STC Number - 341

Russia's listing of export establishments

Maintained by: Russian Federation
Raised by: European Union
Supported by: Morocco; Norway; United States of America
First date raised: October 2012 G/SPS/R/69, paras. 21-23
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Customs Union decision 830; Customs Union decision 834
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2012, the European Union raised concerns that Russia had systematically refused the guarantees provided by EU member States for the listing of new establishments interested in exporting to Russia. No scientific justification was provided nor explanation given as to why member State guarantees, which were relied upon in the past, were no longer trusted. Further, Russia had increased restrictions through the temporary suspension of imports from certain EU establishments without scientific justification. Restrictions were introduced on casings establishments despite the low risk profile of this commodity, as recognized by the OIE. Similar unfounded restrictions had been introduced on dairy and meat product establishments following a regional outbreak of Noro virus, apparently based on the assumption that the outbreak was due to inadequate veterinary supervision, without any real consideration of the risk at stake or the epidemiological link. The European Union requested Russia to lift its restrictions and facilitate the listing of establishments, and to take only proportionate measures if and when there was a scientific basis.

Morocco, Norway and the United States shared similar concerns regarding the listing of establishments. Norway specifically was concerned about the listing of companies that intended to export to Russia, as well as the process of reauthorizing already inspected companies which were temporarily not allowed to export to Russia. The United States expressed concerns with Russia maintaining registry requirements for certain products while it had agreed in its accession process and Customs Union decision 830 to remove these requirements. Morocco shared similar concerns, and requested Russia to provide these new listings to the concerned countries in order to avoid economic repercussions.

Russia affirmed that it intended to comply with all the SPS-related commitments undertaken during its accession. It sought to implement its obligations under the WTO without disrupting or impairing its trade with former trading partners. The customs union regulation on joint inspection, Customs Union decision 834, considered the audit of foreign surveillance systems to establish their equivalence as the main mechanism to ensure the safety of imports. This was the same principle used by the European Union. Those establishments that had previously had the right to export to Russia could continue to do so, and imports from others would be permitted following a successful audit. The issue with regard to casings was that some products certified as coming from the European Union appeared to be sourced elsewhere. Russia was open to further discuss these matters with the European Union.