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UAE refutes reports of suspension of Ukrainian food imports

Staff writer |
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denied reports about the suspension of imports of Ukrainian food products, according to the State Service for Food Safety and Consumers' Rights Protection of Ukraine.

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The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Embassy in the UAE said this in letters addressed to the Food Safety Service.

According to the embassy, the UAE hasn't directly prohibited the import of Ukrainian food products. It has never expressed caution regarding the quality of Ukrainian products.

"The problems have arisen due to the cancellation of the right of the Alraid center (halal certification center in Ukraine) to issue halal certificates. However, this institution received the right to issue such certificates only in February 2014.

Before that time domestic exporters used other ways of obtaining such certificates, including through alternative certification centers both in Ukraine and abroad," the embassy said.

For its part, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that on Ukraine's initiative, a meeting with charge d'affaires of the UAE in Ukraine, Ahmed Al-Suwaidi, took place, during which it was said that the non-recognition of the halal certificates issued by Alraid center was a purely technical issue and was not related to the quality of food produced in Ukraine.

The State Service for Food Safety asked the United Arab Emirates agency for standardization and metrology to provide a list of halal centers both in Ukraine and in other countries, which have the right to issue halal certificates for the export of food products to the UAE.

On May 30, the State Service for Food Safety and Consumers' Rights Protection of Ukraine reported that the UAE suspended exports of food from Ukraine.

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