Russia and Japan looking into mutual food safety control

July 2, 2007 12:01

According to an official release of Rosselkhoznadzor dated 27 June 2007, Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Rosselkhoznadzor held talks with the Japanese Embassy which has approached the Russian agency for the negotiations on its own initiative. The Russian delegation was led by head of Rosselkhoznadzor's organization-inspectorate department Igor Chernyshenko, while the Japanese side was headed by the counselor of the Japanese embassy in Russia Kendzi Nagamoto. The Japanese delegation was pleased to notice constructive development of relations with Rosselkhoznadzor.

Igor Chernyshenko informed the Japanese delegation about Rosselkhoznadzor's operations in the sphere of safety of seafood products imported to Russia and fighting with illegal fishery. Rosselkhoznadzor aims at creating a system to secure seafood safety in the production chain from catches to final products. Towards that end, Rosselkhoznadzor's specialists have conducted checks of fish processing companies in a number of countries. Similar checks are also conducted in Russia by foreign states importing Russian seafood.

As to illegal fishery, the sides were informed on the opportunity to develop the system of international port control as an effective measure to fight with depletion of aquatic stocks due to poaching.

According to the release, veterinary certification of imported seafood was described as playing an important role in Russia's internal seafood safety issues. At the same time, Rosselkhoznadzor is in charge of securing safety of seafood conveyed as transit goods via Russia to third countries. More specifically, on 26 June 2007 Russian inspectors from Rosselkhoznadzor arrested a 10-tonne consignment of fish products coming from Norway to Japan without necessary veterinary certificates.

In his turn, Kendzi Nagamoto told the Russian delegation about operations of the Japanese veterinary service in the sphere of food safety and about his interest in mutual checks of Russian fish processing companies exporting goods to the Japanese market and Japanese companies exporting goods to Russia.

Igor Chernyshenko invited to Russia a group of Japanese specialists in order to learn about the Russian legal requirements to seafood, to visit Rosselkhoznadzor's laboratories and to study current methods of seafood safety and quality control.

Kendzi Nagamoto told the Russian side that the proposal of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on establishing a working group to fight with illegal fishery was scrutinized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also introduced Hiroki Hadzumi to succeed him at the post of counselor of the Japanese embassy in Russia.

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