BiH and Russia negotiate about apples

BiH and Russia negotiate about apples
A delegation from Bosnia and Herzegovina went to Russia to negotiate the possible lift of ban on the import of apples from BiH to the important Russian market.

Russia banned the import in January 2018, after their inspectors discovered that several shipments of apples were not in accordance with the agreement the two countries had signed, which said that fruits must be produced in BiH. The disputed apples were, as the Russian side said, from Poland and were first imported into BiH, repackaged there and then sent to Russia as a BiH product. Because of this malversation of a few irresponsible companies, a large number of fruit producers who do their job by the book, suffered sanctions. It is estimated that the damage to apple producers will be of millions of euros.

Bosnia and Herzegovina changed a lot of regulations and procedures necessary to export apples to Russia. Some of the companies were punished with a permanent ban of apples export to this large market and their names were deleted from the exporters list. Rumors said that one of these companies is in the partial ownership of Igor Dodik, the son of Republika Srpska president Milorad Dodik.

A delegation of the BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations visited Russia to convince the authorities that cases like this will never happen again. After the first round of negotiations, Minister, Mirko Šarović, said that a meeting with the leadership of the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspectorate of Russia had gone well.

"The Russian side is pleased with everything the competent services in BiH have done to improve the system of issuing phytosanitary certificates and the origin of goods form," Šarović said after a meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

According to him, now there is a complete insight into the production of fruits and vegetables, and supervision of companies which export goods to Russia, so that BiH can fully guarantee that the system will be in function as it was previously signed in the protocol.

"Before the final abolition of the ban on apple exports, the Russian side intends to make sure that everything is done in the field, and then put its decision out of force," Šarović said, adding that the Russian delegation will soon arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a review inspection.

As he said, the result related to the export of apples will be favourable for BiH, but that it is also very important that, by such a quick and complete procedure of improvement and establishment of the control system, BiH is over and done with the possibility of banning exports and other types of fruit.

Šarović added that the established control system is already being applied to exported pears that reach the Russian market, and that it is fully operational.... / IBNA

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