A meeting between Sergey Dankvert, Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, and Hoang Trung, Director General of the Plant Protection Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam, was held as a closing meeting for the Vietnam auditors’ mission in Russia in Moscow on April 3, 2019.
The RF Ministry of Agriculture, Vietnamese Embassy to the RF officials as well as representatives of companies interested in grains trade participated to the meeting.
Hoang Trung thanked the Rosselkhoznadzor for arranging the Vietnam delegation visit to Russia and noted that the said visit was aimed at developing and strengthening cooperation between two authorities as well as at auditing the Russian system for quarantine phytosanitary control (surveillance) and system ensuring safety and quality of grains and products thereof.
Hoang Trung highly appreciated the organization of the inspection and noted that the Rosselkhoznadzor created the best possible conditions for effective mission in Russia. The Vietnamese auditors visited the Rosselkhoznadzor-subordinated institutions and laboratories that performed tests to confirm phytosanitary state, quality and safety of grains and products thereof. Also, they visited shipping sites located in the Rostov Oblast.
The Vietnamese competent authority representative underlined that the inspection allowed them to form a view of the Russian system of shipped grains control and to identify its weaknesses and strengths. In particular, the Vietnamese inspectors were satisfied with the Russian laboratories equipment and staff-members’ qualifications as well as official control implementation through the whole grain product manufacturing and movement chain. The conclusions made upon the visit completion indicated that Russian grains export to Vietnam would be continued.
However, the export will be possible providing that the Vietnamese requirements are strictly observed namely those for contamination of the consignments with corn thistle seeds, plant that is quarantinable for Vietnam. The said pest is most found in the mixed grains consignments. Therewith, wheat supplies from the Rostov Oblast that is free from the said quarantinable pest and has transparent system for grain movement traceability is a greater priority for Vietnam than supplies from the Krasnodar Krai where the consignments are formed of the grains brought from different regions.
The Vietnamese party addressed to the Rosselkhoznadzor with a request to provide information on corn thistle occurrence in Russia’s territory and reminded that wheat has to be shipped only from the regions free from the said pest since November 1, 2018. Vietnam will make a list of such regions when the said phytosanitary information is provided and will sent specialists to perform checks and pre-shipment inspections. It was also noted that Vietnam was interested in direct trade relations between exporters and importers of both countries without intermediaries. Such relations are more beneficial, productive and responsible.
Sergey Dankvert thanked the Vietnamese delegation for visiting Russia and informed that the said visit played a significant role for building an effective grain shipment control system in the country.
The Vietnamese market is very valuable for Russia. At present, Vietnam is one of the three biggest importers of Russian wheat – the volume of its import amounted to 2.5 million tons in 2018.
The Rosselkhoznadzor takes the Vietnamese requirements very seriously and makes all the necessary arrangements to ensure their observance when exporting grain. It was noted that all the wheat consignments intended for export to Vietnam can be exported only after they have been thoroughly prepared by exporters and inspected by the supervising authority.
Currently, the Rosselkhoznadzor is initiating amendments to the Russian Federation legislation with respect to strengthening requirements for dispatch areas and grain elevators, as well as with respect to restrictions on mixing grain from different areas in one export consignment. The authority is also proposing the implementation of a registration system for the companies exporting grain and grain products to the countries that put forward strict import requirements.
In conclusion, the parties agreed to shortly draw up and sign a document regulating conditions for grain and grain product export from Russia to Vietnam. In 2000, a Memorandum was signed between the Ministries of Agriculture of the two countries, but the Vietnamese plant quarantine legislation has changed significantly since then, and this requires the development of a new document. It will contain, in particular, the Vietnamese import requirements for wheat, including strict official controls at all production stages and the movement of grain “from field to ship”. One of the conditions will be pre-shipment grain monitoring. Such monitoring is carried out by Izrael, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other countries importing Russian grain.
The Vietnamese import requirements for imported grain and grain products are available in “Import. Export. Transit” section of the Rosselkhoznadzor web-site. Their structured and detailed description can be found in the press release published by the Authority in September 2018.
The attention to this issue results from the need for strict observance of the requirements of the countries importing Russian grain in order to avoid losing the right of Russia to export products to foreign markets. It will be recalled that previously the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Vietnam notified the detection of the following quarantinable objects in Russian wheat: grain weevil (October-November 2017) and Canadian thistle seeds (May, June, September 2018). Upon receipt of the notifications, the Rosselkhoznadzor decided to enhance control of quarantinable plant pests, as well as of the quality and safety of grain product export shipments.