The meeting was held on the margins of the 83rd
International Trade Fair for Food Industry, Horticulture, Agriculture and
Forestry «Green Week — 2018» in Berlin. The Russian side at the
negotiations was headed by Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert. The
European delegation was represented by Director of the Directorate for Food Chain:
Stakeholders and International Relations, Michael Scannell, Director of the
Directorate for Nutrition, Livestock and Plants, Bernard Van Goethem and other
representatives of the European Commission. The event was also attended by
First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee for Agrarian
and Food Policy Sergey Lisovsky.
The Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor noted that despite the EU
sanctions and Russia’s retaliatory measures, there are still technical issues
related to mutual trade. In particular, we are talking about the fulfillment by
the parties of veterinary and sanitary requirements, which are not related to
politics and should be viewed upon exclusively at the professional level.
The European side thanked the Rosselkhoznadzor for arranging
the meeting and expressed its hope for resolving issues related to the
development of mutual trade. In this regard, Sergey Dankvert noted that the
nature of mutual deliveries has always been determined by the supply of
European products to Russia rather than the Russian products to the EU.
Sergey Dankvert noted that 92% of European establishments
certified for deliveries to Russia were included in this list under the
guarantees of the veterinary services of the EU member states. After lifting
the «food embargo», the question arises about the possibility of access
to the market for all the establishments previously included under the
guarantees. In this connection, the necessity was voiced for updating these
lists by the EU.
It was also stressed that today 4537 establishments approved
for supplies to the EAEU are included in the lists of establishments that are
authorized for supply to the EAEU countries, while only 592 establishments are
allowed for export from the Russian Federation to the territory of EU, of which
526 establishments are producers of fishery products. Based on that, it can be
concluded that the EU allows only those products that are of interest to its
market. In this regard, the statement that to date the number of establishments
certified for deliveries to Russia is insufficient does not reflect the real situation.
The Russian side made a proposal to consider the issues of access
of European establishments to the Russian market during negotiations at the
level of the Eurasian Economic Commission. In response the colleagues from the
European Union reported that it would be convenient to consider the raised issues
at the level of discussion with the Rosselkhoznadzor experts. In particular,
Mr. Scannell asked Sergey Dankvert to act as a sort of initiator of a number of
issues related to product supplies to other EAEU countries. In this regard, Sergey
Dankvert stressed that the Rosselkhoznadzor is not authorized to represent the
interests of all the EAEU member-states.
Another issue on the agenda of the talks was the discussion
of cooperation and exchange of information on electronic systems used in EU
countries, such as TRACES and animal notification systems (ADNS). It is noted
that at the end of February the next stage of the integration of the European
system TRACES and the Russian system MERCURIUS should be completed. In this
regard, positive cooperation was noted. In late March, the launch of the next
module of the Mercury system is planned, concerning the electronic
certification of fish products exported from Russia to Europe.
Another important topic of the dialogue was the spread of
animal diseases in the EU. In particular, it was noted that the number of ASF outbreaks
in the European Union is many times higher than in Russia. So, since 2007 when
the disease was first registered in Russia, more than 1200 cases have been
recorded, while in the European Union the first outbreak was registered seven
years later, however, today the number of such outbreaks is more than 5800. Sergey
Dankvert stressed that, knowing the characteristics of the disease, the
forecasts for ASF situation in Europe are quite critical.
A similar situation evolved with regard to avian influenza,
which showed that it is extremely difficult to control the disease, taking into
account the nature of its spread.
Given that over the past two years, the Rosselkhoznadzor has
provided EU colleagues with a significant amount of information on AI control
measures in Russia, Sergey Dankvert asked to acknowledge the regionalization
carried out in Russia with regard to avian influenza.
Summing up the results of the meeting, the parties noted the
need for deep cooperation on the issues raised, as well as expressed a mutual desire to
increase the volume of mutual trade.