Ecuador Ready to Overtake Netherlands as Russia's Biggest Flower Importer

© AP Photo / Peter DejongA lone tulip sprouts up in a field of blossoming hyacinths near Lisse, Netherlands, Thursday, April 16, 2015
A lone tulip sprouts up in a field of blossoming hyacinths near Lisse, Netherlands, Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
Ecuador may replace the Netherlands as Russia's biggest flower importer, according to Russia's agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

Employees handle flowers at the flower auction FloraHolland in Aalsmeer, on February 13, 2015. - Sputnik International
No Decision to Ban Imports of Dutch Flowers Taken Yet
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ecuador, which delivers the second-highest number of flowers to Russia, is ready to bypass top-rated Netherlands, Russia's agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said Thursday.

On July 21, Rosselkhoznadzor announced that Dutch flower imports would be the subject of a ban because they contain pests that pose a "serious sanitary threat" to Russia’s economy and farming.

"Ecuador stated its extreme concern about the fact that there is a transshipment of flowers with Ecuadorian origin in the Netherlands. Understanding the threat level, the Ecuadorian side declared its readiness to supply the flowers directly [to Russia], without the transshipment in the Netherlands," Rosselkhoznadzor said.

On August 10, Moscow introduced strict phytosanitary regulations on flower imports from the Netherlands, allowing importation only after the products received positive laboratory examination results.

On August 13, the head of Russia's Federal Customs Service (FCS) Andrei Belyaninov said that Ecuador, Kenya, Ethiopia and Colombia had requested Russian authorities allow direct supplies of flowers to Russia bypassing Dutch flower auctions.

The Netherlands is the largest exporter of flowers to Russia. According to the watchdog, the majority of cases when Rosselkhoznadzor revealed quarantined organisms in cut flowers imported from 15 countries were from the Netherlands.

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