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Negotiations between Sergey Dankvert, Head of the Rossekhoznadzor, and Robert Kloos, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV)

The meeting was held in Berlin in the frame of the International Green Week. Head of the Veterinary Services of some Federal Lands of Germany as well as the Rosselkhoznadzor officers and leading experts participated in the meeting.

Starting the negotiations Robert Kloos mentioned successful trend in the development of the Russia-Germany relations in the direction of the improvement of safety level of veterinary regulated food supplied from Germany to Russia. It became possible only as a result of intensive negotiations between the Rosselkhoznadzor and Administration of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). Robert Kloos informed Sergey Dankvert of the establishment of a Center for coordination activities at different levels of Veterinary Authorities and manufacturers. Such activities are aimed at improvement of safety of German products destined for the Customs Union market. The activities of the Center are controlled personally by Robert Kloos and this fact reflects BMELV’s serious intentions as well as the emphasis paid to the evolution of trade and economic relations between Germany and Russia. Specifically for the experts of the German Veterinary Service a 300-page guideline for performing inspections of plants manufacturing regulated products with respect to their compliance to the RF and CU standards and regulations has been developed. 10% of such plants have been already inspected. Five days are given for non-compliance correction and new inspection is performed. In case the noncompliances are not corrected the plant is forfeited its right for exportation its products to the Customs Union. Herewith a unified control system is envisaged for the whole territory of Germany. German experts are supposed to be trained in the RF requirements.

Sergey Dankvert remarked that current disagreements in Russia and German relations in the field of safety of the German products destined for the CU market result from the lack of equivalence of the relevant surveillance systems. It is largely related to the absence of a unified national system due to functional subdivision of the German Veterinary Service according to the area basis. In addition, the Veterinary Services of individual Federal Lands are significantly independent from the Federal Veterinary Service. Herewith performance degree of Veterinary Services can substantially vary between the individual Federal Lands. In other words, Germany employed an extremely ineffective model of the Veterinary Services, which is also employed by the EU where Veterinary Services of individual member countries demonstrate various degree of performance and relative division of the European Commission perform its activities only nominally. As a result the EU consistently infringes the provisions of the Memorandum signed by the Rosselkhoznadzor and relative Directorate General of the European Commission in 2004. Current all-European issues in ensuring safety of food destined for the Customs Union inevitably affect all EU member countries and their trade relations with Russia. Such issues include absence of the EU control over exported products on the border with the Customs Union. Sergey Dankvert highlighted that in spite of the system problems as for reliability of the guarantees provided by the German Veterinary Service, the Rosselkhoznadzor uses its best efforts to maintain current supply volumes. Unfortunately it does not mean that the Rosselkhoznadzor’s concerns become less. The highest concern is raised by the safety of chilled meat and milk products as well as casings and ready-to-eat meat products. He also mentioned that in case the German Veterinary Service detects during plant inspection any noncompliances affecting further supplies to Russia, it should immediately notify the Rosselkhoznadzor about such facts. Actual state of activities aimed at the improvement of safety of regulated products destined for Russia should be examined during the next Rosselkhoznadzor’s inspection. Herewith, the Rosselkhoznadzor deems unacceptable the suggestion of Karin Schwabenbauer, Head of the German Veterinary Service, on postponing the regular inspection until April this year. Sergey Dankvert underlined that the system for export enterprise enlisting should be subject to thorough reform. Experience has shown that enterprise enlisting under the guarantees of the German Veterinary Service is made on a pro forma basis omitting inspections. As a result 90-100% of export enterprises in several Federal Lands are unaware of the RF and CU requirements. Lack of the German authorities’ system control over the supply safety results in consistent detections of noncompliances at regulated product importation. Among such noncompliances are supplies from the plants not authorized for exportation as well as issuance of the certificates omitting product checks. Current state of affairs raises grave concern of the Russian business society dealing with food product importation. Unreliable certification of casings should be stopped as well as final processing of casings in China and other countries before their importation into Russia as product manufactured in European Union should be excluded.

 

Jan 16, 2013

Categorys: Administration , Events