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Russia to ban vegetable, fruit imports from Poland

July 30, 2014, 14:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian agricultural watchdog said the ban would apply to all types of cabbage, as well as peaches, nectarines, plums and black thorns
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© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, July 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will ban Polish vegetable and fruit imports from August 1 over the breach of food safety standards, the country’s agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Wednesday.

“The ban will apply to virtually all vegetables and fruits, such as apples, pears, quince, cherry, sweet cherry and cabbage, all fresh-refrigerated vegetables,” assistant to the Rosselkhoznadzor head Alexei Alekseyenko said.

The Russian agricultural watchdog said the ban would apply to all types of cabbage, as well as peaches, nectarines, plums and black thorns.

Russia will impose the ban due to Poland’s breach of certification requirements and the presence of quarantine harmful organisms in Polish imports, Alekseyenko said.

The Russian agricultural watchdog has registered 27 instances of finding two quarantine harmful organisms in Polish imports since the start of 2014.

Rosselkhoznadzor has also revealed that Polish vegetables and fruits pose a threat to human health in many instances due to excessive concentrations of pesticide residue levels and the presence of nitrates.

The Rosselkhoznadzor said that its Moscow, Moscow and Tula Region branch alone had exposed 211 Polish fruit and vegetable batches weighing a total of over 3,700 tons with pesticide residue content exceeding permissible levels by 2-15 times in the first half of 2014.

Excessive pesticide levels were found in 90% of all Polish apples inspected by Rosselkhoznadzor.

Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergei Dankvert also told ITAR-TASS earlier that the ban would be imposed on the whole country and not just on certain producers, as it was impossible to impose restrictions on certain enterprises in Poland because of a big number of

suppliers.

The ban came as an absolute surprise for Europe. Russia had not warned beforehand about a possible ban, a European Commission official told reporters in Brussels, adding that the Commission would closely look into the causes for Russia’s embargo.

A source from the European Commission said the EU could refer the matter to the World Trade Organisation. Earlier, Russia’s EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said veterinary and phytosanitary norms were “not within the competence of the WTO, as they are connected with matters of healthcare rather than trade”.

 

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