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Scope of Russia’s Pork Import Ban Clarified

Published: Sep 12, 2014

After Russia imposed an import ban on many food products from the United States, Canada, the EU, Norway and Australia on Aug. 7, all export requirements for Russia were removed from the FSIS Export Library and replaced with the following statement:

“Russia has banned the import of all beef, pork and poultry and beef, pork and poultry products from the United States. Beginning on August 7, 2014, no certificates for export of these products to Russia should be issued. Information about in-transit shipments certified for export to Russia prior to August 7, 2014, will be provided as soon as it becomes available.”

However, pork offal and pork fat were excluded from the list of banned products attached to the Russian government’s decree ordering the import ban. On Sept. 5, an update was posted to the Export Library that restores eligibility for U.S. pork liver, heart, kidneys and pork fat. These items must meet all export requirements that were in place for Russia prior to the Aug. 7 ban, and must be sourced from a plant that was eligible to export to Russia at the time the ban was imposed. FSIS included the following guidance in the Export Library:

“Only these pork offals and fats listed as eligible must be produced from approved producers identified in the slaughter establishment’s AMS EV and QSVP programs are eligible for export to Russia. The eligible establishment is responsible for identifying pork products eligible for Russia to ensure only products that conform to the requirements in the export certificate are exported to the Russian Federation. As part of their AMS EV and QSVP Programs, the company must maintain a documented product identification system to uniquely identify the product that is eligible for export to the Russian Federation. The unique identification system, which is determined by the company, must be transferable and traceable throughout production. It can be comprised of a list of specific products with unique products codes or alternatively, another identification system in a format determined by the company.”

Pork stomachs, intestines, casings and prepared/preserved pork products were also not included on the banned list of products that was published Aug. 7. However, these items were already ineligible for Russia before the import ban took effect and their eligibility has not been restored.

USMEF is currently working with USDA to add additional pork offals to the Export Library’s list of eligible products, based on their categorization under eligible HS codes. USMEF is also working with USDA to include a list of eligible veal offals, as there is currently one U.S. veal plant approved for export to Russia. Beef offals and beef fat are also outside the scope of the Aug. 7 import ban, but U.S. beef access to Russia has been suspended since February 2013.

If you have questions about these developments, please email Cheyenne Dixon or call 303-623-6328.