Imports of Norwegian salmon and trout through Belarus to Russia can be closed down throughout 2020.
On January 9, Russia closed import and transit of goods produced from Norwegian farmed fish. This is after The Russian Veterinary Authorities, Rosselkhoznadzor, in a letter to The Belarusian Veterinary Authorities had previously expressed concern about the quality of exported salmon and trout from Norway. According to Rosselkhoznadzor, remains of banned and harmful substances in fish products made from Norwegian raw materials were shipped to Russia.
There has long been uncertainty about exactly what substances the Russians believe they have found. Now The Norwegian Food Safety Authority confirms to SalmonBusiness the details behind.
“The Russian Veterinary Authorities claim to have found crystal violet in Norwegian fish processed in Belarus,” writes Elisabeth Wilmann, Director of The Norwegian Department of Fish and Seafood, in an email to SalmonBusiness.
Crystal violet is a drug that prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi and is illegal to use in food-production.
“The Norwegian Food Safety Authority will follow up as usual with the harvest farms and by tracking which sites the fish came from and what treatment they have received,” writes Wilmann.
The Russian Veterinary Authorities have wanted to inspect Norwegian fish processing companies in relation with the case, and The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has asked the Russians to come up with proposals for a visitation list.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has now received a letter from the Russians informing them that they will shut down imports of Norwegian salmon and trout until the inspections have taken place.
“The Russian Veterinary Authorities want to make inspections towards the end of 2020. It is unknown which manufacturers they wish to visit. We are now investigating whether it is possible to speed up this process,” writes Wilmann.
Wilmann concludes that The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is in close dialogue with the Belarusian authorities regarding the matter.