8 May 2020 14:23

Rosselkhoznadzor to study Brazil's experience with e-phytosanitary certificates amid Covid-19

MOSCOW. May 8 (Interfax) - The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) plans to study Brazil's experience in using electronic phytosanitary certificates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Rosselkhoznadzor requested that the Brazilian party provide a draft of its phytosanitary certificate that utilizes a digital signature that can be verified using a QR code. Upon receiving a draft of the document, we will consider the possibility of using it," the watchdog's press service told Interfax.

The Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) contacted Rosselkhoznadzor with a proposal to consider Brazil's experience. GAFTA said that the restrictive measures that many countries use to fight Covid-19 have a large impact on the economy. This, in turn, creates difficulties in supplying food and feed internationally.

"We should recognize that quarantine measures in some cases lead to problems with logistics and documentation, though countries are taking every effort to overcome them, for example, by accepting electronic copies of original phytosanitary certificates, and also by searching for other practical solutions," GAFTA wrote in a letter that Interfax has seen.

GAFTA has provided information on the experience of the Brazilian Anec exporters association in using e-phytosanitary certificates and the association's practice of verifying them online, noting that this would expedite the exchange of documents.

Russian Grain Union vice president Alexander Korbut said that Brazil's experience in this area has received international recognition, and it is considered by GAFTA to be the most effective means to ensure transparent and open trade.

Rosselkhoznadzor also said that amid difficult epidemiological situation, a number of measures have already been taken to simplify the procedure to process imported goods.

"Thus, as of March 20, agricultural goods can be imported to Russia by using copies of veterinary and phytosanitary certificates. We are also in ongoing contact with the services of the importing countries, and we pay attention to initiatives to simplify mechanisms in trade," the watchdog's press service said.