204, 11.8.2000]. Bovine animal identification and registration system.

See consolidated version (pdf).

Animal-health measures

Decision 64/432/EEC [Official Journal L 121, 29.7.1964]. Health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine.

See consolidated version (pdf).

Decision 80/1025/EEC [Official Journal L 304, 13.11.1980]. On-the-spot monitoring of the application of national plans for the eradication of brucellosis, tuberculosis and leucosis in cattle.

Regulation (EC) No 639/2003 [Official Journal L 93, 10.4.2003]. Requirements for the granting of export refunds related to the welfare of live bovine animals during transport.

See consolidated version (pdf).

Support measures

Regulation (EC) No 690/2001 [Official Journal L 95, 5.4.2001]. Special support measures in the beef sector.

Amended by:Regulation (EC) No 1592/2001 [Official Journal L 210, 3.8.2001].Regulation (EC) No 1648/2001 [Official Journal L 219, 14.8.2001].Regulation (EC) No 2155/2001 [Official Journal L 289, 6.11.2001].Regulation (EC) No 2595/2001 [Official Journal L 345, 29.12.2001].Regulation (EC) No 1757/2005 [Official Journal L 285, 28.10.2005].


Regulation (EEC) No 1805/77 [Official Journal L 198, 5.8.1977]. Storage and movement of products bought in by an intervention agency.


Regulation (EC) No 2561/2000 [Official Journal L 293, 22.11.2000]. Special provisions for the granting of private storage aid for cows.

Regulation (EC) No 907/2000 [Official Journal L 105, 3.5.2000]. Private storage aid in the beef and veal sector.

See consolidated version (pdf).

Regulation (EC) No 1669/2006 [Official Journal L 312, 11.11.2006]. Buying-in of beef.

See consolidated version (pdf)


Regulation (EC) No 800/99 [Official Journal L 102, 17.4.1999]. Export refunds on agricultural products.

See consolidated version (pdf).

Regulation (EC) No 433/2007 [Official Journal L 104, 21.4.2007]. Conditions for granting special export refunds for beef and veal.

Regulation (EC) No 1359/2007 [Official Journal L 304, 22.11.2007];

Conditions for granting special export refunds on certain cuts of boned meat of bovine animals.

Regulation (EC) No 376/2008 [Official Journal L 114, 26.04.2008];

Application of the system of import and export licences and advance fixing certificates for agricultural products.


Regulation (EC) No 2249/99 [Official Journal L 275, 26.10.1999]. Opening of a Community tariff quota for the import of meat of bovine animals, boneless and dried.

Regulation (EC) No 659/2007 [Official Journal L 155, 15.06.2007];

Opening and administration of tariff quotas for imports of bulls, cows and heifers other than for slaughter for certain Alpine and mountain breeds.

Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 [Official Journal L 348, 31.12.2007];

Regulation applicable to products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, laying down the arrangements provided for in the agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements.

Regulation (EC) No 382/2008 [Official Journal 29.04.2008];

System of import and exports licences for beef and veal.

Decision 2008/155/EC [Official Journal 23.02.2008].

Approved list of embryo collection and production teams in third countries for the import of bovine embryos into the Community.

See also

For more information on the background to the common market organisation for beef and veal, please consult the website of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and the listed legislation.

Last updated: 20.08.2008