Russia is likely to ban imports of refrigerated fish from Norway from 1 January 2006 because of ineffective quality monitoring, according to press reports.

The Interfax News Agency said the decision was taken by the Russian veterinary and sanitary control service chief, Sergie Dankvert, on the advice of quality control specialists in the country.

According to reports, Dankvert was informed that just 20 tests were taken for heavy metals in artificially bred salmon this year – with 12 tests last year, there is already a ban on artificially bred salmon from three Norwegian enterprises.

Dankvert told Interfax: “The monitoring system does not stand up to criticism, we became convinced of that during talks with Norwegian specialists. That’s why it was decided to limit trade.”

“We are going over the results of tests on Norwegian fish again and if they are reconfirmed, the ban will be extended to all Norwegian fish.”