Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Minsk expects dairy plants to meet Russian requirements before deadline

The Belarusian agriculture ministry expects the countrys dairy plants to obtain new documentation in compliance with Russias requirements before August 1, a deadline set by Russias federal consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Deputy Minister Mikhail Savelyew said.

Speaking on July 16, Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishchenko predicted that Belarusian dairy plants were likely to miss the deadline. He said that the watchdog had so far issued permits for the export of just a tiny fraction of all Belarusian dairy products to Russia.

Commenting on the remarks on Friday, the deputy minister said that Belarusian dairy plants had submitted 817 product samples to Russian laboratories for tests. "This is the full volume of the types of products that had been supplied to Russia before the protocol was signed on June 17," the BelTA government-controlled news agency quoted him as saying.
Mr. Savelyew was referring to the protocol that required Belarusian dairy plants to bring their documentation in compliance with Russias standards and submit their product samples for tests before August 1.

Belarusian producers have already received certificates containing the findings of tests on 171 of the 185 types of dairy products made in the country, the deputy minister said. "Hopefully, Russian laboratories will do the rest of the work to issue test reports for the samples supplied by our enterprises according to our agreement, before August 1," he added.

In early June, Rospotrebnadzor banned the import of nearly all Belarusian dairy products, citing the producers failure to meet Russias new food standards in effect since December 2008. The ban was lifted after the countries signed the protocol.