Delegation to visit Russia for negotiations on tea restrictions

A special delegation from the government of Sri Lanka will visit Russia to resolve import restrictions on Sri Lankan Tea at the end of this month, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissnayake disclosed yesterday (20th Dec.).

Explaining the situation related to the Russian tea imports ban on Sri Lanka, Minister Dissanayake said the government expects positive response from Russian authorities.

Russia has suspended Sri Lankan tea imports from 18th December 2017 when they found a larva of a khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) in a container of Sri Lankan tea. As about 11% of Sri Lankan tea exports are to Russia this is a considerable matter and Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said it is confusing to find such a beetle as they are very rare in Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, he added that he will visit Russia very shortly when a date for negotiation is given by the Government of Russia with a group including Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Director General of Agriculture, Officers of National Plant Quarantine Service and Specialists of Sri Lanka Tea Board and Tea Research Institute. Cabinet also approved to make necessary other responses suitable for lifting this ban.