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Brussels, 22 June 2011
EU-Russian Federation agreement leads to immediate resumption of trade of vegetables
The EU and Russia signed this morning in Moscow an agreement that will allow exports of EU vegetables to resume immediately.
The agreement followed talks between an EU delegation led by European Commissioner John Dalli and the Russian authorities.
Each Member State exporting fresh vegetables to Russia will have, for a limited period of time, to certify the origin of the produce and the absence of E. Coli 104 (the strain responsible for the outbreak in Germany) on the basis of a general monitoring system in its territory for this strain.
The European Commission is transmitting to Rospotrebnadzor (Russia's Health authority) the names of the competent national authorities entitled to sign the certificate, which is to be stamped on lots exported to Russia, and the names of the national laboratories accredited to perform monitoring of vegetables. This rapid transmission of information to the Russian authorities will allow exports to resume.
The certification system will be temporary, as it will be applied until the 10th day after no new human case linked to E. coli O104 is reported by EU Member State authorities. Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Policy (DG SANCO) will inform Rospotrebnadzor of the day when there is no reporting of E. coli O 104 human case.
Frozen vegetables will be traded normally outside the framework of today's agreement.
EU and Russia have also agreed to deepen their cooperation on issues relating to Shiga Toxin E. coli infections, including exchange of strains between official laboratories.
John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, said: "Following today's agreement I now expect a swift resumption of EU's exports to Russia. Both sides have shown good will to make sure that this incident is now behind us. "