Belarus to import only raw fish

April 21, 2009 16:35

Belarus Government has decided that seafood importers will only be allowed to bring raw fish to the country with imports of final products, which have actually generated main proceeds for the importers, no longer possible, reports ( with reference to BDG information dated 15 April 2009.

The decision will create serious complications for the importers who will now have to import products from the low price segment. The seafood market of Belarus looks fairly attractive now. Seafood takes high places in the structure of the nation's retail turnover. All the recent years the seafood turnover has been growing in Belarus. While in 2005 retail seafood turnover was estimated at 717 billion BYR, by 2008 the turnover doubled.

Belarus Government has been trying to strengthen its positions in such sectors which have been showing growing turnover. In 2007 Belarus cancelled quotas for seafood import and the Government introduced special importation regime in order to step up state control of import of seafood, fish products and protect economic interests of the state. Under this regime the Government will be authorizing the companies to import seafood to Belarus thus actually to prevent market participants from planning their business in long-term outlook. In other words, these companies who are not listed as authorized importers will automatically lose the right to operate in this sphere.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that in 2009 the Government has defined the list of seafood importers only for January-April and who will be allowed to import seafood in May is not known. The uncertainty complicates the importers' current situation.

The controversy has been further fueled by the decision of President's administration to allow importers to bring only raw fish to the country in order to encourage domestic processing. In the meantime, in 2008 Belarus's seafood importers focused mostly on processed products generating higher proceeds rather than on raw fish of lower price segment. According to the statistics information, the volume of seafood imported to Belarus in 2008 did not change much as compared to 2007, and in value terms the nation's seafood import considerably increased.

In a similar situation, in 2008 importers of alcoholic drinks faced a number of difficulties associated with the special importer regime. More specifically, after the introduction of the regime several fairly large suppliers of strong drinks forfeited the right to import alcohol to the country and actually had to leave the business.

What is MEGAFISHNET.COM? is a global fish and seafood marketplace with an emphasis on APPROVED SUPPLIERS from such major sources as China, Russia, Vietnam, Europe, Americas, etc. More details →