The Ministry of industry and trade has proposed new stages of introducing labeling of dairy products in Russia

Источник: The DairyNews
The Russian Ministry of industry and trade has proposed new stages for introducing mandatory labeling of dairy products. It is assumed that manufacturers and importers of ice cream and cheese will be required to label their products since June 1, 2021.

For dairy products with a shelf life of more than 40 days, mandatory labeling requirements will come into force on September 1, 2021, for dairy products with a shelf life of less than 40 days - since December 1, 2021, said Deputy Director of the Department of digital labeling of goods of the Ministry of industry and trade Oleg Tukhvatullin at a webinar on Monday.

‘The terms that I announced were formed last week and the corresponding draft resolution has already been submitted to the government, on November 20. I think that the final provisions of the draft resolution will be approved, and in the near future we will expect the release of the relevant government decree, which will approve the rules for labeling dairy products, including the relevant stages,’ Tukhvatullin said.

It is planned that market participants will start transmitting information about the withdrawal of dairy products from circulation since December 1, 2021, and since June 1, 2022, the requirements for transmitting information about turnover in terms of batch accounting will come into force. The introduction of mandatory piece-by-piece traceability is scheduled to begin on December 1, 2023.

‘Such a stage-by-stage approach <...> seems to be comfortable in our opinion, so that the turnover participants can have time to test their processes and requirements do not enter simultaneously for all product groups,’ said the Deputy Director of the Department of the Ministry of industry and trade.

Currently, the Russian Federation is conducting an experiment on labeling dairy products (started on July 15, 2019). In April this year, the government extended it until December 31, 2020.

‘The experiment is being conducted until December 31, 2020. Despite the approaching end of the experiment, we encourage manufacturers and other participants in the turnover to join the experiment and actively participate in the work,’ emphasized Tukhvatullin.

The main deadline for the introduction of labeling - January 20, 2021 - was determined by the government decree of March 30 this year. The new stages of the introduction of labeling in the dairy industry suggest that in January 2021, a transition period will begin ,which ‘market participants should spend on completing preparations for mandatory labeling, comprehensive completion of testing of all processes <...> since there are no prerequisites for the cancellation of additional ones,’ Tukhvatullin added.

In the previous version of the draft decree, the Ministry proposed to begin mandatory labeling of milk and cream (non-concentrated, no added sugar), storage period of which exceeds 28 days, as well as ice cream and other edible ice, whether or not containing cocoa on January 20, 2021.

Since July 1, 2021, the labeling was planned to be extended to milk and cream with a shelf life of less than 28 days, cheese, butter, milk pastes, cottage cheese and soft drinks with milk fat, since October 1, 2021 - buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, condensed milk and other products. Wholesale companies and retailers that sell labeled products were supposed to start providing information about them to the monitoring information system since October 1, 2021.

The operator of the labeling system in Russia is CATD, a joint project of USM of Alisher Usmanov (USM Technologies, 50%), GC Rostech (Automatika concern, 25%) and Elvis-Plus group of Alexander Galitsky (25%). So far, the requirements for mandatory digital labeling apply only to non-food categories (for example, cigarettes, shoes, medicines, perfumes, tires).

According to Tukhvatullin, currently more than 7 thousand companies take part in the experiment on labeling dairy products, including 542 manufacturers, 730 wholesale companies and more than 6 thousand retail companies.

‘By the way, I would like to note that PepsiCo has already entered the experiment,’ he said.

PepsiCo declined to comment.

Another leader on the Russian dairy market, Danone, is not participating in the experiment, reported in the company to Interfax.

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