Mercury state system on its mark


Legal update No 643

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises that changes to the rules governing execution of accompanying veterinary documents (VDs) took effect on 1 July 2018.

These changes affect manufacturers, distributors, retailers, restaurants, catering providers, other persons or entities who participate in turnover of products from animal or plant origin.

The key novelties are:

1) The list of goods1 to be accompanied by VDs has been extended (List) to include, in particular, certain dairy products, starchy foods, yeasts, food additives, including biologically active food supplements (BAFS), animal feed, and some other specific Foreign Economic Activity Commodity Nomenclature (FEACN) code products and particular product names with effect from 1 July 2018.

Before the effective date, the List was further amended on 27 June 2018 by order of the Ministry of Agriculture. In particular, now VDs are not required for:

  • consumer packaged, industrially produced and heat-treated milk and dairy products made from its basis;
  • chemical and microbial synthesis feed additives;
  • the following groups of goods if containing under 50% animal products, milk, other raw dairy products, fish or crustaceans:

- ready-to-use cereals, flour, starch or milk, pastry goods belonging to FEACN Section 19;
- products of vegetable, fruit and nut processing under FEACN Section 20;
- miscellaneous edible products under FEACN Section 21 (certain BAFS belong here as well);

  • some other products. 

Amendments to Russian Ministry for Agriculture Order 646 dated 18 December 20152 have been adopted simultaneously, authorising designated persons of entities to draw up VDs for additional groups of goods under FEACN Sections 20, 21 and 35 (in particular, fruit and vegetable processing products, BAFS, casein, etc.), provided these have been heat treated and come in consumer or transport packaging.

You might wish to take a look at the amended list in Ministry for Agriculture Order 648. If particular products are on the list, their sale and transportation will be subject to VDs.

2) VDs are at all times to be drawn up electronically3, using the Federal State Information System Mercury.

To produce an electronic VD (eVD), both the seller and the buyer (other than the end consumer) must be registered with the Mercury system. Depending on the product type, the right to execute eVDs using the Mercury system is granted to authorised persons from the State Veterinary Service, certified professionals from outside the state veterinary system and/or authorised persons of companies involved in the flow of goods subject to control.

Breach by legal entities of the statutory procedure for drawing up VDs upon storage, transportation and sale of controlled goods is punishable by a fine of up to RUB 500,000 under Article 10.8 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences.

This liability could be revised by the draft amendments4 on grace period for liability for incorrect execution of eVDs upon transportation.

We will continue monitoring how the Mercury system operates and will keep you informed of the key changes.


1The list was approved by Russian Ministry for Agriculture Order 648 dated 18 December 2015 “On approving the list of controlled goods to be accompanied by veterinary documents”.

2Russian Ministry for Agriculture Order 646 dated 18 December 2015 “On approving the List of animal products for which accompanying veterinary documents may be drawn up by authorised persons of controlled goods manufacturers and/or entities involved in the flow of the controlled goods and individual entrepreneurs producing or involved in the flow of the controlled goods”.

3 Russian Ministry for Agriculture Order 589 dated 27 December 2016 “On approving veterinary rules for organising formalisation of accompanying veterinary documents and the procedure for producing accompanying veterinary documents in soft and hard copy”.

4For draft amendments to Article 10.8 of the Code of Administrative Offences, click this link (recommended Web browsers are Google Chrome and Mozillla Firefox).

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