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Russia removes dietary supplements from import ban list

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By Kacey Culliney+

Last updated on 22-Aug-2014 at 10:01 GMT

Dietary supplements excluded from Russia's food embargo - EHPM director-general says it's 'clearly good news' for industry
Dietary supplements excluded from Russia's food embargo - EHPM director-general says it's 'clearly good news' for industry

Russia has amended its ‘total embargo’ on western food imports to exclude dietary supplements, vitamin and mineral mixes, protein concentrates and dietary fibers.

The government filed the amended decree yesterday, Wednesday 20, updating a handful of product categories it initially sanctioned embargoes on earlier this month . Russia's embargo covered foods imported from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway.

Among the changes – that included a lift on lactose-free milk products – dietary supplements were excluded from the year-long ban under ‘food or finished products’.

A translated version of the amended decree detailed that the ban now covered:

.  Food or finished products (except dietary supplements; vitamin and mineral complexes, flavor additives, concentrates of proteins (animal and vegetable origin), and mixtures thereof; dietary fiber; nutritional supplements (including complex)

Domestic dominated market

Russia’s vitamin and dietary supplement market was valued at €1.68bn in 2013, forecast to grow to €1.92bn in 2014, according to Euromonitor International data.

Moscow-headquartered pharmaceutical giant Amway OOO held the biggest share in value terms – representing 6% of total 2013 sales.

This was followed closely by two other Russian companies – Pharmstandart OAO and Evalar ZAO.

Nutrilite, Linex, Vitrum and Complivit remained the “most powerful brands” in terms of value sales of vitamins and dietary supplements in 2013, Euromonitor said.

PMR Research suggested local manufacturers accounted for two-thirds of Russia’s dietary supplements market. By volume, local players represented 80% of the market, it said.

However, PMR data indicated that for the immune system category, it was foreign companies that dominated the market in value terms, although not volume.

Still good news for European supps sector

Speaking to NutraIngredients this morning, Patrick Ahern, director-general of EHPM [European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers], said the amendment was “clearly good news” for the sector.

“The Eastern Europe region is a very large and important export market for many sectors of EU industry including the dietary supplement sector, and Russia is obviously a very important part of this,” he said.

“… Hopefully the current tensions between Russia and the EU can be resolved through constructive dialogue.”

Food Supplements Europe welcomed the move, describing it as an "important decision that will benefit the health of the Russian people".

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