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Belarus’ dairy exports to Russia comply with mutually recognizable sanitary standards

Belarusian dairy exports to are in compliance with the mutually recognizable sanitary and epidemiological documents. 

As early as in November 2008, the State Standardization Committee of Belarus initiated a joint session with the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of Russia where the sides agreed, in accordance with the law, to allow dairy producers to be certified by both Russian and Belarusian certification bodies. 

The Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology granted the Belarusian State Standardization Committee the right to carry out certification procedures (beginning December 1, 2008). Due to this, Belarusian dairy companies could apply for certificates not only in but in , as well. As of December 17, 2008, Belarusian enterprises received certificates for 1232 types of dairy products, of which 76.4% of certificates were granted by Russian agencies and the remaining 23.6% in . The Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of Russia issued sanitary and epidemiological certificates on all types of Belarusian dairy products. 

The methods applied in and to monitor the safety of Belarusian products have been unified. The mechanism of mutual recognition of sanitary and epidemiological documents issued in and is in place. This mechanism is regulated in the agreement between the healthcare ministries of and “On mutual recognition of sanitary and epidemiological certificates of the and certificates on state hygienic registration of the Republic of Belarus ” of October 23. 

The legitimacy of the agreement was confirmed by a letter of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of Russia of August 20, 2007. When meeting with a Belarusian delegation in March 2008, the chief of the Russian agency, Gennady Onishchenko, noted that the agreement is in force and that its automatic prolongation is envisaged in Article 13. At the same time during the talks on June 11 Gennady Onishchenko stated that the agreement ceased to be in force. Before then the Russian side did not notify the Republic of Belarus or the territorial offices of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of Russia that the document was invalid. 

On June 6 2009, the Russian certification agency recognized invalid 603 sanitary and epidemiological inspection reports and three state registration certificates on the Belarusian dairy products. It is worth mentioning that it denied the inspection reports which were issued by itself. Now the Russian federal service demands that the Belarusian companies should re-register and that all necessary tests re-done in the laboratories of the Russian agency. This demand comes in breach with the provisions of the agreement and means that the Russian side imposes additional requirements only on the Belarusian producers at a time when the similar epidemiological reports were issued to the producers from and other countries.

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