31 Jul 2023 12:26

Russia stops issuing permits to import fish subject to food embargo

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax) - Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance or Rosselkhoznadzor on July 31 suspended the issuance of permits for importing to Russia finished fish and seafood products produced in countries subject to the country's food embargo effective, Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement.

This applies to products under Foreign Economic Activity Commodity Nomenclature (FEACN) 1605, which encompasses prepared or preserved fish, and sturgeon caviar and its substitutes made from fish eggs; and FEACN 1605, which encompasses prepared or preserved crustaceans, mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates.

These products have been included in the list of products subject to Russia's special economic measures, or food embargo, as per the act of the Russian government dated July 20, 2023. The list was approved as per the act of the government of the Russian Federation, dated August 7, 2014.

The food embargo was established as per the presidential decree dated August 6, 2014 and the decree is extended annually. The embargo initially applied to products from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Norway, and Canada. As of August 13, 2015, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, which joined the sanctions against Russia, have been included in the list of these countries; as of January 1, 2016, Ukraine has been included; and as of December 2020, the UK and Northern Ireland have been included.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, there has been a decrease in the cargo flow of finished fish products from these countries. According to FSIS Argus, 1,704 tonnes of finished fish products were imported in 2021, 563 tonnes in 2022, and 290 tonnes in 2023.

"The agency regularly monitors incoming fish products and takes the corresponding measures in cases of non-compliance. The decrease in supply volumes is also owing to implementing Rosselkhoznadzor measures, such as enhanced laboratory control and the introduction of restrictions on manufacturing enterprises in cases of violations. Consequently, nine cases of non-compliance/violations have been identified in finished fish products coming from these countries since 2021. For example, an excess of the permissible level of arsenic was found in canned fish from Croatia, bacteria of the Escherichia coli group in preserves from Estonia, and the absence of pink salmon DNA in salmon pate from Slovenia," Rosselkhoznadzor said.