Imports of farmed salmon and other farmed seafood from Norway through Belarus will be closed until inspections of farms pass, says Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

The veterinary agency previously closed imports of Norwegian salmon via the Euro-Asian Economic Community (EAEC) member states, which include Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikista on Jan. 9.

The transit of finished products from Norwegian salmon and trout salmon farmers through Russia was also suspended.

“The restrictions are based on the repeated violation of the EAEC’s requirements for microbiological indicators," Julia Melano, spokesperson for Rosselkhoznadzor, told IntraFish.

“During 2019, we repeatedly detected banned and harmful drug remains, including dyes, in fish products made from Norwegian farmed salmon and trout and shipped from Belarus to Russia."

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, the decision was due to the absence of consent by the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities (Mattilsynet) to inspect the Norwegian salmon and trout farms.

Rosselkhoznadzor didn’t clarify when and which farms it wants to inspect, however, underlining that the ban will be in force until farms pass inspection.

“We are also waiting for materials from Mattilsynet with reasonable guarantees for the safety of Norwegian fish products," Melano added.