Currently Russia does not allow the cultivation of genetically engineered plants. Russian laws require an environmental approval and registration of all genetically engineered seeds but it does not have a functional mechanism for doing so.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: RS1034
Biotechnology - GE Plants and Animals
Biotechnology Annual 2010
Mary Ellen Smith
Yelena Vassilieva, Mary Ellen Smith, Brett Boyum
As of July 2010, Russia?s biotechnology registration requirements and procedures have not changed
from a year ago. The mechanism for registering events, food and feeds for shipments and their use in all
three countries of the Customs Union has not been developed yet. In the process of harmonizing
technical regulations within the Customs Union provisions will be examined, revised and finally
adopted. Currently Russian registrations remain valid.
Section I. Executive Summary:
On July 1, 2010, changes to the Russian customs legislation were introduced as a result of the new
Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. While the Union is currently in effect,
much of the corresponding legislation required for its implementation is still being
drafted. Frustration and confusion has resulted for many exporters as they continue to operate with
uncertainty under previous regulations. As of July 2010, Russia?s biotechnology registration
requirements and procedures have not changed from last year. The mechanism of registering events
and their use in all three countries in the Customs Union has not been developed yet. For Russia, only
the previous Russian registrations are currently valid. While the adoption of the Customs Union has
created a cloud of uncertainty it also provides an opportunity for change. In the process of
harmonizing technical regulations, provisions will be examined, revised and finally adopted.
Currently Russia does not allow the cultivation of genetically engineered plants. Russian laws require
an environmental approval and registration of all genetically engineered seeds but it does not have a
functional mechanism for doing so. Registration of biotech events for imported food and feed
continues, but the cost to do so is increasing and time consuming. Imported foods that contain
registered biotech events should be registered with the Russian Federal Service for Consumer Rights
Protection and Human Well-being (Rospotrebnadzor) and imported feed should be registered with the
Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS).
In 2009 the anti-GMO campaign targeting consumers intensified and most messages coincided with
similar EU campaigns. Though these campaigns were not strong; there are a few Russian provinces,
including Belgorod oblast and Krasnodar kray, which declare themselves to be GMO-
free. Administrations in these two provinces do not allow imports of genetically engineered products
into their territory. These two provinces are among Russia?s major agricultural producing regions and
the restrictions on biotech products are thought to be driven by protectionist measures for domestic
In 2009 the Russian President along with other government authorities intensified their verbal support
for innovations and advanced technologies. However, research for agricultural biotechnology was not
made a research priority. The Russian Academy of Sciences - Center for Bioengineering and the
Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences - Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology are the two
leading agricultural biotechnology science and research institutes. Much of their research is focused on
the developing pest and disease control agents in addition to the cloning and reproduction of
plants. At the Innovations in Agriculture Forum held in June of this year in Kazan, there was nothing
mentioned about innovations in agricultural biotechnology. Moreover, federal financing for
agricultural research in general is decreasing from an already low level. According to Vyacheslav
Nungezer, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture department of science and technological policy and
education director, the share of federal budget money for science in the added value of agricultural
products is less than 1.4 percent, while in other countries it is several times higher:
Farmer-led biotechnology lobbing groups do not exist. However farmers, particularly in dry areas,
have an understanding for the merit of biotech crops but accept the politics which prevent their access
to such technology. Some farmers in these territories would quickly start using biotech crops if these
crops were allowed for cultivation. The present drought in Russia and the forecasted decrease in crop
(grain, grasses, and even oilseeds) production in 2010 might change farmer and administrative
attitudes to favor biotech crops, especially drought resistant crops. However, the length of decision-
making, and implementation of new legislature, bureaucratic hardships and resistance of domestic
traditional seed breeders makes the switch to legal production of biotech crops unlikely in the coming
The EU remains the primary market for Russian agricultural exports and as a result Russia follows
many EU standards and policies. The recent Russian legislature for the harmonization of its food
safety regulations and requirements with international standards and norms is also based on the
adoption of primarily EU policies, including biotech labeling. Purchasing decisions for the majority of
Russian food consumers are driven by price considerations rather than by biotech awareness.
