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Russia has not yet notified EU on health threats from Dutch flowers — European Commission

July 28, 2015, 14:54 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
On July 27, Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog initiated the ban on the import of cut flowers from the Netherlands due to the presence of quarantine organisms on the products
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© TASS/Sergei Savostianov

BRUSSELS, July 28. / TASS / Russian authorities have not yet notified the EU on the health threats from flowers from the Netherlands, a European Commission representative told TASS on Tuesday, while commenting on Russia's decision to initiate a ban on the import of Dutch cut flowers.

"We currently do not have any official information on this ban. However, it should be stressed that Russia has never informed the EU authorities of any sanitary or phytosanitary threats emanating from the flowers, which are imported from the Netherlands," the representative said.

On July 27, Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) initiated the ban on the import of cut flowers from the Netherlands due to the presence of quarantine organisms on the products.

"Rosselkhoznadzor suggested that the National Organization for Plant Protection of the European Union to suspend all phytosanitary certification of Dutch cut flowers for delivery to Russia," said in the release.

From a judicial point of view, Rosselkhoznadzor only asked the competent services of the EU to stop the certification of flowers from the Netherlands for export to Russia, which should lead to a voluntary halt of imports to Russia from the EU itself, explained Yulia Trofimova, a press service representative. However, the initiative for the constraints came from the Russian side, she said.

The assistant of Rosselkhoznadzor Head, Alexei Alekseenko said that the full-time restrictions on the supply of flowers from the Netherlands is a temporary measure. The ban will either be dismissed or extended after technical consultations with "competent authorities in European Union on the problem at hand," that the Russian authorities intend to carry out in the near future, the surveillance service said. While the ban applies only to the flowers produced in the Netherlands, it does not affect the flower transit, Alekseenko said.

"Only during the last three months, during the quarantine phytosanitary control of cut flowers that arrived in Russia from the European Union, we found 324 batches contaminated with western flower thrips, white rust chrysanthemum, tobacco whitefly and US miner clover. Out of those batches, in 183 cases, the cut flowers came from the Netherlands, and that accounted for 58% of the total number of identified contaminated batches of cut flowers received from all countries of the European Union," Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement.

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