ERA Forum

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 495–518 | Cite as

Sanitary and veterinary hygiene requirements for imports of fish and fishery products into Russia—the tensions between regional integration and globalisation

  • Irina KireevaEmail author
  • Robert Black


The article provides an overview of the major issues in relation to the sanitary and veterinary hygiene requirements for the importation of fish and fishery products into the Russian Federation. The regional trade implications of Russia’s membership of the World Trade Organisation and of the Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, will also be considered. Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus would benefit from the harmonisation of sanitary and phytosanitary as well as technical barriers to trade measures and a lot of work in that respect has been done during the past few years. However, all three countries still use the system of state mandatory standards (the so-called “GOST”—to use the Russian abbreviation) and transition to international standards would facilitate trade and increase private sector participation. The impressive recovery of production in Russia is notable, but at the same time further growth depends increasingly on product safety, quality and diversification of production. It is evident that the traditional approach to risk management and “GOST”-based systems (including sanitary regulations or “SanPin” from the Russian for “sanitary rules”) of the Russian Federation impose serious constraints on the competitiveness of production as matters regarding food safety, animal and plant health outcomes are not satisfactory. Consequently, sanitary and phytosanitary measures not based on risk assessment and science may become barriers to trade, as is illustrated by the case studies on the fisheries sector presented here.

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.

Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

The World Crisis


Food safety Sanitary and veterinary hygiene requirements Fish and fishery products Imports to the Russian Federation 

Copyright information

© ERA 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of GreenwichKentUK

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