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Russia bans 18 tonnes of grapefruit from Netherlands shipped as South African

September 24, 2014, 15:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
No original or certified copy of a phytosanitary certificate from a South African producer existed among documents accompanying the shipment
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© EPA/OMER SALEEM

MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian veterinary standards officials have detained a batch of more than 18 tonnes of grapefruit being shipped from The Netherlands to Russia, side-stepping Moscow's embargo on imports from the West.

According to a Dutch phytosanitary certificate, the consignment was grown in the Republic of South Africa, Rosselkhoznadzor agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

No original or certified copy of a phytosanitary certificate from a South African producer existed among documents accompanying the shipment, the statement said.

“It means that the cargo owner was most likely trying to conceal the real sender and to pass European grapefruit off as South African,” Russian officials said. The deliveries were sent back to The Netherlands, the statement added.

The ban announced at the start of August bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway for 12 months in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over events in Ukraine.

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