ALRINGTON, VA. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced that, as of March 2, Russia is no longer accepting pet food, animal food or animal food ingredient imports from the United States.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the United States exported $2.8 million of dog and cat food to Russia in 2020.

AFIA shared that President Putin signed a decree on Nov. 21, 2020, issuing a ban on agricultural products from countries that issued economic sanctions against the country, which includes the United States. The United Kingdom was also added to the list of banned countries on Dec. 9, 2020. The bans will be effective until the end of 2021.

The Russian Federation claimed the prohibition of animal food products is based on GMO-related requirements by the country.

The ban applies to all products intended to feed animals, including pet food and pet food ingredients, livestock and feed ingredients, and even aquaculture food and ingredients.

Prior to issuing the ban, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said the Russian Federation had been believed to require veterinary certificates for dog and cat foods and pet food ingredients exported from the United States, but had discontinued the listing of pet food facilities eligible to export to Russia before March 2.

As a result, APHIS Veterinary Services stated it is unable to endorse any certificates for any animal food materials to be exported to Russia from the United States at this time.

AFIA stated it is discussing this development with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) division, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

For more regulatory news affecting the pet food market, visit our Regulatory page.