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Telephone Negotiations between the Rosselkhoznadzor and Head of the Main State Inspectorate for Seed Production, Quarantine and Plant Protection of Belarus

The negotiations were initiated by the Russian side and were devoted to the issues related to transportation of plant products. Opening the negotiations Head of the Directorate for Phytosanitary Surveillance, Seed Control and Grain Quality of the Rosselkhoznadzor Alexander Isayev noted that a new list of quarantine pests would enter into force on the 3d of February, 2015 and expressed his interest in the measures taken by the Belarus side to ensure compliance with the Russian quarantine phytosanitary requirements. Common List of the Quarantine Pests and Common Quarantine Phytosanitary Requirements for all the CU Members have not been approved so far.

Director of the Main State Inspectorate for Seed Production, Quarantine and Plant Protection of Belarus Leonid Pleshko remarked that the Belarus side is aware of the new list of the Russian quarantine pests and the list itself had been sent to the territorial units of the Inspectorate. Alongside with it, he emphasized the necessity to carry out an additional training of the Inspectorate officials and laboratory experts in identification of the quarantine pests. In addition to it, to successfully comply with the Russian phytosanitary requirements it is required to provide more equipment to the laboratories subordinated to the Inspectorate. It shall be pointed out that the new list of Russian quarantine pests was updated due to re-unification of Russia and Crimea and was supplemented with a list of quarantine pests valid for the peninsular and identical to those included into the Ukrainian list. The Rosselkhoznadzor therefore supposes that since the Belarus side used to ensure and currently ensures compliance with the Ukrainian phytosanitary requirements, the Russian list extension shall not cause any difficulties for the Belarus Inspectorate officials identifying them. 

Alexander Isayev also noted that despite the fact that the Rosselkhoznadzor had regularly notified the Inspectorate about violations detected during imports of regulated products from Belarus to Russia; the Belarus side has not so far provided any results of investigations into these cases or information on the measures taken to prevent such violations. Thus, the Rosselkhoznadzor detected 110 cases when pre-tested in Belarus regulated products were imported with falsified phytosanitary certificates of the country of origin. In particular, 23 falsified Albanian, 24 Israeli, 19 Chilean, 16 Turkish falsified certificates were detected in 2014; 28 Tunisian falsified certificates were detected in 2015. In addition to it, 70 attempts to import to Russia products noncompliant with the Russian requirements have already been intercepted in 2015.

Alexander Isayev noted that cooperation between the Belarus national plant protection organization, i.e. the Inspectorate, and the national plant protection organizations of the countries exporting plant products is required as it is provided for by the International Plant Protection Convention and by the international standards on phytosanitary measures, as the Rosselkhoznadzor officially reminded the Belarus side. Such cooperation can play a great role in interception of regulated products smuggling. Leonid Pleshko confirmed that the Belarus colleagues have all the information on violations related to falsified phytosanitary certificates, however, he reported that the Inspectorate has not enough powers to carry out investigations related to products intended for Russia. It used to cause and still causes misunderstanding in Russia, since the international legislation provides for obligatory checks of the phytosanitary certificate for their authenticity and the Inspectorate, as the NPPO of Belarus, is obliged to check the phytosanitary certificates for authenticity.

Alexander Isayev expressed regret that the Belarus side provided no information to the Rosselkhoznadzor about the total volume of plant products imported to Belarus and about the volumes of plant products grown in Belarus itself. Leonid Pleshko also focused on the violations detected by Belarus in regulated products imported from Russia. Alexander Isayev especially noted that the Rosselkhoznadzor carried out internal investigations into those cases and the results were sent to the Main State Inspectorate for Seed Production, Quarantine and Plant Protection of Belarus. The Russian side noted that the substantiated claims made by the Belarus side were the basis to make administrative measures; therefore, the territorial administrations of the Rosselkhoznadzor received corresponding instructions. However, 80% of the claims were unsubstantiated. In addition to it, the Belarus side did not provide the appropriate information in time. The sides also considered an option to implement the Russian informational system on registration and issuing phytosanitary certificates “Argus-phyto” in Belarus. The Belarus side also confirmed its readiness to launch a pilot version of Agrus-Phyto, however, was at a loss to answer when it will start applying it.

 

Feb 2, 2015

Categorys: Phytosanitary , Customs Union