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Belgian pears smuggled into Russia

12:20 20/01/2015

The Russian import ban on European products such as fruit and meat is being circumvented via smuggling routes along Belarus and Kazakhstan. Belgian pears from Limburg are among the banned products that are still reaching Russian shelves, reports Het Belang van Limburg.

Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev announced Russia's ban on imports of foodstuffs from EU countries in August. The ban includes beef, pork, poultry, milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables. The ban is in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine. Belgium felt the effects of the ban most accutely in its pear and pork exports.

An increasing number of trucks with foreign license plates have been spotted in recent weeks at the gates of Limburg fruit exporters. According to reports, Lithuanian and other Eastern European transport companies smuggle pears and other products into Russia via countries that do not belong to the European Union, such as Belarus.

The cargo is then marked with a new certificate of origin, so that it appears to come from Belarus, which has had a customs agreement with Russia since 2010.

Written by Robyn Boyle



Fruit smuggling. Who would have thought it?

Jan 20, 2015 21:27

Rules were made to be broken (or ignored or circumvented...) Seems to be a sort of national creed.

Jan 22, 2015 11:10