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19 Aug, 2014 10:59

Russia’s fresh food safety authority intercepts European supplies through Belarus

Russia’s fresh food safety authority intercepts European supplies through Belarus

​Russia's fresh food safety watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, said it has blocked supplies of some banned agricultural products which sanctioned countries like Poland and Greece tried to re-export through Belarus.

"Some EU countries have started sending their products to Belarus without giving the real country of their origin. They write, for example - Macedonia, but we have found out that it is Poland and Greece, as the Macedonian origin has not been confirmed," ITAR-TASS quotes Sergei Dankvert, the head of Rosselkhoznadzor.

In the last few days the watchdog has stopped batches of apples, peaches, plums, and tomatoes being supplied via Belarus, that didn’t name the country of origin or said they were produced in Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia or African countries, in particular Zimbabwe, which are not covered by Russia's embargo.

As these supplies had no health check paperwork from the countries of origin, they caused suspicions.

Rosselkhoznadzor conducted analysis which showed that fruit and vegetables had been supplied from Poland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Lithuania and some other EU countries.

"We are actively monitoring the situation and will be promptly checking the origin of questionable batches," Dankvert said.

In terms of sanctions the health certification for the transit of European goods is Belarus' responsibility, Dankvert explained.

"If we uncover quarantine items, we will be imposing restrictions on supplies from Belarus," he added.

Rosselkhoznadzor intends to monitor re-exports of dairy, meat and fish products via Switzerland, Kazakhstan, and the Faroe Islands.

"Concerning Switzerland there are no cases of violation, the same applies to the Faroe Islands as there are few companies, and it will become immediately clear. However Kazakhstan has already transited goods which are in Moscow,” Dankvert said.

The issues concerning cooperation with Kazakhstan will be discussed on Wednesday with the country’s authorities, he concluded.