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Talks between the Rosselkhoznadzor and European Commission representatives as regards the cooperation in the Phytosanitary field

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the International Agricultural exhibition “Green Week”. The discussion was focused on the situation with the supplies of planting material from the EU to Russia. The Rosselkhoznadzor informed that considering the accession to WTO Russia had committed to authorized export of seed and planting material including from EU Members against guarantees of the exporting country from pest free zones or compartments. However, starting from 2010 the Rosselkhoznadzor had repeatedly addressed the DG SANCO with the request to submit the information on the plant health status of EU member territories. No answer had been received as yet.

The Russian Delegation also drew the attention of the European colleagues to the fact that joint inspections of nurseries in Poland and Hungary in 2008-2010 revealed that about 15% of the inspected nurseries which had previously been considered plant pest and disease free had turned out the zones of outspreading objects quarantine both for Russia and EU.

The Russian delegation also noted that 14 quarantine objects were detected in 399 cases during the inspection of quarantinable products supplied from EU countries to the Russian Federation in 2012. And considering the data from the previous years it could be said that the number of such detections was increasing every year.

The current EU freight transport system was also discussed during the talks. There has been cases when quarantinable products are accompanied by the plant health certificated issued in one country and shipping document issued in another and the customs clearance is done in the third country. Therefore, there is a possibility that uncertified quarantinable products can be additionally loaded in some other country and cause the infection and contamination of all consignments intended for Russia.

Taking into account the abovementioned the European Commission is constitutionally responsible for the plant health state of plant products imported in the EU and transported within its territory but not exported. However the plant health state of plant products exported from the EU to third countries is under the responsibility of the plant quarantine service of the exporting country. In general, the plant product transit issue in the EU territory has not been settled as yet.

Besides, the Rosselkhoznadzor discussed the issue of export of quarantinable products from Russia to the EU, stating that some provisions of Directive 2000/29/EC were discriminating with respect to the products that could be supplied from the Russian Federation to Europe. In particular, this means seedlings of fir-tree, cedar, pine, chestnut, oak, apple-tree, pear tree, plum tree, vine, and planting potatoes. At the same time the European party did not provide any technical and scientific substantiation of the given bans despite the repeated requests from the Rosselkhoznadzor which was in violation of paragraph 2b) of Article VII of the Convention and paragraph 2 Article 2 of the SPS Agreement. Taking into account that the European Commission has not provided any adequate suggestions with respect to the current situation settlement, the Rosselkhoznadzor can consider the issue of the ban on import of planting material from EU nurseries except from the previously inspected nurseries in Hungary, Poland and Germany. In its turn the European party suggested that an additional technical meeting should be arranged to settle all the indicated issues. The terms of the proposed meeting will be agreed in due course. 

Jan 16, 2013

Categorys: Phytosanitary , Events , Administration