Russian and Norwegian vets exchanging fire on controls of seafood bound for export

April 19, 2012 11:14

Potential ban of chilled seafood imports from Norway as threatened by Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has not been introduced as per 19 April 2012, though it is not clear if the restrictions are really going to take place, reports

Some observers believe that as the domestic production of farmed salmon is too small to satisfy the market need, the import ban will hardly be introduced and the Russian vets have been simply trying to preserve their right of non-tariff regulation of imports. Therefore, the above threat can be taken as the Russian response in the exchange of fire when parties keep on criticizing system of veterinary control in each other's country.

Earlier the Russian vets said that they have checked chilled salmon coming from Norway and found it to contain salmonella and listeria. In this connection, they have warned they are going to impose restrictions on at least 15 Norwegian plants. They claim that Norwegian companies have failed to secure efficient control of seafood product quality. According to the Russians, the Norwegian veterinary service should have monitored quality of all the products meant for export, but only one lot out of a hundred is checked.

The potential ban can touch all chilled salmon coming from Norwegian farms, namely Atlantic salmon and trout. Frozen fish will not be affected by the ban.

Last year Russia imported 113,000 MT of salmon, including ca.100,000 MT from Norway. Trout import in 2011 amounted to 20,000 MT, of which 18,000 MT from Norway. Russia imported Norwegian seafood mostly in chilled form.

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