In a further twist to the ongoing story of the 1700 tonnes of endangered Fin whale meat currently aboard the Winter Bay moored in Tromso (awaiting ice conditions in north east passage to open so the cargo can be transported to Japan), the Russian Press Agency has made the following statement which could impact on the ability of the vessel to complete its journey.
TASS PRESS RELEASE
MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Russia is considering an option of prohibiting transit of Icelandic foods to Russia through the territory of the European Union due to high risk of shipping documents’ forgery in the EU, press secretary of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) Julia Melano said on Tuesday after the meeting of the head of Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert with the delegation of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST).
"Rosselkhoznadzor is currently considering the need to close supplies of [Icelandic — TASS] products through the territory of the European Union in view of numerous cases of shipping documents’ forgery," Melano said.
Iceland is not taking effective steps to recover credibility of its certificates for supplies to Russia, the press secretary said. Rosselkhoznadzor suggested two possible ways of solving the problem: either to revise the system protecting documents against forgery or ship products bypassing the EU territory.
According to findings of Iceland foods inspections in Russia in the last six months, just one out of 40 certificates was the original one, while the others were forged in the European Union member-states, Melano said.
Despite the situation with certificates, Iceland intends to broaden foods export to Russia. MAST presented the list of 60 Icelandic food, fish and meat companies desirous of having access to the Russian market. The Russian regulator is currently reviewing the package of documents, Melano said