Customs duties on raw fish exports to Russia can be raised

May 4, 2010 11:11
At a recent seafood show in Brussels (Seafood Exhibition - 2010) head of Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency Andrey Krainy said that customs duties on exports of w/r fresh and frozen fish should be gradually raised in order to encourage further development of the Russian processing sector, the rise to touch such popular products as raw pollock increasingly exported to China for processingб reports ( with reference to RBC.

More specifically, in order to lead the country out of the raw source model and saturate the domestic market with homemade products it is necessary to increase export duties for some most popular raw fish products (or capable of enjoying a strong demand) along with a rise of import duties for value-added fish products and a decrease of import duties on raw fish either unavailable or in short supply in Russia, said Krainy at the exhibition.

The process of fine adjustment of the customs policy does not mean a sharp increase of duties for all types of fish products. Probably, the list of species applicable to higher export duties will include pollock which the Russian fishermen so far prefer to export for processing to China rather than build own processing facilities. (Now the average level of seafood export duties in Russia amounts to 5% and the import duty for pollock fillets amounts to 15%.)

According to Andrey Krainy, now only 10% (120,000 tonnes namely) of the pollock harvest is left in Russia. In the year 2011 the pollock TAC will probably rise to 1.6 million tonnes versus 1.2 million tons in 2010. Russia is the world's leader in pollock harvest. However, there is a need to build more processing facilities to handle rising catches of pollock and approve those facilities for export of value added pollock products to the EU. Head of Russia's fishery industry says that in the long term outlook shipments to Europe will turn out to be highly profitable for the Russian fishermen.

At the same time, Andrey Krainy has assured the nation's fishermen that the rise of customs duties will in no way be dramatic and they will certainly have time to build new processing facilities.

In its turn, the government of Russia can increase subsidies to support the fishermen. So far subsidies at the total value of one billion RUB issued for the year 2009 remain untapped by the fishermen.

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