The Russian Plant Quarantine Service
An article in Zashchita Rastenii reviews the present situation of the Russian Plant Quarantine Service, faced by the changing pattern of the Russian economy.
The Service now includes the Russian State Quarantine Inspection Service (Rosgoskarantin), to which are linked frontier and other quarantine stations (some with laboratories and/or fumigation sections); town or interregional quarantine stations; regional and interregional quarantine posts; frontier posts at sea and river ports, railway stations, airports, post offices and on roads; the Russian Plant Quarantine Research Institute, with its associated network of scientific institutions. The system is run by the centralized State Service and nationally funded. In spite of the prevailing economic problems, it is expanding. New stations have been created in the Yakut Autonomous Republic and Khakass autonomous region (in Siberia), the Evrey autonomous region (near the Chinese border in the Far East) and the Karachay-Cherkess and Adygei autonomous regions in the Caucasus. The station in Primor'e (in the Far East) has been developed to deal with the Asian gypsy moth problem (see below). Border points have risen in number from 68 to 108, with 106 more under consideration. There are now 26 laboratories and 6 fumigation sections. Total staff exceeds 1000. Local quarantine stations are now authorized to charge for their services.
The main flow of agricultural produce has shifted from the Ukrainian ports to Taganrog, Yeisk, Adler and Novorossiisk, on the Sea of Azov and Black Sea coasts of southern Russia. In 1992, over 25.3 Mt of agricultural imports were inspected at 64 frontier points, of which 0.053 Mt of seeds and 0.446 Mt of planting material, 1.5 times more than in 1991. In 1992, Russia exported 0.165 Mt of certified plant material and 4.8 Mt wood, 1.2 times more than in 1991. Fumigation of imported materials was much reduced (0.031 Mt instead of 0.196 Mt in 1991).
The type of work of the quarantine inspectors has changed, particularly in connection with the new ways in which plants are produced, marketed, imported and exported. Private markets handle planting material, fruits and vegetables, including those from quarantine areas. Agricultural products are bartered for industrial products, and these transactions are difficult to monitor. Whereas imports were previously handled by a few large state import agencies, there are now over 360 import agencies operating, and in addition private firms are making direct arrangements with suppliers in other countries.
There are many problems in nurseries producing planting material. Of the 550 in Russia, 30% have been found to harbour quarantine pests. According to current regulations, these nurseries should not be allowed to market planting material until the pest problem has been resolved. However, it is difficult to enforce these regulations in practice. Special attention is needed for nurseries which handle imported material. Last year, 13 M units of planting material were imported from 44 countries, including some little known from the quarantine point of view.
Concerning international cooperation, an agreement has been signed between the CIS states for cooperation in plant quarantine. Rosgoskarantin is a full member of EPPO. Material from EPPO is a principal source of phytosanitary information on countries in all parts of the world and serves as a criterion for deciding quarantine requirements for imported and exported agricultural products. EPPO technical documentation is widely used. Russia is also cooperating with the Nordic and Baltic countries. An important point which has arisen is that the European Union, and the Nordic countries which are modelling their regulations on the EU, are making more severe requirements for non-European pine wood, to protect against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. These will not be simple to satisfy in Russia.
Another very important problem arises from the risk that egg masses of the Asian form of Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth) should be carried by Russian ships which are used to import grain from Canada and USA. This has led to the classification of this widespread Russian pest as a quarantine pest, because of the risk it causes for grain imports. This is the first time that quarantine action has been taken in Russia to protect trade. New agreements have been reached with Canada and USA, concerning the Asian gypsy moth risk and also contamination of imported grain consignments with weed seeds.
The Russian list of quarantine pests has been modified; in particular, Leptinotarsa decemlineata has been deleted (see RS 94/024; other changes will be reported later). About 30 of the listed quarantine pests have been recorded in Russia, in 58 regions, on more the 12 M ha. However, surveys have not shown the presence of any new quarantine pests. Some species have increased their range: Hyphantria cunea in Kalmyk Autonomous Republic and Stavropol province (NW of Caspian Sea), Cydia molesta in Krasnodar province (Black Sea coast), Cochliobolus heterostrophus in Krasnodar province and Kabardin-Balkar Autonomous Republic (in the Caucasus), Diaporthe helianthi in Kabardin-Balkar Autonomous Republic, Stavropol and Krasnodar provinces, Globodera rostochiensis in 23 regions of Russia, Karelian Autonomous Republic (next to Finland) and Chuvash Autonomous Republic (on upper Volga), Ambrosia artemisiifolia in Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous Region (Caucasus) and Primor'e province (Far East). Other species have decreased in extent: Synchytrium endobioticum, Quadraspidiotus perniciosus, Acrobasis pyrivorella, Carposina niponensis, Agrilus mali, Ambrosia psilostachya, Ambrosia trifida, Centaurea picris (Acroptilon repens).
Yu.F.Savotikov (1993), Zashchita Rastenii no. 8, 18-21.