Russian government's big drive to enforce traceability of seafood imports

December 1, 2006 15:41
Sergey DankwertThe Russian Vet and Phytosanitary Service Rosselkhoznadzor  has proclaimed a policy of curbing what they call grey imports through enforcement of traceability of seafood shipments into the country down to the source, according to the late November statements of the body's chief Sergey Dankwert quoted by nationwide media reports.

More specifically, the authority is going to introduce mandatory certification for foreign processing plants exporting to Russia.

At the same time, "until further notice" the number of approved land checkpoints for shipment of seafood on the border with the EU, Ukraine and Belarus has been reduced from 50 to 5 by Rosselkhoznadzor order dated 24 November 2006.

This requirement of mandatory certification has already been enforced for the Norwegian producers of salmon and trout with 8 big plants approved for export to Russia and compliance of contracts with the source of supply checked on the Russian border.

Further more, in December 2006 a team of inspectors from Rosselkhoznadzor will be checking factories in Iceland, in the Faeroe Islands and Vietnam with Denmark and Holland to follow.

Dankwert has underlined that the Russians will be inspecting both the land-based primary processors and fishing boats towards a clampdown on grey importation schemes.

According to the official, by importing seafood from certified plants, it will be possible to have a full picture of the volumes and quality while shutting down the channels for the illegally caught fish. Misnaming the product will also be excluded for the end consumer.

Commenting on the situation, sources in the trade point out that it would be only logical to create equal conditions for all supplying countries including China and Scotland, to name just a few.

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