BRUSSELS – South Korea lifted its beef products import restrictions coming from the European Union.

The Netherlands and Denmark will be the first countries to start exporting to the Asian nation.

The European Commission said it would continue to work closely with South Korean authorities to secure market access to the other EU countries. The two parties held a meeting dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary issues on Sept. 4 where South Korean officials provided assurances that the other countries will be involved in due time.

“Trade isn’t just about doing trade deals. After many years of hard work this announcement means that Dutch and Danish farmers gain a new market to sell their beef,” said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for trade in the EU. “Once again the EU is delivering for our agricultural sector.”

Restrictions from the EU started in 2001 following a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak. The EU and South Korea signed an initial trade agreement in 2011.