Russia Tightens Rules for Cross-border Transport of Fruits and Vegetables

From August 19, Russia is introducing new rules for the transportation of fruits, vegetables and flowers across the country’s border, RBC reported last week. Under the new requirements, people will be allowed to transport no more than 5 kg of vegetables and fruits in their luggage without special phytosanitary certificates, the news outlet said.

Also, under the new rules, no more than three bouquets of flowers will be allowed for transportation in the baggage and hand luggage. Each bouquet can contain no more than 15 flowers, leaves or other plant parts, a government decree published on July 19 reads.

Transportation of larger quantities of fruits, vegetables and plants will require phytosanitary certificates. In case of their absence, the regulated products will either be returned back or destroyed at the expense of the owner.

The new rules will be extended to all types of transport, including water, air, rail and road transport. In addition, the innovations will also concern members of the crews of ships, aircraft and dining cars crossing the border of the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as mailings.

A spokesperson with the Russian agricultural watchdog (Rosselkhoznadzor) told Russian media that the government decree is designed to “harmonize the norms of supranational and Russian legislation.”

“Those rules that are set by the resolution, we have been observing them since July 2017, they were fixed by the decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission. The government resolution has been issued for harmonization of legislation,” the spokesperson said.

Previously, individuals did not need phytosanitary certificates for transporting vegetables, fruits and flowers in their luggage with the exception of seeds and potatoes.