What is the Russian word for meat
No German meat for Russia?
The federal government has mail from Moscow. The Federal Inspection Service for Animal and Plant Health announced in writing that Russia would impose an import ban on chilled meat from German companies from February 4, 2013. The reason given in a press release by the Russian authorities is that the security checks in Germany are inadequate. The restrictions apply to poultry as well as beef and pork.
Moscow accuses Germany of inadequate security controls
The Russian allegations are met with incomprehension in Berlin. The scope of the lock was "still unclear and a sound justification has not yet been identified," said the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in response to a request from DW. All open questions are currently being clarified between German and Russian bodies, according to a spokeswoman.
Serious allegations from Moscow
It is the second ban on German food imports by the Moscow authorities within a few months. Since December 10, 2012, eleven German manufacturers of dairy and meat products are no longer allowed to deliver their goods to Russia.
The rationale is the same: allegedly bad controls. The head of the Russian inspection service for animal and plant health, Sergej Dankwert, raises serious allegations against the German colleagues. "Basically, we are dealing with data falsification in veterinary certificates," he told the Russian news agency Interfax at the end of 2012. German state authorities would use incorrect data from manufacturers and incorrect product labeling, said Dankwert. Russia is particularly concerned about the alleged use of food from third countries such as China or Pakistan for which there are no permits for Russia.
The German companies affected do not want to speak to DW. The Federal Association of the German Meat Industry (BVDF) based in Bonn only announced: "This decision is technically incomprehensible."
Staff unit in the Federal Ministry
Does Russia only want to protect its own market by stopping imports?
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Berlin is apparently assuming a communication problem. While in Germany the federal states take care of the food controls, in Russia this is organized centrally. "The different systems have to communicate with each other on different levels," said a spokeswoman. The ministry therefore set up an "Export Russian Federation" department at the State Secretary in January 2013. It should act as a "single point of contact" and ensure the "involvement of all those responsible".
For German food producers, Russia is the most important market outside the European Union - ahead of the USA or Switzerland. In 2011, exports to Russia rose by 7.1 percent to 1.7 billion euros, according to an estimate by the Federal Association of the German Food Industry (BVE). However, the 2012 annual report states that "veterinary and regulatory export barriers" would dampen greater growth in German exports to Russia.
Critics in the German food industry suspect that Russia is trying to protect its own market by banning imports. Because not only Germany is affected by them. Manufacturers in other EU countries or in the USA also repeatedly receive mail from the Federal Animal and Plant Health Inspectorate.
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