Russian team examines quarantine standards
November 16, 2012
After a warning of ban in export of Pakistani fruits and vegetables to Russia for not meeting quarantine standards, Russian officials led delegation has visited Pakistan to inspect growing facilities and plants here. The officials of Russian Quarantine department have visited facilities in Punjab during the last couple of days and they would be visiting/inspecting the same in Sindh, sources told Business Recorder.
Russian government, which tried to tighten the noose around Pakistani fruit and vegetable exporters by imposing stiff restrictions from June 2012, would now ensure the quality issues addressed. Pakistani concerned authorities would also try to convince the foreign delegation as the facilities here were meeting the required standards. Rusagri Surveliance Department of Russia, through a letter sent in June 2012, had warned its counterparts and concerned authorities in Pakistan that Islamabad would be facing a ban over exports of fruit and vegetable if the quarantine issues being highlighted since 2008 were not met shortly.
Through the letter, which was sent to Director Department of Plant Protection, Ministry of National Security of Food & Research, Pakistan, the Federal Service for Veterinary & Phytosanitary Surveillance, Russia had shown deep concern over the phytosanitary conditions of under-quarantine’s goods supplying to Moscow from Pakistan. According to the sources, Moscow was concerned over the excessive use of pesticides which not only damage the quality of crop but also affect its nutritional value thus having damaging impact on our potato export.
“Taking in to notice about unsatisfactory phytosanitary atmosphere in the territory of Pakistan, we consider that the supply of unhygienic products to Russia from Pakistan would bring destabilisation of phytosanitary atmosphere which ultimately reflect on food product’s security of Russian Federation. Avoiding the worst situation, we take guidance from point 1 of clause VIII of the International Convention on quarantine and plant protection (Rome, 1951 publication of 1997), Rusagri Surveliance Department has full right to apply the limitations steps for bringing the quarantine goods in the territory of Russian Federation like mandarin, rice, mango and potatoes,” the letter said.
In response to the concerns shown by Russian side, Pakistani authorities had also invited the foreign officials to visit Islamabad and inspect the facilities before restricting bilateral trade in the sector of fruit and vegetables.