18 Sep 2018 10:17

A delegation of Kazakh Agriculture Ministry going to Moscow to discuss supply of animal products

ASTANA. Sept 18 (Interfax) - Representatives of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture are going to Moscow on Tuesday to clarify the situation surrounding a possible ban on supply of Kazakhstan-made animal products from October 1, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev told Interfax-Kazakhstan.

"Our specialists from the Veterinary Control Committee (...) are flying today to Moscow to clarify the situation," he said.

When asked if the statements made by the Russian side were true, he said, "This is not entirely true. (...) I think everything will become clear by the end of the week."

Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said last week that Russia might impose a ban on importation of all animal products from Kazakhstan with effect from October 1.

"Rosselkhoznadzor considers it expedient to inform the parties concerned of the possible imposition of restrictions on the supply of animal products from Kazakhstan to Russia beginning on October 1, 2018," agency press secretary Yulia Melano told reporters.

The ban may be imposed because the relevant Kazakh agencies have failed to ensure complete monitoring of the processes for production and supply of animal products to Russia, she said.

Kazakh animal product exports to Russia are currently accompanied with documents that do not pinpoint the place where the raw materials were produced and often not even the place where the finished products were produced. Rosselkhoznadzor has analyzed the risks and concluded that in the absence of reliable, complete information that the animal products were produced in Kazakhstan, it is likely there are instances in which products embargoed by Russia are re-exported from Kazakhstan and in which documents on product transit through Russia are falsified.

"In other words, Kazakh animal products, including those whose origin has not been established, enter Russia, where they constitute a health risk to Russian consumers and the epizootic well-being of the country," Melano said.

Moreover, after joining the WTO in 2015, Kazakhstan made a commitment to organize the transmission of data on the traceability of animal products in accordance with the national information systems of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, she said.

The relevant agencies of Russia and Kazakhstan agreed a schedule for integration of the Kazakhstan Unified Automated Control System for agriculture and Russia's Vetis Federal State Information System. At Rosselkhoznadzor's initiative, the dates and stages of its implementation were adjusted in July 2017. However, Kazakhstan has failed to meet the deadlines and not provided any explanations.

"Rosselkhoznadzor has analyzed the Unified Automated Control System for agriculture in terms of the traceability of animal product shipments. The analysis showed that the veterinary certificates accompanying finished animal products do not contain information on the raw material and other materials that were used in its production. In other words, it is impossible to determine the origin of animal products supplied from Kazakhstan," Melano said.

In June, Rosselkhoznadzor took steps to expedite integration of the two countries' information systems, presenting examples of successful integrations with systems of other countries, such as New Zealand and the Netherlands. However, the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry's Veterinary Control and Supervision Committee has so far not taken any action to implement the schedule.

"Rosselkhoznadzor has asked Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry to speed up work to integrate the information systems. In the event the Kazakh side does not take the corresponding steps, Rosselkhoznadzor will be compelled to impose restrictions on animal product supplies from Kazakh enterprises," she said.