“The range of goods has actually recovered”

Almost a year after foreign companies began to leave Russia, the assortment in the country has actually recovered. The head of the Federal Accreditation Service, Nazariy Skrypnik, spoke about this in an interview with Izvestia. According to him, the number of domestic producers increased by 17-20%. The main trading partners of the Russian Federation were the countries of Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf. Also, as a business support, a simplified scheme for declaring goods was introduced – in total, it helped enterprises save 1 billion rubles. In addition, in the coming months, Rosakkreditatsiya plans to develop uniform standards for halal products – special halal hotels may even appear in the country.

Russian brands more by 17–20%

— According to Rosaccreditation, how has the number of product names on the Russian market changed in 2022 after a number of foreign brands left the country?

— Last year was unprecedented in terms of challenges for Russian imports. Businesses had to build supply chains from new manufacturers. The main request of importers was to simplify the import of goods. In March 2022, measures to support business were developed at the site of the Ministry of Economic Development, one of which was a simplified declaration scheme. Rosakkreditatsiya has made a new service for registering such declarations, due to which the time for importing new products has been reduced from 20–30 to six days.

The first such declaration was registered on March 21 last year. A couple of months after the sanctions were imposed, others replaced the departed foreign brands.

According to the number of certificates registered by the Federal Accreditation Service, it can be concluded that some brands have been replaced by others, and the number of foreign manufacturers has increased. The departed brands are being replaced by Russian manufacturers, their number has increased by 17-20%. An analysis of the documents in our registers showed that the range of goods actually recovered.

Photo: Global Look Press/Keystone Press Agency/Cfoto

— Which countries are now Russia’s main trading partners in terms of imports?

  • At the moment, the import of goods into the territory of the Russian Federation mainly comes from the countries of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. If earlier importers registered certificates for goods mainly from Europe and the USA, now more than 30% of such documents are registered for goods from China.

How effective is the simplified goods declaration scheme for businesses?

This measure is in demand. At first, according to the new scheme, 10–15 documents were processed per day. Now, on average, 400 simplified declarations are issued per day; in total, since March last year, 50,000 of them have been registered, each of which is for a specific consignment of goods. At the same time, only 240 such declarations were suspended due to violations. In total, this measure helped businesses and, in particular, micro-enterprises save 1 billion rubles, an average of 25,000 rubles per declaration. It also saves time, as it only takes an average of 30 minutes to complete the document.

— The simplified scheme is valid until September 1, 2023. Is it planned to extend this measure or make it permanent?

The issue of extension has not yet been raised. Simplified declaration is a moratorium on certain requirements for the importation of imported goods. And, as you know, all moratoriums are temporary. Together with the business, we will evaluate whether it is worth keeping the simplified scheme or whether it is already possible to return to the previous requirements.

Photo: Izvestiya/Eduard Kornienko

— Is Rosaccreditation developing additional business support measures?

  • The Service has launched an accelerated procedure for expanding the scope of activities of laboratories, on which it makes a decision within 20 days. Thanks to this measure, more than 12 thousand new methods of laboratory testing have been introduced, which has allowed the laboratories themselves to quickly adapt to the existing market conditions. For example, the Central Research Automobile and Automotive Institute (FSUE NAMI) was able to expand its scope of accreditation in a short time, which made it possible to maintain supply in the automotive market in a changing economic environment and replace the departed foreign brands with others.

Or, for example, the Republican Veterinary Laboratory in Tatarstan last autumn purchased new laboratory equipment necessary for PCR diagnostics, underwent an accelerated expansion procedure and quickly became involved in monitoring and controlling the biological threat of avian influenza in the region.

Quality check

— How did the number of counterfeit products change last year?

  • We believe that if the procedure for checking the goods passed in accordance with all the rules and a certificate was issued, then the products cannot be counterfeit. For example, do you know how a soft toy is tested for safety? Prior to the start of sales, the laboratory conducts at least 20 tests for various requirements, the full cycle of which takes at least five days. For about two days, the toy is prepared for testing – it is kept at a certain temperature and humidity.