However, ?No Soy? or ?GMO-Free? voluntary labeling still influences middle class consumers and
ultimately drives food companies to purchase non-biotech, raw materials. In all recently adopted food
safety regulations, biotech products are on in the same category as biologically active food
supplements, food additives, specialized food products, etc., which are a separate group that needs
additional examination and labeling.
In light of the Customs Union, Russia continues to reform its administrative system including the
sanitary, veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance systems. Technical regulations that have to be
adopted should be developed for the entire Customs Union by 2012. Two technical regulations on
agricultural biotechnology (technical regulation for plants, and technical regulation to biotech food
products) were not adopted and their regulation under the new Customs Union conditions is not clear.
Section II. Plant Biotechnology Trade and Production:
Defacto ban on Biotech Crop Cultivation
While there is no official ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered seeds, there is not a system
currently in place for approving it. The result is a defacto ban. Field trials also are not prohibited, but
they need special permissions from the Variety Testing Commission at the Ministry of Agriculture
which companies report is no longer granted. The Commission is responsible for tests, of any variety;
even for small-scale field trials for research purposes. Monsanto carried out field trials with GE
soybeans, GE corn and GE sugar beet in 2000-2004. Since then, there have been no field trials for GE
crops. There was a strong agricultural biotechnology research center in Krasnodar kray, but since the
Krasnopdar kray authorities declared this province GMO-free, the willingness of scientists in this
center to continue field tests with biotech crops ceased.
Further complicating the situation, on June 23, 2010, the Russian President, by the Decree No 780,
moved the responsibility for accessing the impacts on biotech crops on the environment from the
Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Atomic Surveillance (Rostechnadzor) to the Federal
Service for Surveillance in the Sphere of Environmental Management (Rosprirodnadzor) [i] , which is
known for its very conservative approach to biotechnology.
Status of Product Approval for Imports and Food and Feed Use
As of July 2010, there are 17 genetically engineered crops that can be legally imported to Russia for
food use, including nine corn varieties, four soybean varieties, one rice variety, one sugar beet variety,
and two potato varieties. Of these 17 varieties, 12 are also registered for feed use, including eight corn
varieties, and all four soybean varieties. Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science, and Syngenta are the only
three companies to have their biotech crops registered in Russia. Sugar beet varieties belong to
Monsanto and KWS. Since 2007 food registrations no longer expire; however they may be re-called if
negative incidents occur. Feeds registrations are granted for only five years.
From July 2009 to June 2010 food registrations were only given to one Syngenta corn variety and one
Monsanto soybean variety, both of which were in the registration process since 2007. The soybean
variety also received registration for feed use. The corn variety is still waiting for its feed registration.
Monsanto submitted one corn and one soybean variety in May and June 2010 respectively, for food
crop registration (Table 2).
Biotech companies name the following constraints for submitting new crops (lines) for registration:
- Russia?s inconsistent agricultural biotech policies;
- Expensive and time consuming registration procedures.
The new Customs Union might create additional confusions when/if the Union adopts unified
registration procedures. Currently, biotech companies intend to continue to only use the current
mechanisms and procedures for registration of crops in Russia. The possible decrease in domestic feed
supply in 2010-2011 may stimulate feed importers to increase biotech feed registrations despite their
high cost. Feed registration usually takes more than one year. Until cultivation of biotech crops is
allowed; because of this expense and time frame, stimuli to register new hybrids are weak.
Table 1. Russia: Approved and Registered Biotech Crops, 1999-2010
Crop Applicant Year and period of Registration
For Food Use For Feed
Bt corn MON 810, resistant to Monsanto 2000 - 2003, 2003 ? 2008
European corn borer 2004 ? 2009 Sep. 2008 ?
Mar. 2009 ? for Aug. 2013
Roundup Ready® corn NK 603, Monsanto 2002 ? 2007; 2003 ? 2008
tolerant to glyphosate 2008 ? for Sep. 2008 ?
unlimited period Aug. 2013
Bt corn MON 863, resistant to corn Monsanto 2003 ? 2008 2003 ? 2008
root worm (Diabrotica spp.) Aug. 2008 ? for Sept. 2008
unlimited period ?
