On Monday, August 19, new rules for the import of vegetables, fruits and flowers into the country came into force in Russia. Corresponding amendments were made to the resolution of 2016 “On the procedure for the implementation of state quarantine phytosanitary control at checkpoints across the state border of the Russian Federation”.
According to the document, at some checkpoints across the border, customs officers will be able to check luggage and hand luggage with citizens for products with high phytosanitary risk. According to the Rosselkhoznadzor documentation, it includes tomatoes, potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, melons, apples, apricots, citrus fruits and other fruits and vegetables. The list also includes dates, figs, pineapples, avocados, guava, mangoes and dried fruits.
The order that has entered into force applies to all types of transport, and also affects the mail and hand luggage of passengers and crew of ships, planes and dining cars crossing the border of the Eurasian Economic Union.
According to the decision that has entered into force, no more than 5 kg of regulated fruits and vegetables (except for seed and planting material) are allowed to be transported into the territory of Russia without phytosanitary certificates in hand luggage and baggage.
If the batch weight exceeds 5 kg, then special phytosanitary certificates will be required. In the absence of these documents, the products will be returned back or destroyed at the expense of the owner. It is noted that certificates are required for the transport of seeds, planting material or potatoes.
The rules apply to bouquets of flowers. Without paperwork, it is allowed to import no more than three bouquets, each of which should not have more than 15 fresh or dried flowers, leaves or other parts of plants.
In July, the Rosselkhoznadzor press service commented on the upcoming changes. The department said that the new decree harmonizes the legal framework without changing its essence. As the press secretary of the department Julia Melano said, the new procedure coincides with the requirements that were in Russia before.
“For consumers, for ordinary citizens, nothing has changed,” RIA Novosti quotes Melano.
Director of the Turpomosch association, Alexander Osaulenko, agreed with this assessment of the department. In an interview with RT, he confirmed that similar norms existed before. In his opinion, there is no talk of limitations.
“The mentioned figures of our tourists do not much limit. If we take a traditional Russian family of four, then 20 kg of fruit will probably satisfy all the needs of this family in the coming period. Therefore, by and large, just numbers have now appeared that are easy to navigate, ”the expert said.
Osaulenko added that similar rules and regulations exist in almost all countries of the world.
“In any case, in tourist-developed countries where the import of foodstuffs, products of primary processing, and even products of long-term storage is limited to their territory,” the expert concluded.
- RIA News
- © Alexander Halperin
In turn, Chairman of the Union of Passengers and a member of the Public Council at the Ministry of Transport of Russia Kirill Yankov in an interview with RT recalled that some countries, for phytosanitary reasons, even prohibit the import of vegetables and fruits into their territory.
“Say, in the USA it is generally impossible to legally introduce vegetables and fruits without a certificate. So even five kilograms is quite a liberal norm against the global background, ”the expert said.
Risk of importation of products without permission
Recall that, according to the current standards, goods brought in with hand luggage and baggage in violation of regulated products or products prohibited for import into Russia must be returned or destroyed. In early August, the Ministry of Agriculture did not support the idea of refusing to eliminate such products, explaining this decision by the fight against illegal trafficking in prohibited goods.
Thus, the department responded to the State Duma’s request about the possibility of introducing a ban on the destruction and burial of usable products, writes TASS. The Ministry of Agriculture noted that products banned for import, as a rule, enter Russia accompanied by forged documents or without accompanying papers at all, which can lead to a risk of harm to the life and health of citizens.
There is also a risk of the introduction into the territory of the Russian Federation of dangerous quarantine organisms and animal diseases, which jeopardizes the security of the country, according to the agency.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture Oksana Lut noted that the ban on the destruction of products that entered the territory of the Russian Federation with violations may create additional conditions for the illegal trafficking of such products, including goods that pose a potential danger.
The representative of the department added that the existing special economic measures are temporary, and specific actions may change "in accordance with the developing external economic and political situation."