28 Apr 2018 09:12

Russian watchdog bans imports from five Belarusian food producers as of April 30

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) - Russian plant and animal health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor is banning imports of products from five Belarusian food producers effective April 30.

Following inspections conducted from April 10 to 14, temporary restrictions have been imposed on imports from Vakhavyak Plus, which slaughters, butchers and processes cattle and produces raw processed products; Koshelevo meat plant, a beef producer; Mir meat plant, a producer of prepared and processed meat products; LLC Velgrad, a producer of processed poultry and beef products; and the Kamenetsky Cheese Factory.

In the course of the inspection it was found that, "with the open connivance and assistance of the veterinary service, a system is in place [in Belarus] in which enterprises that supply products to Russia use raw material from enterprises from which imports into Russia are temporarily restricted or raw materials not intended for free sale," Rosselkhoznadzor said.

Inspectors found cases of beef from Ukraine being delivered to Belarusian plants and subsequently being shipped to Russian companies, thus legalizing products subject to sanctions, the watchdog said.

Rosselkhoznadzor said it has informed the Belarusian side about the need to eliminate the identified violations and prepare commentary for a preliminary report that must include exhaustive information about measures being take on the substance of each violation. Confirmation documentation, such as copies of inspection reports, photographs, copies of lab tests, journals, etc, must be attached.

Otherwise, the issue of lifting the temporary restrictions will not be considered, the watchdog warned.

Rosselkhoznadzor also asked its Belarusian counterpart to conduct an inspection of all dairy and meat producers included in the registry of Customs Union suppliers and exclude those who do not comply with Eurasian Economic Union standards.