Corn Bt 11, tolerant to gluphosinate, Syngenta 2003 ? 2008 Dec. 2006 ?
corn borer resistant Sep. 2008 ? for Dec. 2011
LL Corn T25, tolerant to gluphosinate Bayer Crop Sciences 2001 ? 2006, Dec. 2006 ?
2007 ? for Dec. 2011
Roundup Ready ® corn GA 21, Syngenta 2007 - for Nov. 2007 ?
tolerant to glyphosate* unlimited period Nov. 2012
Corn MIR 604, resistant to corn root Syngenta 2007 ? for May 2008 ?
worm (Diabrotica spp.) unlimited period May 2013
Corn 3272 with ?-amylase enzyme to Syngenta April 2010 ? for Still under
break starch during ethanol unlimited period review
Corn MON 88017, tolerant to Monsanto May 2007 ? for Sep. 2008 ?
glyphosate and resistant to corn root unlimited period Aug. 2013
worm (Diabrotica spp.)
Roundup Ready® soybeans 40-3-2, Monsanto 1999 ? 2002, 2003 ?
tolerant to glyphosate 2002 ? 2007, 2008,
Dec. 2007 - for Sep. 2008 ?
unlimited period Aug. 2013
Liberty Link® Soybeans A2704-12, Bayer Crop Sciences 2002 ? 2007 Nov. 2007 ?
tolerant to gluphosinate 2008 ? for Nov. 2012
Liberty Link® Soybeans A5547-127, Bayer Crop Sciences 2002 ? 2007 Nov. 2007 ?
tolerant to gluphosinate 2008 ? for Nov. 2012
Soybean MON 89788, tolerant to Monsanto Jan. 2010 ? for May 2010 ?
glyphosate, 2nd generation unlimited period May 2015
Rice LL62, Bayer Crop Sciences 2003 ? 2008
tolerant to gluphosinate Jan. 2009 ? for
Roundup Ready ® Sugar beet H7-1, Monsanto/KWS 2006 ? for
tolerant to glyphosate unlimited period
Bt potato ?Elizaveta? (resistant to Center ?Bio- 2005 ? for
Colorado potato beetle) engineering?, Russia unlimited
Bt potato ?Lugovskoy? (resistant to Center ?Bio- Jul. 2006 ? for
Colorado potato beetle) engineering?, Russia unlimited period
*In 2006 registration was changed from ?up to five years? to an unlimited period.
** Corn 3272 (Syngenta) received registration for food in April 2010, but still waiting for feed
registration, and also listed in the Table 2
Table 2. Russia: Biotech Crops Awaiting Approval
Crop Applicant Date of Submission for Approval
For Food Use For Feed Use
Corn 3272 with ?-amylase enzyme Syngenta Submitted in 2007,
to break starch during ethanol but still under review
Corn MON 89034, resistant to Monsanto Submitted for
Lepidoptera pest registration in May
Bt soybeans, MON 87701, resistant Monsanto Submitted for
to Lepidoptera pests registration in July
Each biotech food product or ingredient is registered separately. Each feed is also registered
separately. The feeds registrations are issued to the name of a specific company for importing certain
feed or feed ingredients.
Russia continues to increase its livestock and poultry production, as a result domestic demand for
protein feeds is growing. In 2009-2010 Russia increased its soybean crushing capacity as well as
imports. However, the 2010 drought has threatened Russia?s grain production and it is expected to
decrease from 97 million metric tons (MMT) in 2009 to below 85 MMT in 2010. Therefore along with
growing imports of soybeans Russia may have to increase soybean meal and corn imports in 2010-
2011. In general, feed trade does not reflect a pro- or anti- biotech attitude, but rather a domestic
demand in corn and soybeans. However, the largest crushing company in Kaliningrad does maintain
separate facilities for GM and non-GM soybeans. While most customers are happy to purchase GM
soybean meal, a few regions in the south will only buy non-GM. Meanwhile importers of food and
food ingredients reported in 2009-2010 that food processors and traders prefer certified non-biotech
products and ingredients, as these preferences are driven by consumers? preferences.
