The negotiations were held on the 9th of March 2017 at the
initiative of the Russian side and were devoted to crucial issues of
export-import relations between Russia and the EU. Due to wide spread of avian influenza
(AI) in the European Union the Russian side expressed its concern about
effectiveness of measures taken by DG SANTE and the EU veterinary bodies in
order to prevent spread of the disease and about equivalence of the approaches
chosen by the European Commission in relation to poultry product supplies from
Russia to the EU in case of AI. Special attention of the Rosselkhoznadzor to
the issue is explained by the fact that Russia in strict compliance with its
WTO commitments and the OIE Code recommendations, recognizes regionalization
implemented by the EU and imposes restrictions on poultry products only from
those administrative districts that are considered infected by the Directorate
General of the European Commission based on its own risk assessment.
On the contrary, after the first AI outbreak in the Republic
of Kalmykia the European Commission banned imports of poultry products to the
EU from the entire territory of Russia and so far the EU has not recognized
zoning of Russia’s territory implemented by the Rosselkhoznadzor, despite the
information on epizootic investigations into AI outbreaks in Russia and
measures taken to eradicate the disease.
Micheal Scannel one more time referred to the current EU
risk analysis procedure that is common for all the EU trade partners and
expressed readiness to accelerate work, if the Rosselkhoznadzor timely provides
additional materials on the current situation on these diseases in Russia.
Issue of FMD regionalization is within the same context, as Nikolai Vlasov thinks.
Taking into account positive assessment of the materials provided
by the Rosselkhoznadzor on FMD eradication in the Vladimir Oblast and the fact
that the OIE reinstated Russia to its list of countries with a zone free from
FMD without vaccination, DG SANTE is obliged to address the issue of access to
the EU market for Russian livestock products from disease-free regions. Micheal
Scannel confirmed that DG SANTE is preparing a questionnaire for the
Rosselkhoznadzor. As soon as it is completed and the answers are analyzed, it
will be possible to consider conditions for import of products from FMD-free
regions of Russia to the EU.
The Rosselkhoznadzor confirmed that it was ready to answer
all the EU questions and as well as to present newly adopted Russia’s rules of
regionalization for infectious animal diseases and compartmentalization rules
at the WTO SPS Committee in Geneva and then to submit them to DG SANTE.
In conclusion, the sides discussed Russia’s intention to
update Register of establishments and individuals producing, processing and
(or) storing regulated products imported to the CU customs territory and having
formal access to the Russian market, however, some of the listed establishments
have either never supplied Russia or have not supplied for a long time, i.e.
they simply do not have positive trade history supported by lab monitoring
results or positive border control.
The Rosselkhoznadzor recalled that Russia’s commitment
undertaken within its accession to the WTO simplified access to the Russian
market for loads of livestock producers based on the assurance of the
surveillance authorities that Russian import requirements are fully complied
with. Meanwhile, analysis of the above-mentioned Register (Register of establishments
and individuals producing, processing and (or) storing regulated products
imported to the CU customs territory) revealed that thousands of the listed
establishments have never exported to Russia and very likely have not been
officially controlled for their compliance with the EAEU veterinary and
sanitary requirements. This is proved by results of many inspections carried
out by the Rosselkhoznadzor in different countries when up to 70% of the
inspected plants did not manage to demonstrate full compliance with the RF
Therefore, in order to retain an option of supplying
livestock products, also from the countries under Russian counter-sanctions
imposed in August, 2014, the exporters should confirm their status of
establishments strictly complying with the RF veterinary and sanitary
requirements and the veterinary services of the exporting countries should update
corresponding guarantees providing to the Rosselkhoznadzor information in
compliance with the developed questionnaires.
As It has already been said, it is of primary importance to
first update guarantees related to the establishments that have never supplied
to Russia, then related to establishments that have not supplied for more than
Until the work is completed, the establishments will be
listed in the Register with a status mark “no export”. This measure will certainly
have no impact on regular suppliers, i.e. no resections will be extended on the
Responding to the concern expressed by the European
Commission that this work could require a lot of time and efforts from the keen
exporters, the Russian side pointed out that it is rather flexible about the
time limit for submission of the completed questionnaires, the 1st of June,
2017 is set as the first date of submission.
Alongside with it, in case the current sanctions are lifted,
the establishments that have timely updated their status in the Register will
have a greater advantage, when supplies to Russia are resumed.
In conclusion, the two sides expressed gratitude for a
fruitful and effective dialogue and highlighted importance of the joint work
between the RF and EU competent authorities, because it provides optimal and
equivalent conditions for reciprocal trade.