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At the plenary session held on 28 June 2013, Gogi Topadze, Leader of the Industrialist Party, requested a high-level laboratory to check  imported goods. According to him: “Today, Georgia is the only country which is not controlling imported goods.”

FactCheck

wondered about the statement by the MP. We checked whether or not Georgia controls the quality of imported goods.

Before 2013, importer companies were importing goods without encountering any problems if they possessed proper documentation and the food safety ISO Certificate.

According to Resolution N426 of the Georgian Government adopted on 31 December 2010 and enforced on 10 June 2013, conditions for issuing permits on imports by the Food Agency and Revenue Service have changed.

According to this Resolution, the National Food Agency shall issue a permit for importing production which is subject to veterinary and phytosanitary control.

Subject to veterinary control are: every type of animal, meat and edible meat offal, cereal crops, animal food, pharmaceuticals for veterinary use and etc.

Subject to phytosanitary control are vegetable products, which can be used to spread quarantine organisms.

The importer has to submit a preliminary notice to the Revenue Service via its website ( www.rs.ge)

in order to import products which are subject to veterinary and phytosanitary control.

The list of production which needs a special permit from the National Food Agency is reflected in detail in the annex of Resolution N426.

Goods for import purposes are subject to the following regulations at the checkpoint of the border inspection:

  • Documentary check;
  • Identity check;
  • Samples for  laboratory or onsite inspections.

If a good is subject to phytosanitary and laboratory control, possession of the relevant certificate is required which will be issued by the exporter country.

Imported goods could cause spreading infectious diseases in the country. For this reason, security measures are ensured at the Georgian border. Protocol N3 of the government hearing on 21 January 2013 determines the list of those countries where  dangerous infectious diseases and epidemics are widespread. Importing goods from these countries is allowed only in such cases if these states are on the list of food-producing countries of the EU or recognised by the European Commission and hold proper certificates for passing through  inspection at the Georgian border.

Conclusion

In order to import goods into Georgia, the following measures are necessary: submission of a preliminary notice to the Revenue Service, obtaining special permission from the National Food Agency in the case of importing products subject to phytosanitary and veterinary control and holding a relevant certificate.

Despite the fact that there is no special laboratory for the inspection of imported goods as requested by Gogi Topadze, laboratory inspection is conducted on every product which does not have the relevant quality and safety certificate. Documentary and identity inspection on imported goods is conducted at the border and includes laboratory test or inspection as necessary.

Correspondingly, we rate the statement by Gogi Topadze that Georgia does not control the quality of imported products as MOSTLY FALSE.

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