Due to good 2008 and 2009 corn crops (6.7 MMT and 4.0 MMT) and relatively poor feed milling
industry development in the corn producing regions, Russia exported over 400,000 MT in October
2009 ? June 2010. At the same time corn imports in October 2009 ? May 2010 were 30,000 MT. In
2010 Russian farmers increased area sown to corn, but drought may affect crop production. In MY
2010 Russia imported more than half of its corn from the Ukraine (16,000 MT). The other major corn
suppliers to Russia were Hungary, Romania, Austria and France.
Russia imported 739, 863,135 MT of soybeans from September 2009 (beginning marketing year for
soybeans) through May 2010, compared with 571,608 MT during the same period the previous year.
This included 299,358 MT from Brazil, 258,552 MT from Paraguay, 95,968 MT from the U.S., 43,566
MT from Canada, 23,423 MT from Ukraine, 12,826 MT from Lithuania; in addition to small quantities
quantities from several other courtiers. Russian companies importing from Brazil, claim that they
import mostly non-biotech soybeans.
[i] For more information see paragraph 3 of the Decree of the President No 780 of June 23, 2010:
Section III. Plant Biotechnology Policy:
Russian Biotechnology Legislature
Other than the minor adjustments noted in this report, Russian biotech legislature remains unchanged
from the 2009 Annual report. The summary of different laws that regulate biotech policy in Russia is
given below. These laws are expected to be functioning in Russia for at least another year while the
new technical regulations for the customs union are being completed. The Russian government
continues reforming it agencies responsible for SPS and food safety issues and has called for moving
SPS requirements to more closely follow international norms (often making the EU norms its model).
Below is a summary of laws that currently regulate Russian biotech policy. These include laws on
product registration and consumer information about biotech ingredients in food products.
Federal Law No. 86-FZ of June 5, 1996, On State Regulation in the Sphere of Genetic
Engineering Activities with amendments made in 2000
Federal Law No 52-FZ of March 30, 1999, On the Sanitary-Epidemiological Well-being of
Federal Law No. 29-FZ of January 2, 2000, On the Quality and Safety of Food Products with
amendments made in 2001 - 2006
Federal Law No. 2300-1 of February 7, 1992, On the Protection of Consumers Rights with
amendments. The amendment of October 25, 2007 sets the threshold for mandatory labeling of
food ingredients made from biotech material to 0.9 percent. Prior to this amendment, trace
amounts of biotech food ingredients required labeling
Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 422 of July 14, 2006 that
transferred testing and registration of biotech feeds from the Ministry of Agriculture of the
Russian Federation to the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance
Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 120 of February 16, 2001, On State
State Registration of Genetically Modified Organisms and Registration Regulation. This
Resolution enforced the state registration of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 988 of December 21, 2000, On
State Registration of New Food Products, Materials, and Goods with amendments. The
resolution authorizes registration of GMO food
Article 50.1 Environmental Protection from Negative Biological Impact of Federal Law No. 7-
FZ of January 10, 2002, On Environmental Protection. The Article say: ?it is prohibited to
produce, grow and use plants, animals and other organisms not typical for natural ecological
systems, or created artificially, without developing effective measures to prevent their
uncontrolled reproduction, obtaining a positive state ecological expert?s conclusion, and
permission from the federal bodies of executive power??.
Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 65-FZ of May 1, 2007 and the NEW Federal Law
#385-FZ of December 30, 2009 [i] . This federal law amends the Federal Law ?On Technical
Regulation, and actually suspends adoption of two biotech-related technical regulations (On
Requirements for Bio-safety and the Safety of Biotech Plants, and On Requirements for Safety
of Foodstuffs Produced from Raw Materials Derived from Biotech Plants and Animals) for an
indefinite period of time. The most recent Amendment (#385-FZ) potentially allows business
to choose either Russian technical regulations or technical rules and standards based on
?approved? foreign standards and norms. The amendment also gives the Russian Government
authority to introduce, on a temporary basis, the technical regulations in the Custom Union, and
and norms and rules of the EU, where Russian technical regulations have not been adopted
yet. When the Customs Union came to force in July 2010, development and adoption of all
not-yet adopted technical regulations was suspended, and the new technical regulations will be
developed for the entire Customs Union.
