The 70th meeting of the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in which experts of Rosselkhoznadzor participated was held in Geneva (Switzerland). The main topic of the meeting was the issue of regionalization. The European Union voiced its complaints to South Africa, South Korea and China on the restrictions imposed on imports of European products. The representatives of the abovementioned countries, in turn, questioned the ability of the European Union to ensure the biosafety of its products.
In particular, the spread of ASF in Poland caused a ban on product supplies from all over Poland in a number of countries. Despite the objections from the EU, the representative of South Korea drew the Committee's attention to the fact that the Section on Animal Health and Welfare of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Foodstuffs and Feeds (SCPAFF) at the July meeting confirmed the insufficiency of measures to ensure biosafety in the EU; he also supposed that the illegal movement of pig products is the main reason for ASF spread in Polish backyard farms.
The EU member countries also expressed disagreement with regionalization with regard to highly pathogenic avian influenza. The European Union stated about absence of uniform application of the OIE international standards in this field and expressed the opinion that the introduction of the country's new restrictions on individual EU member states has no scientific justification and is inappropriate in the context of the single EU market. The EU's disagreement is also caused by the restrictions that are imposed when a virus is detected only in wild birds, as well as restrictions on heat-treated products. Finally, the EU is displeased with the fact that not all WTO members inform the EU about the stages of their recognition of the regionalization of third countries.
In its turn, the United States announced the recovery of its disease-free status with regard to highly pathogenic avian influenza in August of this year and called for the lifting of restrictions on the import of poultry products from the United States.
The Members of the Committee also expressed concern about India's requirement to process imported agricultural products with bromomethyl. Colombia, Senegal and the USA proposed alternative treatment methods - phosphine. According to the representative of Senegal, scientific publications confirm the effectiveness of this substance in pest control as the use of bromomethyl is aimed at pest destruction. In response, India reported that until December 31, 2017, it provides a possibiluty to treat import consignments with bromomethyl not in the country of export, but upon the arrival of the consignment to India, while the Montreal Protocol permits the use of bromomethyl for quarantine treatment of imports.
In the framework of a bilateral meeting on the margins of the Committee, the Russian delegation expressed to the representative of India its concern about the Indian requirements for bromomethyl fumigation of grain imported from Russia. The Russian side expressed hope that the issue could be solved within the framework of bilateral cooperation between the countries. The European Union once again stated that it is concerned about the temporary restrictions imposed by Russia on the supply of meat and dairy products from Germany and fish products from Latvia and Estonia. The Russian representative responded by recalling that the limitations were caused by systemic shortcomings in the work of both competent authorities and establishments of these countries, which is confirmed by the results of the arranged inspections.
Presently, the comments from Latvia and Estonia on preliminary reports of these inspections are expected. The work between the Rosselkhoznadzor and Germany on analyzing and amending the instructions for conducting official inspections of establishments exporting food products of animal origin to the Russian Federation and the EAEC will be continued.
Russia has confirmed its readiness for effective interaction and dialogue with EU member states.