Record year for apple producers as Russia lifts import ban

The lifting of Russia’s ban on Bosnian apple imports is coming at the best possible moment as apple producers say they are experiencing a record year in production.

The Russian Federation lifted the ban last month. It was imposed in January 2018 after the Russians suspected that the apples they were receiving from Bosnia were, in fact, coming from Poland. This was the second time in the past years that the re-export suspicions complicated the export of apples to Russia.

Speaking at a meeting of producers in Gradiska on Wednesday, Sarovic said that all procedures need to be respected in order to keep the Russian market and avoid similar things from happening again.

Some 400 tonnes of apples of various kinds, worth up to BAM 100 million are already on their way to Russia, he said. The producers in Gradiska asked the Minister for the required certificate for the export to be given to them at the border instead of in the offices of the Foreign Trade Chamber.

"As one must wait for a day, two, even three, when it is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and these are goods that go bad quickly and sometimes the trip to Russia takes up to seven days," said the head of the Association of Fruit Producers of Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part, Dragoja Dojcinovic.

The year is especially good, according to producers. But they do not expect the above average production to be followed up on with higher subsidies.
"I am not satisfied with the subsidies, last year, which was a bad year anyway, I got BAM 260 for 5,5 tonnes of plums," producer Darko Ilisevic said, adding he expects that there might be no subsidies at all this year.

The January ban was imposed after a company in Bosnia repacked Polish apples and sent them to Russia portraying them as Bosnia-produced. The six-month ban cost Bosnian producers millions, the Minister said.

"Polish producers will one day be able to directly export apples to Russia. They don’t have to come here to repackage them," he said, adding that only manipulators were profiting from the scheme. He called upon producers to get together and try to "detect all those who abuse the system."

Source: N1

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