Russia imposes temporary ban on cheaper EU beef cuts

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Russia has imposed restrictions on the supply of cheaper cuts of raw beef from the EU
Russia has imposed restrictions on the supply of cheaper cuts of raw beef from the EU

Related tags: European union, Beef

Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on the supply of cheaper cuts of raw beef from the European Union (EU), according to a report by Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

Deputy head of Rosselkhoznadzor Eugene Nepoklonov recently held telephone talks with Bernard van Goethem, director, Directorate General of Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) at the European Commission.

Nepoklonov informed his European colleague that Russian vets had repeatedly revealed cases of false certification in the supply of meat products from the EU. “Under the guise of cheap beef trimmings, tendons or offal, European companies have been found importing pork into the Customs Union. Such deliveries have been made from different EU countries, indicating that this problem is of a systemic nature,”​ said Nepoklonov.

Russia banned imports of pork from the EU almost immediately after several outbreaks of African swine fever were reported among wild boars in the Baltic States and Poland. Therefore, based on its latest findings, Rosselkhoznadzor has decided to impose temporary restrictions on imports of “the most commonly adulterated”​ products to the Customs Union.

“These temporary restrictions will apply not to all beef, but only to the cheaper varieties of beef, such as offal and trimmings,”​ explained Rosselkhoznadzor press secretary Alexei Alexeenko.

Official representatives from the European Commission commented that they had already received information about the action taken by the Russian authorities against specific beef supplies and would struggle get the ban cancelled. “The Commission has been informed of the measures taken by the Russian authorities. We’re currently liaising with them to find out exactly what the concerns of the Russian Federation are,”​ commented Frederic Vincent, a spokesperson for the European Commission.

In addition, Rosselkhoznadzor has completely banned imports of any type of beef or beef products from Romania, due to recently reported cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. Just with the African swine fever, Russian vets again expressed concerns that, due to the common Customs space, “dangerous”​ beef from Romania could also be supplied from another EU country.

However, industry obersvers say these prohibitions hardly affect the Russian beef market. “Based on import statistics of beef to Russia, Romania ranks very low – it supplies Russia with only a small amount,”​ said Elena Turina, CEO of the Russian Institute of Agricultural Marketing. “The main suppliers of beef to Russia are the countries of Latin America and Australia – these regions account for 92% of all beef delivered to Russia.”

Related topics: Meat

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