Russian customs will reopen for Albanian products. After the embargo put on December 8th from Russia, with the pretence that Albania has been used as a fake origin country for the import of European Union goods, seems that the case has been solved.

Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor in its official website write about the meeting organized between Rosselkhoznadzor Vice Director, Alexei Saurin and General Secretary of the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture, Vojo Bega.

According to the official release the meeting was help upon the request of the Albanian side and aimed to discuss about the provisions that need to be taken in order to build a mutual understanding and for preventing the damaging of Albanian products exports in the Russian Federation.

“In the future Albania is going to extend the range of exported goods to include in it meat and dairy products”

Vojo Bregu explained the importance of exports of the Albanian products in Russia for the economy of the country. For this reason the Ministry of Agriculture in Albania has undertaken emergency provisions to restart the interrupted exports due to reasons related with the falsification of the phytosanitary certificates. Immediate provisions have been taken especially for the production of new certificates, with high security level. The certificates used upon now will not be valid after December 31, 2014.

Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has been handed a list of the institutions authorized to give certificates for the products which are planned to be exported in Russia. This agency was also provided with specimen signatures of these inspectors and their stamp impressions. The Albanian party handed over also reference materials on Albanian croplands and crop yields. They suggested using a system of preliminary notification of the Rosselkhoznadzor about quarantineable consignments shipped to Russian importers. An ad hoc group will be created for solving controversial issues. Only domestic products will be exported from Albania to Russia.

Vojo Bregu emphasized that in the future Albania is going to extend the range of exported goods to include in it meat and dairy products. He also invited the Russian delegation to pay a working visit to Albania.

Alexey Saurin in his turn mentioned the importance to enhance control over international export-import operations due to increase in criminal activity after Russia had taken retaliatory economic measures. A significant role in provision of safe plant product export from Albania to Russia will belong to a bilateral document which will regulate these supplies. Rosselkhoznadzor specialists will be able to start preparation of this document after they have studied materials submitted by the Albanian party.

What happened?

December 3, 2014.Russian news agency ITAR-TASS states that Russia bans vegetable imports from Albania with the pretense that they come from European Union countries, while Russia starting from August has banned imports from these countries by putting agricultural embargo. ITAR-TASS states that Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has decided to ban vegetable import from Albanian starting from December 8th.

Head of Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Sergej Dankvert declares that the decision was taken after the collaboration with the Albanian side. According to him, the investigation started after it was discovered that an Albanian company gave fake phytosanitary certificates, which were printed in a printing house in the Czech Republic. According to Mr. Dankvert, these products of the EU countries passed unnoticeably through the Belorussian border and then were exported to Russia as Albanian products, to escape from the embargo. He added that Albania failed to provide information on its products, to compare them with the increased quantity of supplies to Russia.

December 4, 2014. Minister Edmond Panariti holds a press conference. He is asked about the Russian embargo. He defines the decision as unfair by adding that it was the Albanian government e added that it was the Albanian government, which contacted the Russian diplomatic representatives in Albania, in order to take the necessary provisions for monitoring the situation. This decision was taken after noticing that the quantity of Albanian agricultural products in the Russian market had quadrupled compared to the volumes recorded by the Albanian customs and that did not comply with the Albanian capacities of agricultural production. After performing these monitoring activities, it was found that the falsification of the phytosanitary certificates was done in another country, not in Albania. Minister Panariti said that a group of specialists, together with the Albanian diplomatic representatives in the Russia will contact the responsible authorities in the Russian government about this situation.