The prime minister is presented with conformity marks // New packaging may cause a shortage of goods

The need to replace the conformity mark for goods that do not have EAEU regulations, in particular pet food and household chemicals, from June 21, threatens with large-scale problems. Manufacturers and retailers have warned Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin about interruptions in supplies for months, a shortage of these goods and losses of “hundreds of billions of rubles.” Market participants are asking to postpone the entry into force of the requirements until 2023.

Business associations appealed to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with a request to postpone the introduction of the requirement for product labeling with the mark of circulation on the market (CTP) instead of the current mark of conformity (PCT). “Kommersant” has a copy of the letter dated June 10. The appeal was signed, in particular, by the heads of the Association of Producers of Pet Food (AIC), the Association of Manufacturers of Perfumery, Cosmetics, Household Chemicals and Hygiene Products (APPIK BH), the Association of Retail Companies, Rusbrand.

We are talking about the order of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which comes into force on June 21, 2021, which obliges the use of the CTP sign for goods for which the EAEU technical regulations have not been adopted. The order affects products whose declaration of conformity expires after June 21, and new products introduced to the market. As a result, some categories (pet food and household chemicals) may disappear from sale for several months, which threatens a shortage, the circulation notes. According to market participants, the gap in sales is estimated at “hundreds of billions of rubles,” and the disposal of packaging with the current labeling will inevitably have a negative impact on the environment. The replacement of signs in itself does not bring any additional value to consumers, the appeal emphasizes.

At the end of May, participants in the agro-industrial complex already asked Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko to intervene in the situation. Then they feared that the restrictions would affect up to 50% of feed, the write-off of printed packaging would lead to losses of 550 million rubles, and the forced suspension of sales – to damage of more than 21 billion rubles. (see “Kommersant” from June 1). Ms Abramchenko’s office clarified that the appeal was sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture. But, as a source in the industry told Kommersant, it turned out that a legislative initiative from the government was required to solve the problem.

Now market participants are asking Mikhail Mishustin to instruct “urgently” to amend the regulations to postpone the entry of the requirement for product labeling with the CTP sign until January 1, 2023 and establish a transition period for products for which the EAEU regulations are being developed. The Ministry of Agriculture agrees that resolving the issue of a “sufficient transition period” will require amendments to the legislation. The Ministry of Economy noted that they advocated a “sufficient” period for the circulation of products previously marked with the PCT mark. The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the order already contains a transitional period and complies with the law. On May 11, the government office reported that the letter had not yet been received.

The executive director of APPIK BH Petr Bobrovsky says that there is still no clarification from the regulators whether it is possible to continue the production of products with the PCT mark after June 21, as well as what to do with the goods, for which documents on conformity confirmation are already being drawn up. Rusbrand executive director Alexei Popovichev adds that so far the only solution is to apply stickers with a new sign, but the process takes time and can also lead to supply disruptions.

The managing partner of the Veta expert group, Ilya Zharskiy, believes that the appeal to the prime minister looks like an extreme and compulsory measure in order to give the problem meaning with the mark “urgently resolve”. Yuri Fedyukin, Managing Partner of Enterprise Legal Solutions, does not exclude that business is trying to put pressure on the Ministry of Industry and Trade in this way. According to him, the terms established by the order of the ministry can be changed by signing another order of the same ministry, and the preparation and adoption of a separate bill will require at least six months.

Anatoly Kostyrev

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