Rospotrebnadzor may again restrict wine imports from Moldova

Russia is ready again to restrict wine imports from Moldova, which would not fulfill its commitments, the independent Echo of Moscow radio station stated with reference to sayings by Gennady Onischenko, Head of RosPotrebNadzor [Russian federal supervisory agency for consumer goods quality] and Russia's Chief Federal Sanitary Inspector.      

Onischenko stated this week that the Federal Agency is ready to announce a whole number of steps that will upset the success, which took so great effort from Moldova to resume its wine exports to Russia.   

Gennady Onischenko said he did not mean that such measures will lead to a complete stoppage of wine trade with Moldova, “but they may substantially reduce the volume of wine supply to the Russian market”.      

Earlier this week, RosPotrebNadzor expressed discontent that the Moldovan Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry “would not take appropriate actions to create a national system of produce quality control, which would serve one of the principal conditions for Moldovan produce’s comeback to the Russian market”.  

The Federal Agency expressed regret over the absence of a positive dynamic in building up the proportion of products undergoing analyses at the Moldovan National Center for Checking Alcoholic Produce Quality.    

RosPotrebNadzor has established that in 2013 the Russian Federation imported from Moldova 2,752 consignments of wines, 278 consignments of brandies, 336 consignments of wine materials totaling over 21.7 million liters. However, only 0.43% produce underwent analyses in the above Moldovan Center before
shipment to Russia.    

Meanwhile, the Moldovan Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry maintains that Moldova observes all conditions of the accords reached between Chisinau and Moscow on Moldovan wines’ return to the Russian market.   

According to Ion Vartosu, Director of the Ministry’s Wine Industry Department, a few months ago the republic has established a National Food Safety Agency, which controls the quality of export goods, first and foremost of wines intended for exports.     

“May be, not all mechanism have been fine-tuned yet by the young agency, but this is a normal working process, isn’t it? The agency has unfolded a network of regional laboratories that control the quality of goods offered for exports. Now the Ministry of Agriculture is establishing a National Vine and Wine Office which, alongside with introduction of the state wine policy, will be controlling also the quality of Moldovan wines. It is believed that the Office will be opened already next September. We are strongly interested in being trusted by our foreign partners”, said Ion Vartosu.     

As already reported by Infotag, in the first quarter of 2013, Moldova exported various alcoholic products total worth almost US$57 million – 48% more than a year before, and almost one-third of that amount (US$17 million) went to Russia (+16.2%).     

Until 2006, Moldovan wines used to account for more than 60% Russian market of imported wines. After the 2006-2007 embargo, the republic has by now managed to return barely 10% of the lost Russian market. Many Moldovan winemakers, exhausted with RosPotrebNadzor’s impediments, have reoriented their exports to other countries.

Adapted from Infotag