Russia awaits Turkish proposition

Additional measures against smuggling

Russia took additional measures to stop the continuous flow of smuggling from Belarus. Belarus is unable to successfully take action against illegal trading, so the flow has not been stopped. Just recently, Polish pears were intercepted. To help start the import of Turkish goods, the Turkish government should come up with a proposal but, according to Russian authorities, no measures have yet been put forward.

Russian measures to stop smuggling
Russia feels compelled to take action against the illegal transit of boycotted products via Belarus. The country grew to be a large exporter of fruits and vegetables to Russia. Figures show more Belarusian product was exported than cultivated. Belarus is unable to stop the flow of smuggled goods. The Russian authorities have therefore erected additional checkpoints at the border crossings to check loads.

Since the authorities are allowed to destroy intercepted products, 8,004 tonnes of fruits and vegetables have already been destroyed. To stop smuggling, Russian inspectors travelled to all major export countries and visited the largest exporters.

Apples are one of the products smuggled most often. Due to close monitoring in December 2015, fewer apples were admitted into Belarus this year. According to official figures from Belarus, the export of apples decreased in the last seven months. During that period last year, 4.7 times more apples were exported. This indicates that the smuggling of apples is being successfully dealt with. Many batches were accompanied by forged documents, in some cases it even concerned documents from countries that do not even cultivate apples. Due to closer monitoring of the Russian authorities, a downward trend can be seen in the smuggling of apples.

Source: Rosselkhoznadzor

Yet the flow has not been completely stopped. On 20 October a batch of pears was intercepted at the checkpoint of Dolostsy, in western Russia. Although the documents stated the pears were Belarusian, the inspectorate discovered the fruit was actually Polish. The 19 tonnes of pears were destroyed.

Russia awaits Turkish proposition
Last week, a batch of Turkish grapes was also intercepted. The 576 kilograms of grapes were waiting for destruction as well. According to the Russian authorities, Turkey has to speed up efforts to lift trade restrictions between the two countries. Earlier this month, after negotiations which announced an end to the boycott, the countries agreed that Turkey would propose a number of measures in order to guarantee phytosanitary safety. According to Russian authorities, this proposition has not yet been received.

In the spring, Russia announced a boycott of Turkish bell pepper, pomegranate, aubergine, lettuce, iceberg lettuce and pumpkin, based on phytosanitary overruns. In January, Russia closed its borders to Turkish oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli and yellow onions, among other products. On 10 October, President Erdoğan and President Putin agreed that the boycott would be partially lifted. A day later, a decree followed, saying the import of oranges, tangerines, apricots, peaches and nectarines would be allowed again.

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