Rosselkhoznadzor lifted restrictions on importation from Pakistan

    04 December 2013

The negotiation took place on December 4, 2013. It discussed cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the field of phytosanitary control. Russia was represented by Alexander Isaev, Head of the Department for Phytosanitary Control and Grain Quality.

During the meeting, Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian Agricultural Control Department) informed the Business Council for Cooperation with Pakistan that the temporary restrictions for citrus fruit import from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan would be cancelled on December 9, 2013 if the goods meet international and Russian phytosanitary regulations.

Those temporary restrictions were imposed on October 9, 2013 on all high-risk phytosanitary products subject to quarantine by Rosselkhoznadzor. This decision was associated with constant violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements. The restrictions served to prevent introduction and distribution of quarantine objects in the country as well as to keep the phytosanitary situation in Russia stable.

Rosselkhoznadzor resorted to such measures due to a number of serious violations committed by Pakistan. First and foremost, only in year 2013, 14 cases of yellow potato cyst nematode, which is a quarantine object in Russia, were discovered in Pakistani potato supply. These products went with certificates issued by the National Organization for Quarantine and Plant Protection of Pakistan. These certificates should have guaranteed safety of the products and their conformity to Russian regulations.

Besides, Rosselkhoznadzor discovered several counterfeit certificates for Pakistani phytosanitary production. Another reason for temporary restrictions was Pakistan ignoring the Protocol, which concerned mutual security control of phytosanitary products. The Protocol was developed by Russian and Pakistani officials one year ago.

The representatives of Rosselkhoznadzor stressed that the Service provides open information. On its website, the Service publishes materials concerning imported products that do not conform to Russia’s phytosanitary regulations as well as steps taken to prevent destabilization of phytosanitary situation in Russia.

The negotiation also covered the possible cancellation of temporary restriction for importing other high-risk phytosanitary goods, such as rice, potatoes, etc. Rosselkhoznadzor will consider this issue only after Pakistan provides information concerning measures taken to ensure phytosanitary safety of these products. Moreover, Rosselkhoznadzor officials must inspect the places where these goods are produced, packaged and shipped.

The negotiation took place in a friendly setting and showed that both sides are interested in further development of Russian-Pakistani economic relations. The managers of the Business Council for Cooperation with Pakistan noted that the Council is putting all the effort into the quickest solution of the issues raised at the meeting.