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What EU experts think about laboratories in Kyrgyzstan

Experts from the European Union examined the state of laboratories in Kyrgyzstan. The findings are disappointing: officials have to modernize the laboratories and the entrepreneurs — to introduce international quality standards.

GSP + — trump card in talks with EEU

Kyrgyzstan was one of the eight countries that received GSP + status from EU. Participation in the program allows it to supply 6,200 items of goods to the European markets duty free. However, at first, the EU experts have to make sure that our products are safe.

In early February, the first technical mission of the European experts arrived in Kyrgyzstan. Experts will assist the government in increasing the volume of national exports to the EU under GSP + status.

Experts studied our laboratories and production. The goal — to see if we can supply the goods to the EU market now or something needs to be improved. The visit is very important for us. Entry into the new markets — is an urgent problem for Kyrgyzstan. However, meat and dairy products made by our country are not allowed to be brought into the Eurasian Economic Union. Neighbors refer to the fact that everything is not good in this sphere.

The visit of the European experts and their positive recommendation could become a trump card in negotiations with Kazakhstan. As of today, only it refuses to recognize our veterinary system suitable and reliable. However, expectations were not met.

Laboratories not ready- no export

Having spent two weeks in Kyrgyzstan, European experts delivered a verdict — laboratories of the country are not ready to work with the goods for export to the European Union. Representative of the mission of the European Union Ruggero Malossi said at the presentation of the results of assessment of laboratories' state.

He told that the experts inspected eight laboratories. They believe that the facilities are ready to check the goods for further export to EEU, but not to the European Union.

Kyrgyzstan has insufficient quality control standards in agriculture, processing, transportation and sale of goods.

«We believe that two laboratories would be enough for Kyrgyzstan. One laboratory is enough for exports of Kyrgyz goods in the line of GSP +. It is economically unprofitable to maintain a large number of them. They will create competition as a part of the conducted tests duplicate," Ruggero Malossi stressed.

Duplication of equipment was revealed in the laboratories; therewith, there is not a single laboratory to carry out a full cycle of necessary research.

Kyrgyz laboratories' specialists do not have experience in ISO standards and methodology. Unprofitability of laboratory operations was noted.

Specialists did not like the use of antibiotics in the treatment of animals in agriculture. It is unacceptable for EU.

In addition, too few domestic enterprises are guided by the international HACCP quality standard. There is no transport regulation of products under the temperature conditions. In addition, the experts pointed out that, as of today, there is no promotion of the country abroad.

What should be supplied to the European Union?

EU mission of experts was there not only to point out the shortcomings. Having studied the situation, they have to say what Kyrgyzstan has to pay attention to, that is to say, not to diffuse the limited resources.

Ruggero Malossi advised to focus on the supply of certain types of products:

  • honey;
  • nuts;
  • dried fruits;
  • beans;
  • aromatic herbs for food;
  • cosmetics;
  • fish.

In fact, the experts' recommendations mean that we can not use GSP + system so far. Neither laboratories, nor entrepreneurs are ready for it. In the first case, the government is working: new laboratories are being constructed, new equipment is imported under the agreement with Russia. But in the second, the entrepreneurs will have to work hard and spend a lot of money to enter new markets.

But we have been provided the opportunities, so we have only to competently use them.