Russia Warns Pakistan of Banning Rice Imports Over Food Safety Concern

If Moscow’s phytosanitary concerns regarding future rice shipments are not addressed, Russia has warned Pakistan that it will once again Banning rice imports. This warning comes after a quarantine organism was found in a recent shipment of rice.

After a shipment of rice imported from Pakistan, Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS) issued a notification about the break of international and Russian phytosanitary regulations, leading to the warning.

According to Dawn, notification FS-SA-3/6592 dated April 2, 2024, has identified the presence of a quarantine organism, “Megaselia scalaris (Loew),” in the shipment of rice.

The FSVPS has requested the minister and trade representative at the Pakistani consulate in Russia to conduct a quick investigation into the issue.

The Russian government has sent a letter to the Pakistani ministry requesting that they take measures to prevent contravention and ensure that all Pakistani rice exporters stick to phytosanitary standards to guarantee the safety of agricultural products exchanged between the two nations.

The Pakistani ministry in Moscow’s trade division has forwarded a letter from Russian authorities to the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) in the Ministry of Food Security and other government offices.

They have warned that if additional complaints are received from Russian authorities, there may be a potential ban on rice exports in the future.

In 2019, Russia implemented a ban for approximately two years due to similar reasons. However, after a series of discussions between officials from both countries, the ban was eventually lifted.

Additionally, in December 2006, Russia stopped the import of rice from Pakistan due to concerns regarding food safety standards not being met.

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