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Import ban control tightened

Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergey Dankvert. (Photo Credit: Rosselkhoznadzor)

Click on the flag for more information about Russian FederationRUSSIAN FEDERATION 
Monday, September 22, 2014, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
Certain Belarusian fish and dairy product imports may be restricted by Russian authorities on account of rising health concerns amid suspicions that products from the countries affected by the trade ban set by Russia over Ukraine events have been indirectly imported.
This announcement was made by the veterinary and phytosanitary agency Rosselkhoznadzor after noticing that supplies of fish from Norway and dairy products from Lithuania and Poland to the neighbouring republic increase, ITAR-TASS informed.
“We have started to monitor products of some Belarusian enterprises. If we have doubts about their safety, we will certainly take measures,” pointed out Alexei Alekseenko, an aide to the agency's head.
For his part, Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergey Dankvert explained that the agency data showed that while Belarus imported about 1,100 tonnes of chilled and frozen fish for the whole of July, about 2,500 tonnes was imported in just 15 days in September.
Thus, there are suspicions that Norway's fish producers, heavily hit by Russia's ban on food imports from countries that have sanctioned it over Ukraine event, have found a way around the embargo by sending goods through Belarus, The Moscow Times reported.
"We thought we would be faced with difficulties, but the market has redistributed the salmon beautifully," a representative of a large Norwegian fish producer Coast Seafoodpointed out.
According to this representative, salmon that had been shipped and then processed in Belarus and other border countries resumed its flow into Russia, allowing Norwegian producers to nearly recoup the export decline.
Meanwhile, Russian fish producers in the Far East have said their refrigerators are filled with salmon they cannot ship to Russia's central regions, blaming high transportation costs and sanitary authorities that take too long to issue permits.
On the other hand, the federal customs service for the northern Baltic region stressed that fish and seafood imports from Denmark's Faroe Islands and Greenland are substituting those imports from nations that have been banned.
“Sales of fish products in the region have not significantly decreased since sanctions were imposed,” Sergei Dobrynin, first deputy head of the Baltic service, said in a statement from the northwest customs directorate, responsible for Russia’s largest port, St. Petersburg.
Media sources informed that since the beginnings of August, Russia has been in talks with China, Turkey, Serbia, Egypt, Mauritius, Ecuador, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Guatemala, Morocco, Kenya, Argentina, Lebanon, the Faroe Islands, Tunisia, India and Pakistan to begin and increase supplies of meat, milk, vegetables, fruit, fish and seafood.
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