The initiative of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) to expand the Russian food embargo from 2014 did not find support in the Ministry of Agriculture. Officials agreed that the inclusion of entire groups of products in the list of prohibited goods could undermine the stable operation of enterprises and lead to supply disruptions. The authorities can return to discussing the expansion of pro-bargo with the introduction of new anti-Russian sanctions.
The Ministry of Agriculture recognized the proposal to expand food embargo as inappropriate. The authorities of the Russian Federation imposed a food embargo on August 7, 2014 as a retaliatory measure against the sanctions of a number of countries against Russian companies.
Two weeks ago it became known that Head of the Federal Customs Service Ruslan Davydov offered the Ministry of Agriculture to replace the list of specific goods in the document with the list of whole food groups. He explained that this measure was necessary to exclude the possibility of importing banned products into the Russian Federation by using “cover goods” codes. Due to the initiative, in particular, Spanish olives, Latvian sprats and some kinds of jamon were under threat of ban. In addition, the FCS proposal restricted the import of food ingredients.
The Ministry of Agriculture agreed that the FCS proposal poses risks for Russian producers and processors, and also threatens the stability of supplying the population with Russian food, according to the protocol. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture added that this issue requires more careful study with agricultural producers and representatives of the industry community.