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Relations between Ukraine and Russia have not reached the status of "trade war" yet, agricultural policy and food minister of Ukraine Mykola Prysiazhniuk said in interview with ForUm correspondent.
“I support the idea that any product exported in a country must meet the norms and standards of this country. We should remember this, understand and accept.
The food market of our state is controlled at the legislative level. There are specific measures how to limit or ban import of food products on domestic market. Every country has such measure and the right to apply them,” he said.
As for the quality of Ukrainian production, together with European institutions we are preparing the launch of HACCP system in Ukraine. “Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. In this manner, HACCP is referred as the prevention of hazards rather than finished product inspection. The HACCP system can be used at all stages of a food chain, from food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc,” he noted.
However, Mykola Prysiazhniuk said that it is hard to say whether this system will catch on. “However, if we want to enter foreign markets, we must do our best. All enterprises working for export will be obliged to apply the HACCP system,” he stressed.
“We have worked out a draft bill on food safety, and I think in 2014 we will introduce the new control system. However, it does not mean that foreign markets will become wide open for use, but at least we have proper arguments on the quality, which would not allow to limit our products in other countries,” agricultural policy and food minister of Ukraine said.
According to Prysiazhniuk, there are regulatory actions and non-regulatory actions, which may be used by a country in the course of bilateral trade. “As for the first ones, we now apply all measures to protect ourselves from African swine fever, raging in Russia and Belarus. For this reasons other countries can ban or limit import of agricultural production,” he said.
Speaking about non-regulatory actions, none of the products is secured. “In this case, we should take into account the structure of import of a product in a country, product's share in this structure, as well country's capabilities to increase domestic production of this product. However, I hope this list of products is already exhausted,” Prysiazhniuk noted.
“We have free trade area with Russia, and at the same time 300% duty for sugar and 200% for caramel. Who agreed these exceptions? You know, we work by the principle might is right,” the minister summed up.