Customs-cleared seafood exports from Russia's Far East making big leap

July 14, 2009 15:56

In the first six months of the current year 2009 seafood exports from Russia's Far East (the area's harvest contributing more than 50% of the nation's catch) displayed a drastic boost on the corresponding results of last year, reports ( with reference to the region's customs body.

More specifically, in January-June 2009 the Russian Far East customs cleared ca.711,900 tonnes of aquatic products, nearly 7 times up on the same period of last year and more than 3 times up on 12 months of 2008.

Out of the total volume of seafood products cleared by the region's customs 310,800 tonnes were exported with the volume jumping not only 17 times on the first half of 2008 but also 5.6 times on the whole 2008.

The incoming volumes exceeded the last year results 4.5 times and 2.4 times correspondingly and amounted to 401,100 tonnes.

Vladivostok customs cleared the vessels with such fish cargoes as pollock, fishmeal, crabs, black and white halibut, salmon, shrimp and other aquatic products.

On the customs territory of Russia there remained 90,300 tonnes of aquatic products, accounting for 88% of the total volume of 12 months of 2008.

As for the customs departments, in the first six months of 2009 Khasan customs (Primorsky Krai, capital Vladivostok) cleared for export ca.8200 tonnes of aquatic products worth 12.7 million USD. In the same period of last year the customs cleared 3200 tonnes of seafood worth 5.4 million USD. The customs charges totaled 21.6 million RUR versus 6 million RUR last year.

For comparison, in January-June 2009 Vanino customs (Khabarovsky Krai) cleared for export 3706 tonnes of seafood products, including frozen finfish and crabs. The increase on the last year amounted to 97.3% and the rise of customs charges amounted to 84.1%. The customs charges totaled 11.7 million RUR with 10 vessels calls recorded.

Five months

As for January-May 2009 the Russian Far East customs cleared ca.467,000 tonnes of aquatic products totally worth 786 million USD. As compared to the same period of 2008 the customs cleared exports jumped 9 times in volume, namely from 51,000 tonnes to 467,000 tonnes, and 8 times in value, namely from 100 million USD to 786 million USD. The customs revenue also grew more than 11 times from 108 million RUR to 1.2 billion RUR.

The positive dynamics of the seafood export can be attributed to an increase of the TACs and introduction of the requirement stipulated by Russia's federal law No. 166-FZ dated 20 December 2004 "On Fishery and Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources", the requirement stipulating delivery of all aquatic products to the customs territory of the Russian Federation. According to the above new regulations, export of marine products shall be carried out after their delivery to the territory of the Russian Federation and customs clearance. Before 1 January 2009 the bulk of the marine products harvested beyond the 12-mile zone, according to the previous legislation, was exported from the fishing grounds without the customs control procedures.

In the first five months of the current year 2009 the customs bodies located in the Russian Far East Basin cleared 897 fishing vessels as arriving in the Russian Federation, of which 510 ships had marine products onboard. In the same period the customs cleared 817 ships as leaving the RF, of which 424 vessels carried marine products onboard. The total volume of cleared vessels through the period under analysis amounted to 1714 ships.

The bulk of the marine products was cleared by Vladivostok customs (59%), followed by Kamchatka (27%) and Sakhalin (11%) customs, with the vessel clearance displaying the following shares - Kamchatka customs (43%), Sakhalin customs (31%) and Vladivostok customs (15%).

Despite strongly increased catch volumes and number of marine vessels subject to customs clearance and control, the customs officers succeeded in avoiding ungrounded idleness of the fishing vessels. In January-May 2009 only in 12 cases clearance procedure took more than 3 hours, the term specified by the Government's order No.184. The above 12 cases include 11 cases registered in Kamchatka and 1 case in Vladivostok.

The reasons behind the delays of the vessels' clearance were institution of proceedings on administrative offences, conduct of operational measures as well as unreadiness of the vessels or their crews for the customs control procedure.

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