December 10, 2012


Russia requires certified ractopamine free US pork, beef imports



Russia is requiring US pork and beef exported to them to be tested and certified free of ractopamine.


This is according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said on Friday (Dec 7).


USMEF said that since the USDA did have a testing and certification programme in place for ractopamine, the Russian requirement could effectively halt US pork and beef exports to the country by Saturday (Dec 8).


The federation said that more than 210 shipping containers of US pork and beef valued at more than US$20 million were currently on their way to Russia.


"...this new requirement effectively means that the Russian market will be closed to pork and beef exports beginning this Saturday (December 8)," the federation said in an email to members that was obtained by Reuters. USMEF spokesman Joe Schuele confirmed the email.


"The deadline is concerning because of an inability to meet this paperwork requirement," said Schuele.


A USDA spokesman was not immediately available for comment.


The email said chief US agricultural trade negotiator Isi Siddiqui and White House international economic affairs advisor Michael Froman were expected to travel to Moscow next week to press the Russian government to postpone the implementation of its requirement.


The Russian move comes on the heels of the US Senate approving legislation to punish Russian human rights violators as part of a broader bill to expand bilateral trade.


Commerce Department data showed that the US has exported 213.681 million pounds of pork to Russia so far this year. In 2011, exports to Russia totalled 190.931 million pounds. Russia is the sixth biggest buyer of US pork.