Serbia to clamp down on attempts to bypass Russian embargo

"After the bad experience with meat exports any attempt to sell Russia food, fruits and vegetables from the EU via Serbia will be prevented," says Rasim Ljajić.

Source: Blic, Tanjug
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The Serbian trade minister commented after Russia announced it was reacting to Western sanctions by imposing its own, banning import of food producs from the EU, U.S., and several other countries.

According to Ljajić, there were immediately "calculations, announcements, and even talks about, for example, importing apples from Macedonia and Bulgaria, and then re-exporting them through us to the Russian market," said Ljajić.

"We cannot allow that to happen, because we would put into question the overall exports from Serbia to Russia. In order to prevent such situations we will further engage our customs, and producers or exporters who trying to fraudulently make gains will be most severely punished," the official told the daily Blic.

He noted that foreigners can establish a company in Serbia and export to Russia - but that the goods in question must be produced in our country.

Lajić confirmed that he would hold a meeting with representatives of the Serbian Fruits Association, the Customs Administration, the Directorate for Plant Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

"We must prevent repackaging, forgery and re-export, but also meet all sanitation, hygiene, health and other standards that are rigorous. Russians prepared a new book of rules that has 4,000 pages, which clearly lists all the conditions and criteria that must be met and our producers need to be aware of it," Ljajić said.

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