Russia bans animal product imports from 6 German processors

Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) has banned imports of products from six German processors of intestinal products.

The ban was imposed because the watchdog suspects that these processors ships products made from raw material that comes from countries from which imports are banned in Russia, such as China, Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergei Dankvert told Interfax.

"At the beginning of July we asked the veterinary service of Germany to urgently carry out an audit of these enterprises. We proposed to begin them on any day of the working week from July 23 and carry them out within two weeks. But we didn't get approval for this, later dates were proposed to us. In this situation we had no choice but to impose restrictions," Dankvert said.

He said the refusal to conduct inspections raises suspicions. "It looks like they planned to eliminate evidence of the use of intestinal raw materials from third countries at these enterprises, in other words clean up loose ends," Dankvert said. "We ran into this practice during an audit of certain enterprises in Italy."

Products from third countries were re-certified and claimed to be European, he said.

"You could say that this again shows that the system of product certification in the European Union is perverted and does not comply with the memorandum signed between Russia and the EU in 2004," Dankvert said.

He said that the Russian regulator sent a request for information on supplies of intestinal raw materials from China to German plants to the deputy director general of the European Commission DG for Health and Consumers, Ladislav Miko. A letter has been sent to the head of animal health at Germany's Ministry for Consumer Protection and Agriculture, Karin Schwabenbauer spelling out the reasons for the ban on imports from the six processors. The main reason is to prevent imports of products into Russia that do not meet the safety and veterinary health standards of the Customs Union.

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