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Justin Chadwick - Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa
Modification to Russian labelling requirements
Earlier this season the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to clarify the labelling requirements for citrus consignments destined for Russia.
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the CGASA, has confirmed that a positive reaction has been received from Russian authorities and that a concession regarding the requirements – already discussed and agreed upon a year ago – has now been communicated to all the relevant stakeholders at Russian ports.
“There is now a methodology allowed which does reduce the negative impact of the labelling requirements, although there are still some operational risks involved. It’s quite complex, but in essence, rather than requiring a sticker on each carton, there is now a sealed envelope affixed to the outside of the pallet. This envelope contains a batch of stickers which are then fixed to each carton on the receiving end. There is still a risk that the envelope could fall off in transit, but this means that pallets don’t have to be re-opened on our side. Ideally, we hope that what’s on the original label is satisfactory.”
It appears as if there was some miscommunication regarding the placement of the stickers, with Russian authorities agreeing to the current methodology, while port authorities still insisted on cartons already individually furnished with the stickers upon arrival.
Mr Chadwick says that there have been no reports of problems with South African consignments to Russia, so hopefully the matter has been largely resolved.
The labelling demands were instituted by the Euro-Asian Economic Commission (EAC) in 2011; applicable worldwide and fully enforced since February 2015. An EAC sticker in Russian, or Russian and English, is required on every pallet, even though the information therein already appears in the shipping documents. The exporter needs to prepare a batch of stickers for each consignment and send an example electronically to the Russian importer for approval.
The information contained on the EAC sticker is the name of the product, the producer, the exporter, the importer (the receiver), the lifespan of the product as well as the insignia of the Euro-Asian Economic Commission.
For more information:
Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa
Tel: +27 13 765 2514
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