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Rosselkhoznadzor: New Concerns About Possible Re-exports From Belarus Featured

13 November 2015

Once again Belarusian exports are under suspect of re-exporting products originally from locations that are not correctly identified in documentation, according to an official report on Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance's (Rosselkhoznadzor) website.

Mushrooms, radishes and several types of fruits in increasing amounts have caught the attention of Russian inspectors. According to the agency in its press release, over the past several months the risk of destabilizing the country's food security has sharply increased due to products entering Russia without proper documentation and unclear origins.

Rosselkhoznadzor reported that this situation the possibility that the certificates on products coming from Belarus have been falsified could upset Russia's food security and strain the relationship between the corresponding agencies of the two countries.

Previously Belarus had shipped relatively low or no supplies these types of food products (radishes, mushrooms and several types of fruit) to the Russian market.

As a result of the food embargo, Belarus has become a major supplier of products that it had previously not supplied to its eastern neighbor, Rosselkhoznadzor said in a press release adding that, in particular, there has been a noticeable growth and re-export of exotic fruits and berries.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor's report, “the activities of the phytosanitary control in the country has already led to the fact that the berries' (strawberries, blackberries and raspberries) morphology and seasonal features point to those originating from three countries: mushrooms accompanied by falsified phytosanitary Moroccan and Turkish certificates, and South Africa as the origin for the radishes; countries that have not previously supplied these products to Russia”.

There has been a significant increase in the number of instances that food products with falsified certificates have been shipped to Russia by way of Belarus. By the end of 2014, Rosselkhoznadzor inspectors reported 82 instances of falsified documents, and since the beginning of this year there have been a reported 388 incidences.

The fake certificates often list Turkey, Mecedonia, Ecuador, Egypt, South Africa, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, Israel, Brazil and Chile as countries of origin.

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