Resolution No. 42 of June 25, 2007 approved SanPiN 22.214.171.1247-07, Additions and Changes
No. 5 to the Sanitary-Epidemiological Rules (SanPiN 126.96.36.1998-01 of 2002, Hygiene
Requirements to Safety and Nutrition Value of Food Products). SanPiN 188.8.131.527-07
establishes a threshold level for biotech ingredients in food products, requiring labeling for
those with components over 0.9 percent biotech. The resolution acknowledges that any smaller
biotech presence is adventitious. These shall not be considered biotech products, and they shall
not require special consumer information. The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation
registered Resolution No. 42 on July 16, 2007 under Registration No. 9852. The resolution
established an accepted federal level, and SanPiN 184.108.40.2067-07 came into force on September
In accordance with current legislation all organizations that import, produce, or trade food products
to/in Russia must inform consumers about the presence of biotech components in food products, given
that each individual biotech event does not exceed 0.9 percent. Rospotrebnadzor?s Order No. 80
specifies the methods that should be used to test for biotech presence in food. For imported food
products Rospotrebnadzor has the right to conduct sample tests to detect the presence of biotech
components. In order to verify the biotech-free claim the producer or exporter may conduct its own
tests at independent laboratories (it may be an IP system, PCR test), but the results of these tests are
not accepted by the Russian Rospotrebnadzor. These pre-export tests are voluntary for producers and
exporters. If a producer/exporter claims that its products are not genetically altered, Rospotrebnadzor
still has the right to examine these products. Furthermore, if the presence of genetic alteration in the
products is more than 0.9 percent the import permit is recalled, and a claim for fraud may be placed on
that company. Usually Rospotrebnadzor pays special attention to products containing soybean or corn
The maximum adventitious presence of non-registered biotech components in feeds allowed is 0.5
percent. Feed may be classified as biotech-free if presence of each non-registered biotech line in feeds
does not exceed 0.5 percent and if the presence of each registered biotech line in the feed does not
exceed 0.9 percent. In this case, ?registered? refers to products registered in Russia and ?non-
registered? refers to products not registered in Russia. The presence of genetic alterations in feed
components is calculated separately and not comprehensively. For example, if two registered
components in feeds contain 0.6 percent of genetic alterations in each, then the feed is considered to be
non biotech, although together the sum is 1.2 percent. The pre-export identification of feed as non-
GMO is not required. It is up to the producer/exporter to declare the feed as non-GMO, but the VPSS
regardless examines the products for the presence of biotech components.
Government Ministries and Their Roles
Registration for Food Use
The Russian Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being
(Rospotrebnadzor) at the Ministry of Health and Social development registers biotech crops and
ingredients for food use. The registration process remains the same as last year:
The applicant submits the application and dossier to Rospotrebnadzor;
Rospotrebnadzor assigns a safety assessment to the Institute of Nutrition of the Academy of
The applicant concludes an agreement for the food safety assessment with this Institute; and
On the basis of the Institute?s assessment, Rospotrebnadzor issues a certificate of registration
and registers the product.
It takes 12 months to conduct laboratory tests required for the safety assessment and an additional two
to three months to organize and prepare documents for the new biotech crops. Registering food
products and ingredients requires less time, however, registration is only granted if the biotech product
contains biotech events that have already been registered. It is necessary to provide a copy of the event
registration certificate in the application documents when registering food products or
ingredients. Only those companies with registered crops in Russia for food use (one of three
companies mentioned above) can provide a copy of the crop registration certificate.
Since 2006 Rospotrebnadzor has registered food-use crops for an unlimited time period. Information
on biotech crops registered for food use for food products or an ingredient containing registered
biotech ingredients is available on Rospotrebnadzor?s website: http://fp.crc.ru/gosregfr/. The list of
registered products contains all new food products, not only biotech products or products with biotech
ingredients. There are several hundred different products and names. To find permitted food products
for a specific crop, search for the name of the crop and the words ?genetically modified.?
