Russia stops import of Norwegian salmon and trout via Belarus

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Belarus has evolved to become Norway’s largest buyer of trout. But from January 9th, transit sales to Russia will be closed.

After Russia closed its borders to Norwegian salmon and trout in August 2014, a countermeasure against the West’s economic sanctions in connection with the Crimean crisis and the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger aircraft over eastern Ukraine, the superpower has barely bought a kilo of Norwegian salmon or trout since.

Customs Agreement
But quantities of Norwegian salmon and trout have entered Russia via neighbouring Belarus, which has a common customs agreement with Russia.

In fact, no country has bought more trout from Norway than Belarus in 2019.

Just before Christmas, SalmonBusiness was able to report that Russian veterinary authorities, Rosselkhoznadzor, in a letter to Belarusian veterinary authorities expressed concern about the quality of exported salmon and trout from Norway.

Findings
The Russians said that they found residues of banned and harmful substances repeatedly in fish products made from Norwegian raw materials forwarded to Russia.

Against this background, Russian veterinary authorities have taken the initiative to inspect Norwegian farms.

The response from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has been lukewarm.

Suspended
On December 25, Rosselkhoznadzor announced that they will suspend certification for deliveries of Norwegian trout and salmon to Russia.

Rosselkhoznadzor asked the Eurasian Economic Union to ensure that Norwegian fish isn’t delivered to Russia from other countries in the trading bloc from Jan. 9, according to a statement on the website.

“The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service sent a notification to the Norwegian Plants, Fish, Animal and Food Supervision Service (Mattilsynet) that the Rosselkhoznadzor has requested the authorized bodies of the EAEU member countries from January 9, 2020 to ensure that supplies to Russia are not allowed products made from Norwegian raw materials of aquacultural origin (salmon, trout). In addition, from this date the transit of finished products derived from Norwegian aquaculture products through Russia will be suspended,’ it wrote.