Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board Rohan Pethiyagoda has told the official news website of the government that tea exports to Russia have commenced as usual.
Russia imposed a temporary restriction on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from December 18 last year after an insect, known as the Khapra beetle, was found in the packaging of one consignment of tea from Sri Lanka.
Following discussions between Sri Lankan and Russian officials, Russia lifted the temporary ban imposed on Sri Lanka tea imports from 30 December setting several conditions to be met by the Sri Lankan tea exporters, including maintaining the cleanliness of the containers used for tea exports.
Tea consists of nearly 80 percent of Lankan exports to Russia and Sri Lanka exported US$ 143 million worth of teas to Russia in 2016.
According to the Chairman of the Tea Board, Sri Lanka is exporting roughly 30 million kilograms of tea annually and earns about 24 billion dollars. Russia and Iran are the main tea buyers.