Sector : Seafood

Region Europe

Destination Market: Russia

Information : Russia

Exports to Russia and the Customs Union

Important Information -  On 7 August 2014, the Russian Federation introduced import restrictions on a range of EU agricultural products including seafood. The ban currently runs until 31 December 2018.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of the Russian Federation (Rosselkhoznadzor) was signed on the 14th of January 2009. At the time, this document was the basis on which fish and fishery products were exported from Ireland to the Russian Federation. In accordance with this MOU a list of establishments permitted to export to the Russian Federation is periodically submitted to Russia by the SFPA. The latest version of this list of exporters is available on the Russian Competent Authority website at the following link:  Link to Russian Competent Authority List.  

Certain Conditions of the MOU

As a condition of this MOU any establishment on the list must be aware of the Russian veterinary and sanitary requirements as regards the conditions of product storage, production, sale and delivery of fish and fishery products, in particular as referenced in the following relevant Russian veterinary and sanitary legislation.

Sanitary Rules and Norms SanPiN " Food raw material and foodstuff - Hygienic requirements in respect of the safety and nutritional value of foodstuffs" Appendix 1, section 1.3. Fish, non-fish trade objects and products made of them.

Sanitary Rules and Norms SanPiN " Production and sale of fish products". Enterprises of food and processing industry (technological processes and raw materials). Sanitary Regulations for practice and distribution of fishery products.

This legislation is available on the European Commission website at the following link, in the section entitled Sanitary and epidemiologic rules and regulations (SanPiN):

As a condition of the MOU establishments on this list may also be subject to inspection periodically as set out in the document. 

Formation of the Customs Union

As a result of the formation of a Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia various new requirements have come into place for exporters of fishery products from Ireland to these countries and in particular to Russia.

Therefore in addition to the conditions of the MoU to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Russian and Customs Union legislation and in particular Customs Union Regulation 299, exporters to the Russian federation should carry out the appropriate checks as prescribed in this legislation. Depending on the product types being processed one of the following two guidance documents should help determine these requirements.

Guidance Document Veterinary and Health Requirements Customs Union – all product types  

Guidance Document Veterinary and Health Requirements Customs Union - Pelagic Species  

Application process for Exporters to Russia

For any other approved establishments interested in applying for inclusion on this list, an application form is available at the link below. Please fill out all relevant sections of this application form, in particular customer details in Russia. When completed please return to the following address: SFPA, Park Road, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

Application form for inclusion on the approved list of exporters to Russia in PDF format. 

Further information in relation to this is available by contacting the Food safety Unit at the following email address 

Changes to Labelling requirements for Consumer Packages of fishery products exported to Russia

The Russian Competent Authority for food safety (Rosselkhoznadzor) has notified the various European food authorities including SFPA of a change to the requirements for the labelling applied to consumer packages of fishery products exported to the Russian Federation. Labels on consumer packages of the following groups of food are required to display the following information.

- Frozen fish products:

a. For glazed fish products: the net weight shall be indicated excluding the weight of the glaze.
b. For products produced from frozen fish: the label should include information about re-freezing i.e. notification of secondary refreezing.
c. For frozen salted and pickled fish: the label must contain the words “Frozen fish”.

In addition the Russian Competent Authority has also advised that the following requirements will apply:

I. When processing fish fillets with food additives the moisture content after removing the glaze, shall not exceed 86% of the weight of the fish fillet. 
II. The weight of glaze applied to frozen fish products must not exceed 5% of the net weight.
III. The weight of the glaze applied to frozen prawn products must not exceed 6% of the net weight.
IV. The weight of the glaze applied to all other frozen aquatic products must not exceed 8% of the net weight.

These new additions to Russian sanitary and labelling requirements will come into effect from October 1, 2010.

SFPA would like to emphasize that these requirements are only relevant to export consignments of fishery products packaged for direct sale to the final consumer. This information is also available in pdf format at the following location: Information notice on Labelling Changes 

For more information in relation to any of the above, please email any queries to the following address