Russia has lifted its ban on imports of tobacco and tobacco waste materials from Malawi, reports the AK&M Information Agency.
In 2021, Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision detected five instances of the tobacco pest Megaselia scalaris in tobacco shipments from Malawi.
Malawian authorities reported that the multi-eating humpback fly is absent on the territory of the country and has never been found in places where tobacco is grown and in tobacco raw materials. They emphasized that Malawi applies strict control mechanisms for exported products that meet international standards. Each batch reportedly undergoes a fumigation procedure twice before shipment, after which the containers with the cargo are sealed and sent to the port of Mozambique where they undergo another stage of disinfection.
Given that the humpback fly prefers a humid climate, which is not typical for Malawi, as well as the fact that the import of tobacco raw materials from neighboring countries is prohibited, representatives of the Malawian departments suggested that the contamination of goods could have occurred during loading or transportation.
Nonetheless, Malawian authorities vowed to strengthen control of tobacco exports, prompting Russia to lift its embargo.