Monday, September 27, 2004


We have recently obtained the following memo from DEFRA, which indicates that Russia is no longer prepared to take our milk products because of our TB status. How long is it before the rest of the EU shuts down on us, in order to allow other member states to export to Russia, on the basis that, as long as the UK is allowed unrestricted access to the EU Single Market, produce can flow through to Russian unchecked?

Not so much chickens as Badgers coming home to roost... if that's what they do.

Imports Policy Branch: Customer information note - AE/APE/04/104

To: Interested organisations and Divisional Veterinary Managers

30 July 2004

Dear Sir/Madam


Purpose of CIN

1. This Customer Information Note is to update exporters on the latest developments concerning the negotiations between the EU and the Russian veterinary authority. The meetings have been held to negotiate EU-wide export health certificates with the Russian Federation.


2. The background to this issue is set out in CIN number APE/04/54 & subsequent CINs.

3. A draft veterinary agreement between the EU and Russia is being negotiated covering health certification for trade in animals and animal products and increased co-operation between veterinary services.

4. Russia’s position is that it no longer wishes to allow imports of animals and animal products from EU Member States using bilaterally agreed export health certificates and will discuss new certification only with the EU Commission. Russia has extended its deadline to 30 September 2004 beyond which it states that it will not accept bilateral certification. Exports from EU Member States will stop if Russia and the EU cannot agree certification by then.

Stage of negotiations

5. Several technical meetings have taken place this year between the EU and Russia and a further one is due to take place on 2 August. Progress has so far been difficult and slow. EU Chief Veterinary Officers also met in July to review progress.

6. The EU and Russia are currently concentrating on five export health certificates:

a) Pork;
b) Breeding cattle;
c) Beef;
d) Milk & dairy products; and
e) Poultry meat.
The Russians have shown little or no preparedness to negotiate over their import requirements. For example, in relation to dairy products, the Russians are insisting on herd freedom from bovine tuberculosis and have rejected pasteurisation as an acceptable alternative. Unless the Russians move
from this position, this will mean all milk or cream from which the dairy product is derived must be certified as having come from TB free herds.

7. The UK will continue to make its concerns about the proposed Russian import requirements to the Council Secretariat and the Commission. We have argued that the conditions in the certificates must be unmistakeably clear so that all Member States view and interpret them in the same way. British companies should be aware that, unless the Russian negotiating position changes, the result of the EU/Russian discussions might be certification which UK companies will find difficult to meet.

Further Enquiries

8. If you have any further enquiries concerning this Customer Information Note, please contact Exports Strategy Branch on 020 7904 6404 or fax 020 7904 6428.

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