The institutes that conduct biotech crop and food product research remain the same as last year,
namely: Russian Academy of Medical Sciences - Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety Assessment
(medical and biological studies), The Russia Academy of Sciences for Bioengineering of (genetic
studies), and the Moscow State University of Applied Biotechnology (technological assessment).
Registration for Feed Use
Plant-origin feed imports require a veterinary certificate and a letter stating that the feed is biotech free
(the maximum adventitious presence may be 5 percent). If the feed contains biotech ingredients, the
shipment must include a copy of the certificate indicating that the biotech components in the feed are
registered with the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS). The imports
must also have a phytosanitary quarantine certificate, although it is unrelated to biotechnology. Any
biotech components in feed must be appropriately registered.
NEW! In October 6, 2009, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture clarified the procedure for biotech feed
registration. The Minister of Agriculture Order #466 is the state registration Administrative regulation
for feeds derived from genetically modified organisms. Which was approved by the Russian
Federation - Ministry of Justice - November 16, 2010, registration number 15239).
In this regulation, MinAg confirms that VPSS is responsible for feed registration. The Russian text of
the Regulations is on the VPSS?s site: http://www.fsvps.ru/fsvps-docs/ru/laws/projects/gmo.pdf and on
the site of the Ministry of Agriculture:
http://www.mcx.ru/documents/document/v2_show/11683.200.htm. The Regulation states that the
registration is issued for 5 years. The regulation covers ?products of plant, animal and microbiological
origin, and their components, used for feeding animals, and which contain animal health non-harmful
digestible nutrients.? The Regulation does not allow the registration of several types of GM feeds
under one name, or to register the same GM feed several times under one or under several different
names. The applicant must submit the following documents:
1. application for the state registration of GM feed;
2. materials that contain information on the following
- information on the origin of GM feed,
- evaluation of the potential danger of use of GM feed (compared with the initial basic feed),
and recommendation of the applicant on the risk reduction,
- information on the supposed use of the GM feed, and on the registration and the use of this
- information about the technology of growing the modified variety of the plant that is used for
production of GM feed,
- data on the technology of production of GM feed,
- draft of the instruction on the use of GM feed
3. if the modified plant variety, which is used for feed is viable and is meant for biomass or fodder
growing, the certificate from the Russian State Register of Selection Achievements must be
All documents shall be in Russian or shall have the certified translation into Russian. Copies of
document shall be certified by a notary. VPSS will make a decision on the registration of a GMO feed
based on the Conclusion of the Experts Council on the safety (non-safety) of the GMO feed.
To register formula feeds, VPSS issues feed-registration certificates to a specific applicant for an
individual shipment during a certain period of time. VPSS only issues certificates for feeds produced
using registered biotech crops. The certificates cannot be transferred to different importers. This
registration is conducted by VPSS, but the list of registered feeds is not available on the site. Given
that the registration is for a specific shipment, information on the registration is accessible to the
The research of crops for feed use and the research of biotech formula feeds is conducted by the
Federal State Organization ?All-Russian Center of Quality and Standardization of Animal Pharmaceuticals and
Feeds ? VGNKI, subordinated to VPSS.
NEW! A reorganization happened late June 2010 transferring the functions of environmental expertise
from the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Atomic Monitoring to the Federal Service
for Surveillance in the Sphere of Environmental Management ? Rosprirodnadzor (paragraph 3 of the
Order of the President #780 of June 23, 2010) at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental
Management. Given the present status of Rosprirodnadzor, it is unlikely that they will look favorably
on moving forward with approving biotech crops for cultivation.
Registration and certification in view of creation of the Customs Union
The Customs Union will result in a revamping of Russia?s technical regulations; however, the
certificates and registrations issued before July 1, 2010 will be valid until January 1, 2012 or until their
expiration date. However, the validity of these documents will not be recognized by non-Russian
Custom Union members.
