Agriculture Ministry supports introduction of quotas on imported foods

The Agriculture Ministry of Russia considers it expedient to introducecustoms quotas on supplies of all sorts of meat, most dairy products, aswell as butter and cheeses. Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Dankvertvoiced this opinion at a news conference today. According to him, a numberof amendments to current legal acts providing for introduction of quotas onsome imported foods have been prepared for consideration during the autumnsession of the State Duma. Answering an RBC question, Dankvert remarkedthat a decision on the introduction of quotas would allow Russia to use theinternational experience in the regulation of the agricultural sector.According to him, the legislation of the EU provides for 77 kinds of quotason agricultural products, and the corresponding figure for the US is 54.However, a regulatory mechanism specified in the law on foreign trade of1998 is still in use in Russia. Therefore, in Dankvert's view, there arepractically no legal mechanisms for making prompt decisions on introductionof protective measures in Russia. Thus, according to information from theagriculture ministry, the volume of cheese production in Russia reduced by3% in the first six months of 2002, whereas the volume of cheese importincreased. Dankvert underlined in this connection that the introduction ofquotas on cheese supplies was the most topical issue now. Dankvert believesthat a law on customs quotas on agricultural products can be adopted beforethe end of this year. .

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