Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, has imposed restrictions on the import of seed and planting material from the Netherlands starting November 23, 2023. The ban includes a prohibition on importing seeds and planting material accompanied by documents confirming the variety, seed quality, and absence of GMOs issued by the Enza-Zaden Operations B.Y. laboratory in the Netherlands. This restriction will remain until Rosselkhoznadzor verifies the competence, methods, and research results of the said laboratory through an audit.

The measures were implemented due to the identification of a quarantine object, bacterial fruit blotch of cucurbits (Acidovorax citrulli Schaad et al.), affecting pumpkin crops. Over the past year, quarantine objects such as Pepino mosaic virus, bacterial fruit blotch, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, and Solanum triflorum have been systematically detected in seeds from the Netherlands destined for Russia.

Imported contaminated products pose a threat to Russia's greenhouse complexes and intensive orchards that contribute to the country's food security. Despite multiple requests for an audit, there has been no response from the National Plant Quarantine and Protection Organization of the Netherlands regarding the phytosanitary status of the shipped seed and planting material.

Rosselkhoznadzor, in accordance with international and federal regulations, is compelled to enforce these restrictive measures to safeguard Russian agriculture.

The bacterial fruit blotch, affecting various crops, spreads through infected seeds, fruits, and seedlings, with potential crop losses reaching 100% under early infection and conducive environmental conditions.