Russia-led Custom Union and EU Vet Officials discussing Meat and Fish Certification Issues
The meeting of Russian and EU Vet officials was held in Cyprus on 26-27 November 2012 and was devoted to technical issues regarding development of veterinary certificates different from common forms of the CU veterinary certificates. Spokesmen for the Customs Union, the European Economic Commission, the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) and the EU-members took part in the meeting, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Rosselkhoznadzor (FSVPS for short).
The Russian side handed over to the EU representatives initialled veterainry certificates for export (from the European Union to the Customs Union) of raw materials used for production of feeds for non-productive domestic animals and fur animals, export of meat, raw meat products and offals obtained after cattle slaughter and processing. These veterainry certificates will enter into force after the EU–members provide blank veterainry certificates with all the required secure features. Following agreement with the European Union veterinary certificate for meat, raw meat products and offals obtained after cattle slaughter and processing will enter into force on the 1st of January 2013. The transitional period when meat, raw meat products and offals obtained after cattle slaughter and processing may be exported with the veterinary certificate previously initialed between the DG SANCO and the Rosselkhoznadzor will take two months and will last for up to the first of March 2013.
The Kazakh side touched upon the issues related to import of cattle from Europe to Kazakhstan, in particular those related to spread of bluetongue, viral diarrhea and disease caused by Schmallenberg virus in the European Union and issues concerning veterinary certification. Due to violations in the veterinary certification process and detection of cattle diseases in the EU-countries (Austria, Check Republic and others), temporary restrictions have been imposed on import of cattle from the EU-countries to Kazakhstan. The Russian and Belarus sides noted that despite the restrictions previously imposed on import of live animals, the European Union did not resolve the current problems in a proper way.
An agreement was achieved that before December 10 the EU would submit to the CU-members a list of veterinary certificates earlier harmonized between the EU and Russia and planned to be used after January 1, 2013 for further consideration and a list of veterinary certificates harmonized between the CU and the EU from the list of veterinary certificates, validity of which had been reasonably justified by the EU side.
Moreover, the parties continued to discuss the draft veterinary certificate on live fish and/or impregnated roe exported by the European Union to the Customs Union and entered to the examination of the draft veterinary certificates on canned meat, sausages and other ready-to-eat meat products, finished food products containing raw materials of animal origin as well as the draft veterinary certificates on canned pet food of animal origin. It is planned to continue the discussion of the above mentioned certificates during the next meeting.
The Customs Union Member Countries proposed to include the additional paragraph to the draft veterinary certificates on canned meat, sausages and other ready-to-eat meat products, finished food products containing raw materials of animal origin that contained guarantees provided by the Veterinary Services of the European Union Member States that such products as well as raw intestines and casings exported to the Customs Union were produced and processed only by the EU establishments authorized for export of said products to the Customs Union. The Russian party indicated the need for equivalent approach for food safety assurance at mutual supplies.
In response to the question of the CU representatives about the possibility of import of the casings produced in the CU countries from raw materials supplied by third countries the EU representative informed that such products could be supplied from Belarus and Russia and would be supplied from Kazakhstan in the nearest future.
As for the EU request to the Customs Union to accept guarantees on intestine product safety based on the tracing, inspection and selection performed by the EU in third countries that are not prohibited to export casings to Russia, the CU representatives told that the European party had not provided the mechanism of tracing the origins of casings introduced to the EU from third countries and then shipped to the Customs Union. This issue will be addressed after the European Union provides the detailed information on the mechanism for tracing the casing origins and turnover.
The parties also discussed some aspects of the TRACES, European tracing system, application and technical possibilities of its usage for the optimization of product tracing at mutual supplies as well as launching of the joint pilot project.
The next round of the talks will be held in Belarus in late January or early February, 2013.