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MOSCOW, January 9 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) will tighten control over dairy and meat products imported from Norway following the January 1, 2014 ban on the import of some Norwegian fish products, Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Aleksey Alekseyenko said on Thursday after talks between the agency’s heads and the Norwegian Embassy’s officials.
Rosselkhoznadzor expressed concern over the level of quality guarantees provided by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet).
“Considering the fact that this organisation provides its guarantees both for fish and some other regulated products, such as dairy and meat products, we will also have to tighten control over these types of goods,” Alekseyenko said, adding that the lack of sufficient government guarantees could possibly lead to a ban on the import of Norwegian dairy and meat products to Russia.
On January 1, 2014 Russia announced a ban on the import of some fish and seafood products from Norway. The ban did not affect salmon fishes and products of 29 fish-processing enterprises earlier inspected by the Russian veterinary authority.
In November 2013, Rosselkhoznadzor had to impose restrictions also on the import of codfish liver and molva (blue ling) due to the systematic detection of live nematodes in batches supplied from Norway.
Salmon supplies are currently allowed only from salmon farms earlier inspected by the Russian watchdog.
“In the event that some violations are detected at these enterprises (at least twice, according to Russian regulations), the list of suppliers will inevitably be reduced,” Alekseyenko said.
He added that it was insufficient that Norway’s supplying companies controlled the quality of products themselves. Rosselkhoznadzor considered it also necessary to be secured with guarantees from the country’s official veterinary authority.
In 2013, as well as in 2012, Russia became the largest importer of Norwegian fish. According to the Norwegian Committee of Fish Exporters, the total value of exported fish has increased by ten percent year on year to 1.06 billion dollars in 2013, which “makes Russia the most important export market for Norway”.