Concerns about the introduction of veterinary certification for dairy products in Russia remain - manufacturers and trade networks

Источник: The DairyNews
The introduction of finished dairy products into the electronic certification system (EVC) "Mercury", which has been postponed several times and argued about a lot in recent years, becomes a reality since July 1 this year. The system includes cheese, canned milk and butter. The rest of the dairy products will fall under EMU since 1 November.

The Rosselkhoznadzor declares that the system is fully prepared for this important stage, for a significant increase in the load. Manufacturers and representatives of trade, who will have to work with “Mercury” not in the pilot mode since July, continue to express concerns.

As Marina Balabanova, Vice President for corporate relations of GC Danone in Russia and the CIS, told “Interfax”, the company "faces certain difficulties, especially in terms of testing the system together with retail chains".

"The company will fully use all its resources in preparation for the introduction of EVC since July 1. This, of course, is not an easy process", she said.

The company PepsiCo at the first stage of the introduction of EVC for finished dairy products does not expect special problems, although they do not exclude their occurrence. They expect difficulties since November 1.

As stated by Sergey Glushkov, Vice President for corporate relations of PepsiCo Eastern Europe, since July 1, a limited range of dairy products is included into the EVC.

"For our company it is only 2.5% of the volume. Significant problems are expected since November 1, when the system will cover the rest of the range, especially perishable products", he said.

According to him, the technical and regulatory issues that have been discussed over the past two years remain open. They are related to the operation of the system, incorrect answers to requests and problems of registration of complex transport routes using several vehicles, and they account for up to 40% of shipments in large cities. There are also issues related to the lack of necessary business fields and functionality in the system, he added.

"The unpreparedness of a significant part of the market participants can lead to a significant load on the system in July, reduce its performance with an unpredictable result, since the regulator did not carry out preparatory activities, including load testing. This can have a negative impact on all market participants, regardless of the level of readiness", - said Glushkov.

In this regard, the company cannot be sure that the problems will not arise after July 1, "despite the fact that we have spent considerable effort to prepare for work in it", he added.

"Preparation for work in the “Mercury” system required multimillion expenses for the improvement of internal systems and the development of an integration solution. At the same time, the system has no added value for any of the participants of the business process. In the context of preparation for the full launch of “Mercury”, the company does not consider options for other projects of commodity accounting systems", he said.

A source in one of the dairy companies stated serious problems with the introduction of EVC. In particular, the system cannot cope with the current volume of documents.

"Almost a fifth of them have to be repeated, since they do not pass the first time", he said.

This results in a delay in product shipments. 

"And this is at the testing stage. What will happen when the system starts at full capacity?", - he wonders.

In addition, the introduction of EVC led to an increase in the company's costs, as it was necessary to expand the staff of programmers. The representatives of trade still have concerns about innovations.

According to the representative of the Association of retail companies (ACORT) Ilya Vlasenko, the Association has repeatedly sent to the relevant government agencies their opinion and justification that the load will fall not only on producers, but also on all participants in the supply chain, while retail takes on the greatest burden and costs. 

"Unfortunately, the readiness of both the “Mercury” system and market participants to significantly expand the list of products is not one hundred percent", he said. - After the formal expansion of the product list, it takes time to adapt the system. According to experience, after the introduction of the EVC since June 1, 2018, it took an average of about 8 months for retailers to achieve a high level of automatic processing of accompanying documents". 

"According to our assessment, for a full transition to the expanded list in the system, all participants will need at least 12 months, - said Vlasenko. - Because of this, there may be risks of reducing the availability of goods on the shelves of retail chains. In addition, according to the estimates of some market participants, the cost of providing work in the system can increase by 25-30%".

Meanwhile, the Rosselkhoznadzor believe that the “Mercury” is completely ready for issuing electronic documents for dairy products. Currently, about 150 million electronic veterinary certificates per month are issued in the “Mercury”, including more than 4.4 million documents issued for 13.6 thousand economic entities across the country for finished dairy products. The system works without failures wherever there is Internet. About 6 million electronic certificates are processed per day, reported the Rosselkhoznadzor earlier. Last year, a load test was carried out by the “Mercury”, which showed that the system is capable of processing 1 million electronic documents per hour, which corresponds to the daily productivity of more than 24 million documents.

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Новый год, 23 февраля, 8 марта – праздники никогда не были помехой потреблению молока. Наоборот, в такие дни спрос на молочные продукты обычно увеличивается.
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