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Russian agricultural watchdog concerned by re-exports from Belarus

November 10, 2015, 7:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It voiced extreme concern over the situation, adding that the deliveries of products of improper phytosanitary standards from Belarus had pushed the risks to Russia’s foodstuff security up
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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Russian agricultural watchdog agency Rosselkhoznadzor has expressed concern over the supplies of foodstuffs from the territory of Belarus that are untypical of that country, a report on Tuesday said.

In part, the watchdog developed suspicions over the supplies of fruit, mushrooms and radish.

In the situation of Russia’s reciprocate embargo on agricultural imports from a number of Western countries, Belarus has turned into a major supplier of the products, which it did not export to Russia previously, and particularly vegetables, berries and exotic fruits.

"The operations of the system of phytosanitary control in Belarus have brought about a situation where Russia regularly gets Belarusian strawberry, blueberry and raspberry, the morphological and seasonal features of which are indicative of their origins in third countries," the report said.

It also mentioned the cases where the consignments of mushrooms were accompanied by faked phytosanitary certificates issued in Morocco and Turkey and radish allegedly produced in the South-African Republic - the countries that never exported these foodstuffs to Russia, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

It voiced extreme concern over the situation, adding that the deliveries of products of improper phytosanitary standards from Belarus had pushed the risks to Russia’s foodstuff security up in recent months.

Also, the watchdog is dissatisfied with the system of confirmation of authenticity of phytosanitary certificates in effect in Belarus at present. While the number of forged certificates exposed in 2014 was 82, the figure has made a hike to 388 since the beginning of 2015.

"The tracking-down of Belarusian re-export certificates accompanied by forged phytosanitary certificates from Turkey, Macedonia, Ecuador, Egypt, the South African Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, Israel, Brazil, and Chile has become systemic," Rosselkhoznadzor said.

To protect and maintain the proper phytosanitary standards on the Russian territory, the agency sent an appeal to the head of the state inspection for seed farming, quarantine and plant protection at the Belarusian Agriculture and Foodstuffs Ministry, offering its officials and experts to hold a meeting for discussing the situation, the report said.

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