Russia warns Pakistan of potential rice import ban

Russia has issued a warning to Pakistan, stating that it will impose a ban on rice imports again if phytosanitary concerns are not addressed in future shipments.

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS) of the Russian Federation has notified Pakistan of violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements in a recent rice consignment from Pakistan.

The notification, dated April 2, 2024, identifies the presence of the quarantine organism “Megaselia scalaris (Loew)” in the rice shipment. The FSVPS has urged the plenipotentiary and trade representative at the Pakistani embassy in Russia to conduct an immediate investigation.

The FSVPS has also emphasized the importance of adhering to phytosanitary standards to ensure the safety of agricultural products traded between countries. The trade wing of the Pakistani embassy in Moscow has forwarded the English translation of the Russian authority’s letter to the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) in the Ministry of Food Security and other relevant government offices.

It requested an immediate investigation and sharing of the results with the FSVPS to avoid potential future bans on rice exports. Additionally, the FSVPS has sent an official communication to the director of DPP, seeking increased cooperation in the field of plant quarantine.

Previously, Russia had imposed a similar ban in 2019, which lasted for around two years and was lifted after negotiations between officials of both countries. Earlier, in December 2006, Russia halted rice imports from Pakistan due to food safety standards not being met.

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