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Wheat and flour import issues

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 29
Importers of wheat and flour are complaining of experiencing extra problems at the customs offices. Border officials have begun asking them to present phytosanitary certificates, which should be issued by the Ministry of Agriculture but are often delayed. The importers claim that this might be the cause of the increase in the bread price, as the certificates were not required before but now they have become necessary and rather difficult to obtain.

Importer Gocha Betiashvili informed the Ekonomikuri Palitra newspaper that in Poti alone 50 wagons loaded with wheat and flour have been stopped. Importers have to pay GEL 500 as a penalty at customs daily and GEL 100 on the railways. Betiashvili expressed his concern that someone is taking such steps deliberately to block competitors and monopolize the sector, something which could influence the price of bread.

Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli challenges such allegations, suggesting that no increase of bread prices in May is envisaged. The Ministry of Agriculture also promises to regulate programmes concerning the issuance of phytosanitary certificates.