On May 28, 2010 the Customs Union Commission adopted Custom Union?s Standard Sanitary and
Epidemiological and Hygienic Requirements to Food Product Safety and Nutritional. These
requirements (Decision of the Commission #299 of May 28, 2010) are posted on the web-site of the
Customs Union: http://www.tsouz.ru/KTS/KTS17/Pages/P2_299.aspx . The unofficial translation of
these requirements is attached. These requirements include GMO presence and labeling requirements
very similar to Russian requirements stipulated in SanPiN 220.127.116.118-01 (with all amendments
referring to GMO). However, the mechanism for implementing these new requirements in the
Customs Union has not been developed. The Russian Rospotrebnadzor is conducting permanent
consultations on how implement these requirements at the borders and in the Customs Union. While
the adoption of the Customs Union has created a cloud of uncertainty it also provides an opportunity
for change. In the process of harmonizing technical regulations, implementing regulations will be
examined, revised and finally adopted.
Biotech regulations in Belarus and Kazakhstan
According to industry, Belarus allows the importation, use and cultivation of biotech products
which are officially registered in the country where they are produced. Belarus is considered open to
biotech products and is a signatory to the Cartagena protocol. In Kazakhstan there is no legislation on
biotech crops. It is said that planting biotech crops is not allowed and Kazakhstan and is a GMO-free
Traders and biotech companies report that the current situation is confusing: the goods intended to be
sold and used only in one of the member country and these goods may not be allowed in other member
states. Companies will continue to apply to Rospotrebnadzor and Rosselkhoznadzor, who will then
only issue registration certificates valid in Russia. If a biotech company or supplier wants to have a
registration for the whole Customs Union, they will have to apply for registration in accordance with
"Unified sanitary-epidemiological and hygienic requirements for products subject to sanitary-
epidemiological surveillance (control)? which currently are drafted but not in practice by any member.
Fees for registration of biotech events:
Rospotrebnadzor?s charges for all examinations and related services, including comprehensive studies
required to register for food use biotech events. Fees are capped at a maximum 3,770,000 rubles
($121,613 [ii] ) for the approval of new events for an unlimited period. The option to register for an
unlimited period began in 2006. The fee varies, depending on the range of examinations and studies,
but averages around $100,000. The fee for re-examination and re-approval of events that were
registered before 2006 is approximately $10,000. Registration of food products that contain a
previously registered biotech event is 20,000 rubles ($645).
Registration of biotech events for feed use: VPSS usually registers events only after it has been
approved for food use. However, the registration fee is higher and the process is more
cumbersome. The registration fee is not fixed. Before March 2010, VPSS?s charges for examination
and a 5 year event registration for feed use were approximately $100,000 (approximately 3,352,000
rubles). However, in March 2010, VPSS announced that they will be increasing fees but to date has
not set the new amount. The charge is the same for registration for the first time and for re-registration
every five years. Companies that import formula feeds with registered biotech components also need
registering these feeds as biotech feeds. The registration is given the company that imports this feed
and VPSS requires that each feed that contains a registered GM event also be registered. .
Some improvements in feed registration are expected: GOR Order 299-R, signed on March 9, 2010,
which required the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economic Development, Federal Anti-
Monopoly Service and other interested bodies to develop a draft federal law aimed at improving the
legal regulation in the field of veterinary control and surveillance. The draft should have been
submitted to the Russian Government in May 2010.
[i] For more information see GAIN report RS1002 _ Policy and Program Announcements _ Amendments to the Federal
Law on Technical regulation _ Moscow _ Russian Federation
[ii] Exchange rate is 31 Ruble per $1
Section IV. Plant Biotechnology Marketing Issues:
Labeling requirements increases the price of food containing biotech ingredients. The price of
examining products for the presence (or absence) of biotech components is high because the approved
methods of testing are extensive. Specialists claim that the recent activities of the State Standards
Committee and the GOST on identification of GMO with microchips [i] have resulted in a significant
fee increase for imports of all food and agricultural products to Russia. It is rare to find a GMO label,
though non-GMO label can commonly be seen on dairy, eggs and poultry products.
Section V. Plant Biotechnology Capacity Building and Outreach:
During the economic crisis funding for anti-biotech groups, such as Greenpeace and other NGOs,
decreased and consequently the anti-biotech campaign has faded. However, pro-biotech groups have
not received new funds in spite of a declared support of innovations and advanced technologies by the
Russian Government. Mass media is still mostly anti-biotech, but the issue is not very important and
is discussed very little by mass media.