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Belarusian dairy products may face problems entering Russia

By Jim Cornall+

10-Feb-2017

Belarusian dairy exports to Russia are coming under increased scrutiny. Pic: ©iStock/Jakub Pavlinec/bymandeisgns
Belarusian dairy exports to Russia are coming under increased scrutiny. Pic: ©iStock/Jakub Pavlinec/bymandeisgns

Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, has issued a statement on the situation regarding export of dairy products from Belarus to the Russian Federation.

The service said it had “deep concern” associated with an increase in Belarusian companies’ attempts to import into Russia animal products of unknown origin, as well as non-compliance to Russian quality and safety legislation requirements.

Introducing traceability

Rosselkhoznadzor said it was responding to Belarussian claims that the issues were being fabricated in Russia.

To counter this, Rosselkhoznadzor said that, at the request of the Belarusian side, it will introduce traceability from the administrative border crossing point to the place of sale.

"In connection with the revealed facts of violations Rosselkhoznadzor is currently ongoing monitoring of imported Belarusian products on its conformity to the safety standards of the EEU and Russia," the statement says.

Other products, including beef and beef offal, and poultry products, are also affected by the increased scrutiny from Russia.

Positive Listeria tests and milk issues

Rosselkhoznadzor said that from January 1, 2017 to the present time, samples taken on the border with Belarus detected 28 cases of Listeria monocytogenes in Belarusian products.

The agency said it also identified multiple cases of the use of milk powder in the manufacture of drinking milk, which, in accordance with the technical regulations of the Customs Union 033/2013, must be produced without the addition of dry milk ingredients.

Noted in the statement were Zdravushka milk, Danone’s JLLC UNIMILK Pruzhany, Mozyr Dairy Products and the JSC Molodechno Dairy plant.

These facts point to the substitution of raw materials in the manufacture of dairy products, and the use of raw materials of unknown origin, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

The Belarusian dairy companies named in the statement did not respond to DairyReporter’s requests for comment on the issue.

Tensions high

Tensions between Belarus and Russia remain high on several fronts, including on energy exports from Russia to Belarus, and agricultural products heading in the opposite direction.

In December, 2016, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko did not attend the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Eurasian Economic Union summits that took place in St. Petersburg, and several Russian media outlets have complained of Belarus moving towards the west, including a recent move to allow five-day visa-free visits to Belarus from nationals of 80 countries, including the EU.

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