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Working Meeting between Deputy Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Yevgeny Nepoklonov and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus Vasily Pivovar

The negotiations were held in Moscow and were devoted to food and biological safety issues during reciprocal supplies of regulated products and to communication between the Rosselkhoznadzor and the Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus. When discussing traceability of animal products imported to Belarus Vasily Pivovar noted that the Belarusian veterinary services were ready to implement the Rosselkhoznadzor’s “Mercury” system of preliminary notifications on the regulated products to control the consignments sent to importers of Belarus and Russia.

Yevgeny Nepoklonov  noted that the Belarusian side had not fulfilled its commitments related to import of Russian animal products; to application of extraordinary and discriminatory measures that are not scientifically justified in relation to the Russian products posing no risks of spread of ASF and other dangerous animal diseases.

The Rosselkhoznadzor is known to have already made a request this year to the Belarusian services to lift such discriminatory measures or provide scientific justification for animal feeds in retail packs (including those for dogs, cats), organic substances for veterinary use and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

The Rosselkhoznadzor has so far received no response, as Yevgeny Nepoklonov notes, despite the fact that this issue was discussed this June at the session of the EEC Consultative Committee on Technical Regulation, Application of Sanitary, Phytosanitary and Veterinary Measures. The Belarus side pledged to review the restrictions on import of packed pet feeds made in Russia and of pharmaceuticals.

The sides also agreed it was reasonable that the Eurasian Economic Commission should consider the issue of including transfer certificates for a number of regulated products, primarily for soybean meal and fish meal, into the legal framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. When it came to imports of fishery products to Belarus from Latvia and Estonia, Yevgeny Nepoklonov said that totally 1321 tons of fishery products (frozen fish, fish cans) from Latvia and 3398 tons (frozen fish, including Baltic herring, anchovy, salmon bellies and spines, frozen herring caviar and etc.) from Estonia were imported to Belarus from early June till late September this year.

More than 1900 tons of frozen smoked and pickled anchovy and Baltic herring were imported into Russia from Belarus. Yevgeny Nepoklonov noted that it was not only a matter of products subject to retaliatory economic measures, that could be finally imported to Russia following minimal treatment in Belarus, that was a matter of products, that based on the inspection results, could be potentially hazardous and therefore, pursuant to the Union legislation, a decision was made to ban the import of these products to the EEU.

It is pretty clear that the fishery products produced by the Belarusian establishments from potentially hazardous raw materials were approved for certification by the Belarusian authorities for the Russian market without any restrictions. Now the Belarus side keeps importing fishery products from Estonia and Latvia, thus, violating the EEU legislative requirements. In some cases products can be exported from a number of establishments that had been closed for exports to Russia in 2013-2014.

Vasily Pivovar reported that the control measures applied to finished fishery products exported to Russia would be strengthened in order to exclude the use of raw materials from Latvia and Estonia. In the nearest future an issues will be considered that the Department for Veterinary and Food Surveillance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus would impose restrictions on import of fishery products from Latvia and Estonia.

The Rosselkhoznadzor expressed its readiness to inspect Belarus establishments approved to export to Russia in early October. The proposal was adopted by the Belarus side.

When it came to implementation of “Mercury” system, Yevgeny Nepoklonov reminded that pursuant to high-level bilateral agreements the sides should have jointly begun implementing “Argus” and “Mercury” systems as the common EEU information systems by the first of May, however, no support was seen from the Belarusian colleagues when discussing the issue within the EEU platform.

After discussing the issue the Belarusian side confirmed its readiness to support the Rosselkhoznadzor’s proposal to use “Argus” and  “Mercury” systems as the common information systems of the Eurasian Economic Union and to use common Register of organizations and individuals producing, processing and storing the regulated commodities transferred from one EEU member state to another. The implementation of the Rosselkhoznadzor information systems will ensure total traceability for the regulated products transferred among the EEU member states. Common registers will ensure a common approach for implementation of veterinary measures in relation to producers of regulated animal products both in the EEU and in third countries.

After discussing joint actions needed to prevent adulterated supplies, the sides agreed to once again raise the issue within the EEU Commission in order to review the requirements of the specialized EEU bodies, so that to widen the mandate for border and domestic adulteration control (at the wholesale warehouses, refrigerators and etc), and to widen the scope of this decision for all the EEU countries.

 

Sep 30, 2015

Categorys: Information system ARGUS , Events , Administration , Veterinary , Import. Export. Transit , ECert