MOSCOW, January 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russia, one of the biggest importers of Norwegian fish, partially banned imports starting from Wednesday.
The ban affected 485 Norwegian companies, or 90 percent of the country’s registered suppliers to Russia.
The restrictions were imposed on certain types of fish, including herring, cod, haddock and capelin. The ban does not affect Norwegian salmon and trout, which Russia imports in large quantities, but quality control of such products will be toughened.
Russian food safety experts, who visited Norway recently, believe that the country has a lax system of state control and companies often violate Russian sanitary demands, according to Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.
Russia was the biggest Norwegian buyer of Norwegian fish in terms of value in 2013, paying 691 million euro ($950 million) for 265,700 metric tons of fish.
The chief of Russia’s Fish Union, Sergei Gudkov, said that although the move is unlikely to cause a deficit on the Russian market, consumers will have to pay more a higher price for certain fish, such as herring. About a quarter of all herring sold in Russia is imported from Norway.
Moscow also plans to impose a partial ban on imports of fish from Estonia starting from January 9.