Russia to Restrict Tea from Sri Lanka, Temporarily


Russia will place temporary restrictions on imports of tea and all other agricultural products from Sri Lanka from Dec. 18 after beetles found in a tea consignment, the agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday.
The insect, known as the Khapra beetle, was discovered in the packaging of a consignment of tea from Sri Lanka, which said it was an isolated case and that it would work with the Russian authorities to resolve the issue.
Sri Lankan tea accounts for 23 percent of the Russian market, with other supplies coming from India, Kenya, China and Vietnam, said the head of the Rusteacoffee association, Ramaz Chanturiya, according to a report by RIA news agency.
Members of Rusteacoffee, an association of Russian tea producers, will ask Rosselkhoznadzor to resume tea imports from Sri Lanka but with tougher controls, he said. Russia imported 141,300 tonnes of tea worth $436 million in the first 10 months of 2017, customs data showed.
Sri Lanka’s Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake would visit Russia to resolve the issue, the ministry said in its statement.