Smuggling claim as Russia seizes 92 tonnes of meat
Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor impounded two shipping containers carrying meat and poultry from St Petersburg last week that violated food safety laws governing the safe transport of food products. The two trucks were discovered by Rosselkhoznadzor’s inspectors in Russia’s Novosibirsk region and the agency today (14 November) confirmed an investigation is underway.
One truck loaded with 67t of meat and fish products sourced from both Russia and abroad did not have legal veterinary certificates. The cargo waybill – a document detailing shipment goods - claimed it was transporting corn flakes, despite being piled high with cardboard boxes of meat.
In the second container, the waybill stated it carried roughly 26t of polyethylene. But the container was holding huge quantities of seafood products, sourced from Russia and aboard.
‘Serious breach’ of law
Rosselkhoznadzor claimed the cargo units were in “serious breach” of temperature regulations with meat stored at -7C and -5C respectively. Russian rules stipulate frozen meat and seafood products must be transported with a temperature of no higher than -18C, according to Rosselkhoznadzor.
Alexie Alekseenko, assistant chief at Rosselkhoznadzor, declined to reveal the names of the parties implicated in the seizure. But when asked if the finding could be linked to a meat smuggling ring, he said this could be the case, but stressed it was “too early to say”.
An investigation is now underway to determine the owner of the cargo and establish whether the party has legitimate documents to transport meat and seafood in Russia. A timeframe on the investigation has not been disclosed.