GreekEnglish (United Kingdom)
Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:01

Talks between Rosselkhoznadzor and EU Representatives on the Margins of WTO SPS Committee Meeting

The talks took place in Geneva within the meeting of 57th WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Yevgeny Nepoklonov.

The talks started with the discussion of issues related to safety assurance of mutually delivered planting material and seed potatoes. The Russian party noted that when the powers for cooperation with Russia in phytosanitary control were shifted from the EU countries to the European Commission efficient mechanisms of safety assurance for products exported to Russia were lost. Previously such mechanisms were based on bilateral memorandums on plant product deliveries between Russia and some EU competent authorities. Up to the present day the European Commission has not provided an adequate alternative to the previous system which proved its efficiency. For the last three years the number of detected quarantine objects in products exported by the European Union to Russia and other CU countries has increased and that suggests the inefficiency of safety control system applied by the European Commission in relation to the exported products.

The Russian party expressed its deep concern about the current situation and about the fact that relationship between Russia and the EU are built on non-parity basis. The European Commission sets a requirement to carry out an audit of planting material places of production in the Russian Federation and at the same time it insists on exports of the analogical products only based on its guarantees.

In this context the Rosselkhoznadzor is considering the issue of imposing temporary restrictions on import of table and seed potatoes and planting material from all EU nurseries from July 1, 2013 excluding inspected and approved nurseries whose phytosanitary status is determined during joint inspections by Russian plant quarantine specialists.

In the course of bilateral negotiations the European party agreed to receive the delegation of Russian specialists for them to familiarize with the phytosanitary status of planting material and seed potato production places in the EU territory.

As for veterinary control issues including those concerning implementation of guarantees provided by the EU competent authorities (in particular Germany, Greece and Lithuania) as regards safety of products exported to Russia the Russian party noted their inefficiency again and that is supported by the results of recent inspections carried out by the CU specialists. The preliminary assessment of materials obtained in the course of inspections demonstrates that the veterinary competent authorities of these countries do not take any appropriate measures to ensure an adequate level of safety of products exported to the CU countries.

The abovementioned suggests again the systemic problems of the EU countries and is indicative of the formality of provided guarantees which became the basis for inclusion of a large part of European establishments (especially animal product producing ones) into the List of third country establishments authorized to export their products to Russia and other CU countries. Nevertheless the European Commission has not yet taken any appropriate measures to improve the current situation. In this context the Rosselkhoznadzor has to consider the issue about the suspension of finished meat product exports from German, Greek and Lithuanian plants included into the CU List against the guarantees provided by their veterinary services. At the same time the Rosselkhoznadzor hopes that the European Commission will take all possible measures to ensure adequate safety of products exported from the EU countries to prevent taking of analogous measures against other European establishments included into the List based on the guarantees of their competent authorities. The EU representatives noted the positive dynamics of cooperation between two countries by the example of Kaliningrad region from which poultry meat and table eggs are permitted to be imported into the EU. Along with this the issue concerning the ban of imports of domestic and wild ruminants valid for several EU countries due to SBV occurrence and spread is still unsettled. The Russian delegation representative informed the European party about the lifting of temporary restrictions imposed by the Rosselkhoznadzor on import of cattle and small ruminants due to the SBV spread and about conditions of import of such animals into Russia. This Rosselkhoznadzor's decision was discussed earlier within the Round table meeting on the margins of the 81st OIE General Session in Paris and published on the Rosselkhoznadzor official web-site. This example is another indication of Russia's striving towards constructive dialogue with partners on all raising issues.

Source: Rosselkhoznadzor