Russian government making final arrangements to switch to mandatory customs clearance of the nation's EEZ catch

November 14, 2008 16:20

The Russian Federal Fisheries Agency has warned the fishermen that it will not hesitate to punish any trespasser who may fail to comply with the federal law stipulating compulsory shipment of the harvest from the EEZ to the customs territory as of 1 January 2009, reports ( with reference to IA Regnum.

When the regulation comes into force, those companies which will be found failing to fulfill the requirement will be deprived of the right to conduct fishery.

According to the agency's head Andrey Krainy, the law obliges the Russian companies to ship all the catches to the nation's shores, in other words to the customs territory of the Russian Federation, for customs clearance prior to further exportation.

At the same time, the requirement does not apply to foreign fishing companies conducting fisheries in the Russian EEZ under the international agreements, which shall prevail over the national legislation, explained Andrey Krainy. Today the fishery operations in the Russian EEZ are conducted by companies based in Japan, Norway and South Korea.

Head of the nation's fishery industry does not share the concerns of some fishermen who fear that the existing port infrastructure does not have the capacity to handle increased volumes of seafood. More specifically, frontier and customs services in the Russian Far East have developed optimal schemes for the fishermen to cross the state border and clear the harvest at customs. Most of the ports of Primorsky Krai Territory (namely, those of Vladivostok, Nakhodka and Vostochnyi) will be ready to work under the new scheme in a round-the-clock schedule. He told the nation's fishermen that they should simply accept the new rules and get used to work under the government's control and the law itself is aimed at bringing order to the nation's fishery industry. The regulation to be soon introduced is supposed to bring 200,000-300,000 tonnes of biological resources out of the shadow.

At the same time, Andrey Krainy admits there are certain problems in the coordinated work of all the controlling bodies (except for frontier service) yet to be solved.

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