EU countries achieve initial breakthrough on Russia’s pork import ban

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

EU countries achieve breakthrough on Russian ban
EU countries achieve breakthrough on Russian ban

Related tags: European union, Russia, Livestock, Pork

Six European Union (EU) countries have proposed the introduction of a temporary veterinary certificate in order to resume supplies of pork to Russia, recently limited due to outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in Lithuania and Poland.

The move was announced by the head of the Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert following a meeting with veterinary service and industry association representatives from Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark.

“The Europeans approached Rosselkhoznadzor with an initiative to consider resuming supplies of pork products to Russia – namely the introduction of temporary veterinary certificates for particular EU member states. These countries have a lower risk [of ASF introduction],”​ said Dankvert.

According to Russian veterinarians, additional guarantees on exported pork products will make it possible to resume imports of meat from these countries. However Dankvert warned the Europeans that Russia should first agree on this issue with the Customs Union, which may take some time.

The proposal coincides with Rosselkhoznadzor’s suggestion to conduct a “regionalisation”​ study of the EU to look at the risk of ASF spread. The Russian veterinary service’s main requirement is that the countries involved should not allow any re-exports of pork and pork products to Russia from countries where outbreaks of ASF are reported or from the countries with a high risk of ASF spread. Pork products from these countries will still be banned.

At the same time, according to Europe’s health commissioner Tonio Borg, the EU may soon file a complaint to the World Trade Organization regarding Russia’s pork import ban. Rosselkhoznadzor said such steps did not help to resolve the situation, but were only likely to exacerbate it.

Related topics: Meat

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