MOSCOW, December 12 (Itar-Tass) - Norway has refused inspectors from the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, to visit a number of key salmon farms, the head of the watchdog’s commission Aleksey Alekseenko told Itar-Tass by phone speaking from Oslo.
Russia may introduce a ban on Norway-produced salmon late December 2013, he said.
“It is not only the probe’s results that may be a reason for a ban. Norway did not admit us to some key objects,” Alekseenko said.
Rosselkhoznadzor has been unable to verify the Norwegian veterinary authority is able to certify products in compliance with the Customs Union’s requirements, the head of the commission said.
Norwegian fish-processing plants were inspected on December 2-12, 2013. Russian veterinary services were planning to check no less than ten facilities keen to export their products to the member countries of the Customs Union. The inspectors’ primary task was to look into the production of artificially grown salmon and work of the Norwegian food security service (Mattilsynet). Earlier, the Russian watchdog reported Mattilsynet certified products in absentia, without a state veterinary scrutinizing of each consignment.
Russia finished 2012 as the largest export market for Norwegian fish for a second straight year. Last year Norway exported the total worth of 7 billion euros. The country is also Russia’s major supplier of chilled salmon.