Bulgarian Minister Requests Report on Export Ban for 5 Meat, Dairy Processors
Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control (Rosselkhoznadzor) has revoked the export permits of five Bulgarian meat and dairy processing companies.
Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov told journalists Friday that the decision had been taken after inspections conducted at the factories in October.
Naydenov reminded that he had agreed on joint inspections with his Russian counterpart during his visit to Moscow in early October.
Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister, as cited by the Focus news agency, made clear that the export permits of the five firms had been revoked because they had failed to meet Russia's requirements.
The companies stripped of export permits to Russia are Avis, Brezovo, BBC Handel, Mesni Prosukti (Meat Products), and Mekom, according to reports of Bulgaria On Air TV.
Naydenov requested Saturday a report from Yordan Voynov, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, about the reasons for the ban and for the failure of the companies to meet Russian requirements.
Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister vowed to come up with comments after reading the report.
He specified that Russian veterinary authorities often had higher requirements than that of the EU.
In an interview for Bulgaria On Air, Voynov made clear that the inspection of Russian experts had taken place at the invitation of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.
He noted that it was normal practice and that it had happened before for companies to be taken off the list of trade partners.
Voynov explained that a total of 40 Bulgarian companies exported goods for the Russian market.
"Moscow has its own policy as regards sanitary requirements. This case involves insignificant irregularities and the ban will be lifted once they are removed," he declared.
He went on to specify that in the case of Silistra-based meat processor Mekom AD, Russia had reintroduced the export ban on a tip-off that the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency had closed the factory in mid-October.
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