Then the laboratory checks the durability of the paint, the intensity of the smell, the release of chemical elements harmful to the health of the child from the materials of the product, including lead, arsenic, mercury and other substances. In addition, the certification procedure includes the participation of manufacturers themselves in it. Certification bodies go to production in order to make sure that the goods are produced in accordance with all safety rules. An already registered certificate can be checked, and if there are violations, the document is terminated. In comparison with the previous year, we see that the number of revoked certificates has not changed significantly.

Photo: Izvestia / Kristina Kormilitsyna

— Rosaccreditation launched an electronic service for checking the quality of goods on marketplaces. Which of the largest marketplaces have already connected to it?

— OZON, Wildberries, DNS, METRO, Leroy Merlin, Magnit have already joined the service. The other day we signed an agreement with SberMegaMarket. We are waiting for the connection of “Yandex.Market” and “Aliexpress Russia”. Today, 5 million product cards on Russian marketplaces contain information on certification or declaration of goods and a link to the FSIS registers. In 2022, their number has increased five times.

It is important to note that online platforms voluntarily connect to the service. There is no law requiring it to be done. Businesses are realizing that having a certificate is a quality indicator that can boost consumer demand. Soon, in case of a security breach and termination of the declaration, the product card on the marketplaces will immediately disappear. Already now, following the results of the suspension of 35 certificates in the category of dietary supplements, these products instantly disappeared from online platforms.

— How do you plan to expand this service in 2023?

  • Now links to certificates are displayed only in the web version of marketplaces. This year, the service plans to extend the service to applications as well, as consumers most often access the online platform through a phone rather than a computer. Also, by the end of 2023, 15% of cards should receive links to the registry, now they are less than 1%. Therefore, Rosaccreditation, together with Roskachestvo, plans to encourage marketplaces where the largest number of products with links are registered, namely, to award quality prizes from the Russian government.

    Photo: Izvestia / Kristina Kormilitsyna

— What categories of products on marketplaces most often do not pass inspection?

  • Until we cover all categories of goods sold on marketplaces, it is impossible to draw a final conclusion. Now we can say that if the product has been assessed for safety and has a certificate, then it will definitely pass the test.

Halal market

— In December 2022, three national halal standards were adopted. How many potential consumers of such products are on the Russian market?

  • The domestic consumer market of the country has more than 20 million Muslims. In addition, halal products are in demand among the non-Muslim population. For many Russians, the halal sign is an indicator of high quality. Therefore, the demand for such products is growing strongly.

The service, together with the Ministry of Economic Development, has begun to introduce a halal accreditation scheme into the national system. It is planned to develop general requirements in the coming months. Today, many food companies, especially those that import products to the countries of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, bring specialists from Muslim countries to evaluate their products for compliance with halal standards. The goal of Rosaccreditation is to create authorized bodies in this area at the state level in Russia.

Photo: TASS / Elena Afonina

— In which countries does Russia sell its halal products?

  • Basically, these are the countries of the Persian Gulf, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran. Already today, Russia is in the top 5 leading exporters of halal products in the world. The total Islamic population is about 2 billion people. According to the latest data, the total amount that people around the world spent on halal products from the Russian Federation is $12.7 billion. In the list of leaders, Russia ranks fourth and is second only to Brazil, India and the United States, China closes the top five.

However, halal is not only food, but also tourism, hotel business, Islamic banking, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and much more. Today in Russia there are no hotels with halal certificates, and the country is losing a large amount of Muslim tourist flow. It is expected that in the future, halal hotels may appear in Russia. This will significantly increase the indicators of both inbound and domestic tourism. In the service sector in this area, Rosaccreditation, together with other federal executive authorities, will develop an approach to establishing certification requirements.

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