On December 4, 2014, Russia’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) announced temporary restrictions for imports of US poultry, poultry by-products, and prepared products from poultry as of December 5, 2014, citing detections of harmful and banned substances in poultry products imported from the US.
Additionally, on December 17, 2014, VPSS issued field instructions to its regional offices, introducing temporary restrictions as of December 18, 2014, on imports of non-heat-treated US poultry and related goods, as well as imports of live poultry and hatching eggs from Washington State, due to HPAI detection in Washington State.
Nikolay Vlasov, Deputy Head of Rosselkhoznadzor, sent a letter to Ms. Jane Doherty, International Coordination Executive at the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) which, in particular, says that due to the increase in the number of cases when poultry products that are dangerous in sanitary and veterinary terms were imported to Russia from the US, Rosselkhoznadzor, in June 2014 requested that FSIS, within its competence, enhance the control over livestock products, including poultry, exported to Russia, to ensure their compliance with the requirements of the Customs Union and the Russian Federation.
As the letter further states, it should be noted that residues of prohibited and dangerous substances continue to be detected in the US poultry products, including antibiotics of tetracycline group, which is a gross violation of the requirements and standards of the Customs Union, revealing that there is a lack of control on the part of the US Veterinary Service.
In addition, Rosselkhoznadzor noted the common practice when the US Veterinary Service fails to provide materials on the corrective actions related to the significant number of the revealed violations of the requirements of the Customs Union and the Russian Federation, which were notified by Rosselkhoznadzor to FSIS in a timely manner.
Thus, letters of about 54 violations were sent during the current year alone, and only 3 responses were received. Additionally, the system of control over food safety at the US poultry establishments saw changes in October 2014, which, according to Rosselkhoznadzor experts, may lead to a substantial decrease in the food safety level of the US poultry products. The US Veterinary Service failed to inform Rosselkhoznadzor about the coming changes in advance.
Taking into account all these circumstances, and in order to ensure the food safety of poultry products delivered to the Russian market, Rosselkhoznadzor, as of December 5, 2014, imposed temporary restrictions on the import of poultry and poultry by-products, as well as prepared poultry products from the US establishments to the territory of the Russian Federation.
In order to resolve the situation, Rosselkhoznadzor has proposed to hold negotiations and consultations with the US during the International Agricultural Exhibition “Green Week” in Berlin in January 2015.