BUSINESS

Russia bans a number of animal-based Greek imports

By Dimitra Manifava

Russian authorities have imposed a temporary embargo on all Greek animal products as of Monday, July 15 and a partial ban on Greek fish farm products, making Greek exporters pay for the lack of proper preparation by certain exporting enterprises and for the incompetence of state veterinary agencies.

The decision by Russia will deal a blow of 48 Greek firms, irrespectively of whether they have strictly complied with legislation or not.

The reason for the Russian government’s decision was not that dangerous foodstuffs were found during inspections, but because a panel of Russian veterinary experts examining 16 Greek enterprises found that certain infringements of admittedly complicated veterinary and hygiene regulations.

The Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Department is also to blame for the situation, as a confidential document seen by Kathimerini suggests that either the service failed to do its job properly or enterprises failed to submit the certificates of inspection to Russian authorities. Russian law provides that any Greek companies exporting dairy products and fish or seafood to Russia must be approved by Russian authorities, which often requires on-the-spot inspections by Russian experts.

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