The Russian Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) has banned imports of dairy and fish products from 11 Estonian companies starting from January 9.

In particular, the ban concerns imports of dairy products from 5 and fish products from 6 Estonian companies, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

Rosselkhoznadzor chief Sergei Dankvert had told Interfax earlier that the decision on limiting such imports had been made based on inspections of Estonian dairy and fish companies.

Russian inspectors found that the said Estonian dairy manufacturers lacked the proper system of raw milk control. In particular, the existing control system did not cover all the necessary groups of antibiotics mentioned in the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union's control regulations.

The inspections of Estonian fish manufacturers revealed, in particular, that the traceability system in the Estonian fishery industry is flawed, namely that ready products are transported for storage with interim labeling indicating only the date when they were caught and that the final labeling is attached before sending them to consumers. Hence, this makes it impossible to determine when these products were actually produced and how long they were stored.

Meanwhile, BNS reported with reference to Estonian Agriculture Minister Helir-Valdor Seeder that Estonian producers are interested in "reacting to the audit results presented by Russia and opening the market as soon as possible."

Seeder said Estonian dairy companies may make some alterations to their control regulations so as to better comply with the Customs Union's requirements.

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