Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on a number of German meat plants, warning it might ban all meat imports from the country if concerns over veterinary and sanitary standards are not urgently addressed.
Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, said that recent inspections of approved German plants supplying finished meat and intestine casings had revealed that not all of them were complying with Russia’s veterinary and sanitary requirements. It claimed that German veterinary authorities were inaccurately certifying products intended for export to Russia, with falsification of data on veterinary certificates in some cases.
It added that there was inefficient cooperation between Germany’s national and regional veterinary services, and evidence that raw materials from EU countries and third countries, including China and Pakistan, were being used by German plants to produce finished products for export to Russia.
A spokesperson for the agency said the detection of “systematic violations” suggested the guarantees provided by German veterinary authorities were “groundless”. They added that, from 10 December 2012, temporary restrictions would be imposed on a number of German plants, with Rosselkhoznadzor currently considering issuing restrictions on the import of meat products from all plants located in Germany’s Northern Westfalen, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein regions.
Yevgeny Nepoklonov, deputy head of Rosselkhoznadzor, has written to Germany’s chief veterinary officer Dr Karin Schwabenbauer, outlining Russia’s concerns and warning that unless Germany took “urgent measures” to address Russia’s concerns, Rosselkhoznadzor would be forced to impose temporary restrictions on all meat imports from Germany.
The letter also stated that Russian vets would carry out an inspection of German meat and milk processing plants in February 2013.