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Source: U.S. Grains Council news release

Malaysian officials last week agreed to permanently exempt imports of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten meal (CGM) from that nation's new, more stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and inspection regulations for agricultural commodities. The decision makes permanent a temporary exemption, granted in May, for the period from July 31 to Dec. 31, 2014.

"Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, is a growth market, so this is an important decision," said Adel Yusupov, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia. "Malaysia has experienced problems with some countries of origin, but U.S. DDGS and CGM are high quality. It is encouraging to see Malaysia recognizing this in its regulations."

Earlier in the year, Malaysia announced new SPS and inspection regulations on imports of a number of agricultural commodities. These potentially costly regulations applied to all countries of origin, including the United States. This one-size-fits-all approach threatened to disrupt trade and impose significant and needless costs on Malaysian buyers and consumers.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Malaysia, Yusupov immediately launched a dialogue with Malaysian officials. The temporary exemption announced in May provided time for additional discussion. Malaysian officials have now officially recognized that U.S. DDGS and CGM pose no significant threat to Malaysian agriculture and end-users.

"Without this decision, U.S. DDGS and CGM would have faced requirements for fumigation at the port of origin and strict phytosanitary certification, effective Jan. 1, 2015," Yusupov said. "The exemption is a big win for trade, and for Malaysian consumers."

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