Russian seafood regaining access to EU markets

March 22, 2010 08:49

The Russian exporters of seafood have resumed shipments to Europe as accompanied by new legal catch certificates required by the EU as of 1 January 2010, reports (

Already in mid-February 2010 Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency has commissioned four of its territorial departments (one in each fishery basin of Russia, namely in Vladivostok, Murmansk, Kaliningrad and in Astrakhan) to issue the certificates and approved the rules for their issue by the departments.

According to active market players, as per mid-March 2010 Murmansk-based fishermen have been actively shipping cod to the foreign market, while haddock has been delivered mostly to the domestic market due to its higher prices in Russia. Besides, companies based in the Russian Far East have been actively exporting pollock to China where it is processed into fillets for further export to the EU. Without the legal catch certificates the Chinese processors would not be able to purchase the Russian raw material.


According to European Commission, on 1st January 2010, a set of new, strong rules has entered into force to bolster the control system of the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy. These rules will give the EU and its Member States new and powerful tools not only to protect the resources of the union's seas and oceans from unscrupulous operators, but also to protect the livelihoods of honest fishermen who would otherwise be exposed to unfair competition. With no preferential treatment from one country to another and no real temptation to cheat, because offenders will not be allowed to get away scot-free, the new system will enable fishermen to ply their trade under the same conditions, thus promoting a culture of compliance throughout the fisheries sector.

The new framework comprises three separate, yet interlinked Regulations: A Regulation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Regulation), a Regulation on fishing authorisations for the EU fleet operating outside EU waters, and a Regulation establishing a control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy (Control Regulation).

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