Forthcoming Meeting between Rosselkhoznadzor Working Group and Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet)
The Russian Fish Union addressed to the Rosselkhoznadzor with the letter which among other things reads as follows: “To date, considering the current situation concerning safety of fish products imported to Russia and Customs Union which resulted in large-scale restrictions on fish raw material supplies from Norway, it is very difficult for fish business operators who can not be confident in stable and continuous supplies of fish products to develop and plan their business activities. Safety and continuous quality of products imported to Russia and the Customs Union, as well as the establishment of commonly understood rules of the game for all market participants is an absolute priority for us. To our opinion, urgent talks between the Russian and Norwegian veterinary officials involving external specialists and experts from industrial noncommercial associations would facilitate resolving the situation.” The talks are to be focused on “fish product safety control activities performed according to the international guidelines, i.e. Codex Alimentarius, OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Codes and providing for measures to be taken by the Norwegian veterinary services as regards the certification procedure, monitoring activities, laboratory control, raw material and food product traceability, compliance of products supplied to the RF and CU with animal health requirements, as well a rapid communication system for certification of commercial batches intended for Russia and other CU members. It is also proposed to discuss timely and without any unnecessary delays mutual reporting by the Russian and Norwegian veterinary services of detected violations for the purpose of taking corrective measures. In order to improve information sharing rate, communication should be arranged through secure electronic channels using appropriate mutually accepted standards. And mutual obligations resulting from points 1 and 2 and joint understanding of baseline provisions of international legal acts should be laid down in a separate document (in the form of a Russian-Norwegian Intergovernmental Agreement) taking into account that similar agreements have been already concluded between the Rosselkhoznadzor and a number of European countries”.
The Rosselkhoznadzor received a letter from the Norwegian Ambassador to Russia Leidulv Namtvedt stating that Norway was ready to take part in the meeting of the Joint Russian-Norwegian Working Group for safety of exported and imported fish and fish products. In response to the letter the Rosselkhoznadzor Head Sergey Dankvert informed Leidulv Namtvedt that the Rosselkhoznadzor was going to arrange the meeting within the shortest time possible. At the same time the Rosselkhoznadzor Deputy Head, Russian CVO Yevgeny Nepoklonov suggested that the terms of the visit of Norwegian experts to Russia should be agreed by the Administrative Director of Mattilsynet Harald Gjein. Yevgeny Nepoklonov also reminded that the Rosselkhoznadzor had twice in February of this year requested Mattilsynet to provide specific proposals as regards ensuring safety of Norwegian fish products supplied to Russia and other CU countries “in the form of a protocol or any other document regulating responsibilities of the parties in this filed, as well a set of issues to be discussed at the Working group meeting”. The previous proposal of the Norwegian party to discuss “adaptation of measures proposed by the Norwegian party for mutual trade in fish and fish products” is not specific and does not reflect the commitment of Norway to comply with the Russian and CU requirements as regards food safety and to received Russian auditors who will inspect the whole production chain according to the principle “from vessel to border” and key elements of the chain safety.