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Negotiations between the Rosselkhoznadzor and European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO)

The negotiations were held on the margins of the 58th meeting of the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in Geneva. The DG SANCO delegation was headed by Bernard Van Goethem, Director. The Rosselkhoznadzor delegation was headed by Yevgeny Nepoklonov, Deputy Head and Chief Veterinary Officer. The Russian party initiated discussion of the following issues:

Relaxation of the requirements of Regulation 2013/436/EU of the Commission Decision of August 13, 2013, regarding minimal temperature for treatment of beef, pork and sheep and goat meat;

Lifting of restrictions on exportation of finished beef and pork products as well as products from sheep and goat meat and domestic solid-hoofed animal meat to the EU. Before Directive 2007/777 was amended in December 2012, the Russian Federation had had a status according to which it was entitled to supply the above mentioned products from the whole territory of the country.

Regarding the decrease of minimal temperature for treatment of meat products exported from the RF territory up to 70°C the representative of the European Commission informed that in August this year the European Commission satisfied the demand in respect of the Kaliningrad Oblast. However, the Russian demands were not completely satisfied. The European Commission introduced tougher D1 mode (70°C along with 30 min exposure) instead of the demanded D mode (70°C core temperature of the product). DG SANCO promised to consider the issue once again and to respond in the nearest future.

In return the representative of the DG SANCO suggested discussion of the following issues:

Inclusion of the EU establishments into the List of Third Countries;

Exportation of live animals from the European Union into Russia;

Restriction of animal product exportation, which are in effect against some EU countries.

As for EU establishment authorization for exportation into Russia Yevgeny Nepoklonov remarked that currently over 80% of European establishments were included in the List under the guarantees of the Veterinary Services of the European Union. However, results of the inspections held in 2013 throw discredit upon the validity of such guarantees (90% of the establishments inspected by the experts from the Customs Union were considered non-compliant with the standards and regulations of the Customs Union). In reference with the above, further inclusion of the EU establishments in the List of Third Countries can be considered only after inspection of given establishment or after the audit of the official surveillance system of the EU member states by the experts from the Customs Union.

While discussing the issue on live animal exportation from the European Union into Russia the Russian delegation expressed grave concern on the validity of the guarantees and capability to completely control the epidemic situation in the EU member states. For instance, results of the inspections performed in Bulgaria and Romania demonstrated that in spite of the ban being in force, there was a real possibility of live pig exportation from these countries to other EU member states. In addition, Yevgeny Nepoklonov mentioned positive dynamics in the issue: in May, 2013, first stage of the audit in Lithuania was completed and its results allowed lifting restrictions on breeding pig importation from Lithuania into Russia given that the animals were quarantined in the exporting countries under the control of the Russian veterinarian. As for the restrictions introduced due to Schmallenberg virus, one of the RF delegates mentioned field experiment involving importation of seropositive cattle from France to Russia. As agreed with the French party, works were started aimed at the establishment of joint research group on complex study of the risk factors related with importation. At present the Rosselkhoznadzor authorized importation of 2100 Montbéliarde breeding cattle from France into Russia (OOO SHP Novomarkovskoye). The first animal consignment is already under quarantine. In case each party is sure in the safety of importation of Schmallenberg virus seropositive animals, the Rosselkhoznadzor will consider the opportunity of such procedure application with regard to other EU member states. 

Oct 19, 2013

Categorys: Harmonization CU/EU , Veterinary , Administration , Import. Export. Transit