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Working Meeting between Head of Rosselkhoznadzor Yevgeny Nepoklonov and Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna

The meeting took place in Vilnius on the margins of the International Seminar ‘The Application and Strengthening of Preventive Measures Aimed at Mitigating the Risk of Introduction of Classical and African Swine Fever into the European Union’. Vigilijus Jukna noted a special role played by the veterinary services in ensuring of safety and stability of Lithuanian animal product deliveries to the CU countries. Yevgeny Nepoklonov said that the cooperation between Russian and Lithuanian veterinary services was very fruitful and was restricted only by ill-considered policy of the European Commission. The thing is that European legislation envisages strict control of products imported to the EU territory shifting the responsibilities for exported product safety control on exporting countries and denying the right of the exporting country veterinary service to enter in agreements with the veterinary services of importing countries. Existence of double standards regarding import and export of products regulated by the National Veterinary Service can’t help but bothering the Rosselkhoznadzor. The European Commission lost the dynamism in its work, demonstrates officialism and lack of wish to develop a mechanism actually meeting the interests of importing countries regarding the safety of imported products in accordance with the requirements of their national legislation. Besides due to strong recommendations of European Commission «experts» given within the context of negotiations devoted to Russia’s accession to the WTO the decisions were made that were followed by sharp decrease in the Russian VS efficiency. Besides under their pressure registers of some regulated products were abolished notwithstanding the fact that such registers are used in the EU. Thousands of European establishments were included into the lists of establishments authorized to export their products to the CU countries against the guarantees of the EU Veterinary Services. The results of inspections carried out by the Rosselkhoznadzor specialists at the exporting plants and safety monitoring of exported products showed that guarantees were a sheer formality and the registers were drawn up based on applications submitted without any inspections of exporting plants by the EU competent authorities. Veterinary certification of products exported to the CU territory is often a sheer formality too. Such situation results in restriction measures which the Rosselkhoznadzor has to introduce based on the results of the inspections carried out by the CU Veterinary Services. For example the Rosselkhoznadzor imposed restrictions on export from 741 plants after Spanish establishments had been inspected. The inspection showed that the Spanish veterinary service had not made the plants aware of the rules and standards envisaged by the CU legislation and safety monitoring of exported products is carried out only in accordance with the EU standards. Germany had not acknowledged the problems associated with safety assurance of products exported to the CU countries for three years but the first inspection of exporting plants carried out by the German Veterinary Service showed that at least the quarter of such establishments was not able to comply with the requirements of the importing country. Unconstructive stand of the European Commission prevents the Rosselkhoznadzor and veterinary services of exporting countries from coming into agreements on safety assurance of several regulated products and hinders the creation of efficient scheme for safe deliveries of chilled meat from Lithuania into Russia. At the same time the cooperation between the Rosselkhoznadzor and Lithuanian Veterinary Service is facilitated by the fact that Lithuanian structure of surveillance and controlling veterinary bodies enables to control the safety of products based on the «from field to fork» principle. The management of the Lithuanian veterinary service proved its professionalism and desire to remove the deficiencies in the veterinary certification system of products destined for the CU countries. Precisely this close cooperation will enable to resume the deliveries of breeding pigs from Lithuania to Russia. Yevgeny Nepoklonov stressed that it was very important that the relationships between the Rosselkhoznadzor and the Lithuanian veterinary service were grounded on confidence. The Rosselkhoznadzor has received a lot of materials on inspections of plants interested in export of their animal products to the CU countries. The Rosselkhoznadzor specialists started examining the received documents. Yevgeny Nepoklonov said that a lot of joint efforts were required to ensure safety and stability of bilateral animal product deliveries. Work of the Lithuanian veterinary service with industrial non-governmental organizations on improvement of exported product safety in accordance with legislation requirements of the importing country was of great significance too. Such model is successful and efficient in many countries; for example in Denmark, where cooperation between exporter groups and national veterinary service is on the high level. At the same time this model does not work in Norway where such interaction is just formal. For example if contamination of chilled fish with Listeria is revealed during the examination at plant the information is submitted to competent authority Mattilsynet, but the Rosselkhoznadzor is not informed by Mattilsynet about it. In general to ensure stable and safe deliveries of regulated products from EU countries to CU countries it is necessary to establish a common system of raw material and animal product traceability which will be able to identify the origin and location of a product in a real time mode.

Sep 4, 2013

Categorys: Harmonization CU/EU , Veterinary , Administration , Customs Union