Russia wants the United States to revise its veterinary certificate for pork exports as soon as possible. In the longer term, Russia's food safety division wants a final version by June 1, according to Russia's Interfax News Agency.

In the meantime, U.S. pork and raw pork products shipped to Russia will have to meet tighter laboratory control, according to source at the Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service.

The Russian regulator and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service representatives recently held a video conference, and discussed the issue. At the time, there was discussion as to whether the United States had assumed the obligation to fulfill Russian veterinary health requirements in pork shipments to the country. The current veterinary certificate was introduced in November 2006, and does not stipulate that those requirements must be fulfilled.

"We think it necessary to review the current veterinary certificate as soon as possible. A draft of the new document will be sent to FSIS very soon so that it can be introduced on June 1, 2009," a representative of the Russian regulator said.