Rosselkhoznadzor confirms lifting of beef import ban from seven Belarus' companies
MINSK, 6 February (BelTA) – Rosselkhoznadzor has confirmed that it lifted the ban on the import of beef made by seven Belarusian meat processing companies to the territory of the Russian Federation. The information was posted on the official website of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor), BelTA has learned.
The Rosselkhoznadzor press service posted a message that reads that on 5 February Rosselkhoznadzor signed a protocol of the meeting that took place on 23 January 2015 where a decision was made to lift the ban on the supplies of Belarusian meat products to the territory of the Russian Federation. In line with the protocol, Russia is ready to resume the import of chilled and frozen beef from seven out of nine Belarusian meat processing companies that had been earlier included in Russia's import ban list over the African swine fever virus genome. The import can be resumed on the next day after the signing of the protocol. The ban is still effective in respect of the meat processing companies from Bobruisk and Minsk.
However, to be able to resume their beef exports to Russia, the Belarusian companies need to remove the flaws detected during the inspection. Besides, each batch of products made by the Belarusian meat processing companies should be subjected to laboratory control (within three months after the removal of the temporary restrictions) to make sure the products comply with the food safety requirements of the Eurasian Economic Union in terms of microbiological safety and the amount of residues of banned and hazardous substances.
According to Rosselkhoznadzor, the removal of the import ban from the remaining two companies will be discussed after they complete their upgrade projects and eliminate the flaws detected during the inspection.
Following the Moscow talks of the Eurasian Economic Commission on 3 February, Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus Leonid Zayats told reporters that a decision was made to allow nine Belarusian companies to resume beef supplies to Russia. Later a representative of the Rosselkhoznadzor press service refuted this information.
As was informed, in early October 2014 Russia imposed a ban on food supplies from more than 20 Belarusian meat processing companies. Nine of them were banned from supplying to Russia because the African swine fever virus genome was allegedly found in their products. Another 17 companies were banned from supplying to Russia because hazardous substances were reported to be detected there. The restrictions were lifted by the start of 2015. The remaining nine companies could partially resume their supplies to Russia on 24 January. The products in question include beef that underwent heat treatment. At the end of January Rosselkhoznadzor specialists conducted audits at four meat processing companies, namely those from Minsk, Slutsk, Bobruisk and Mogilev. Leonid Zayats told reporters that no serious violations were detected during the audits.