Russia on Monday toughened conditions for imported animal products that transit across the European Union, Interfax reported, citing a statement issued by the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service.
Animal products from third countries transported across the EU into Russia must now be delivered in vehicles or containers that are sealed in the country of origin that should not be opened at any point within the EU.
The measure is aimed at preventing the contamination of animals by carriers of infectious diseases and the import of animal products that do not meet safety standards, the veterinary service said.
Moreover, the cargo should be accompanied by an original veterinary certificate from the country where the product originated.
The agency is known for its frequent role as an unofficial instrument of Russian foreign policy: Most recently, the watchdog banned imports of Moldovan fruits and preserved fruits and vegetables after the Moldovan parliament ratified an association agreement with the European Union.
The service also banned imports of pork and live pigs from the EU in January, citing worries about reports of African swine fever. In April, the EU filed a lawsuit against Russia with the World Trade Organization over the ban.
The same restrictions on animal products transported across the EU were previously applied to those transported through Lithuania.
The conditions will not apply to exports from micro-states Andorra, the Vatican, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino — all of which are surrounded by EU countries but are not themselves members of the 28-state bloc — and non-EU members Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
The limitations are also waived for non-mammalian livestock, pets and animal companions, collectors items, hunting trophies that have been fully preserved, animal feed and supplements, medicines for animals, marine living resources and derivative products, and manufactured food products that are already packaged for retail sale and marked by their producer.