Sunday, October 17, 2004

Missing the point

The Russian saga continues to baffle most of the trade and civil servants charged with the operation of the new bi-lateral veterinary certificate.

The editors of this site have received conflicting accounts of its impact.

From a senior civil servant. "Your fears are unfounded"

From a representative of the dairy trade. " All ingredients used in products destined for the Russian market would be certified in the processing country, and I see no reason why this would prevent our products being exported to the EU for onward processing"

From an investigative journalist, when he'd talked to the EU Commission. "You're absolutely right"

This new veterinary certificate as described in the Europa press release (on this site) breaks the principle of EU community trade in a very important respect. It allows the Commission to 'isolate any Member State or region within a Member State", whose products - (in this instance Animals and Animal Products) - put at risk Community trade as a whole. We cannot hide behind onward processing, because this veterinary certificate will follow products from source, and they will only be taken if exporters can certify that the product in question has come from herds free of tuberculosis, para-tuberculosis (Johnnes disease) and brucellosis for a minimum of 12 months.

This certificate has nothing at all to do with bovine Tb or pasteurisation. It has everything to do with market management by Russia of its own industries - and good luck to them, at least they are still able to do that.
It is all about the protection by the EU Commission of a 1 billion euro community export market with Russia, which the Commission is not going to jeopardise because we will not control the wildlife maintenance vector of bovine tb.

We are unlikely to hear much more for a week or two, as the UK is hosting a Russian trade fair and woe betide anyone who rocks that particular boat.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

18 October.
Our civil servant has passed this particular parcel to - Defra! Or to be more precise, the Tb strategy team.

We didn't think they had one - strategy that is.