Bosnia formally asks Russia to lift ban on imports

By bne IntelliNews September 8, 2016

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mirko Sarovic has sent a letter to the head of the Russian veterinary and phytosanitary supervisory body, seeking an immediate lifting of the ban on imports from Bosnia, which was imposed by Rosselkhoznadzor earlier this year.

According to an estimate from the Bosnian foreign trade chamber, Bosnia could lose around BAM50mn (€25.6mn) by the end of the year following Russia’s ban. In the first half of the year, Bosnian firms exported goods worth BAM46.2mn to Russia, according to the chamber’s data.

“Minister Sarovic provided guarantees that products from BiH will be exported to the Russian Federation in accordance with the standards required by the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision of the Russian Federation,” Bosnia’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on its website.

Rosselkhoznadzor banned imports of products from Bosnia on August 4, saying it did not have enough information about the phytosanitary status of Bosnia. Also, Bosnia’s foreign affairs ministry declined to allow Rosselkhoznadzor to check the phytosanitary control and control of the systems. Russia then sent inspectors to Bosnia and provided a list of requirements that Bosnia had to meet in order for the ban to be lifted.

Russia insisted on health certificates for fruits and vegetables, and objects to the lack of a unified system for quality control of products in Bosnia.

Sarovic has previously explained that phytosanitary certificates in Bosnia are issued by the authorities of the two entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and Republika Srpska - while the state-level directorate is responsible for cases where another country has objections to a certificate, which is the case with Russia.

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