Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency calls for protective import duties on selected fish products

January 27, 2009 16:20

Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency has been developing a proposal on introduction of protective duties for importation of selected fish and fish products, reports ( for the Russian audience) with reference to Interfax.

More specifically, the protective duties are supposed to affect such fish species which are harvested in sufficient quantities to cover the nation's need in the product (in other words, import of which is not necessary). Such species first of all include herring, capelin and products from Russian Alaska pollock.

At present, the import duty accounts for 5% of the product's customs value and the Agency thinks of increasing it quite considerably for the above mentioned species in order to protect the Russian producers in their competition with the foreign suppliers who would otherwise command prices on the Russian market.

This year the moratorium for the capelin fishery has been lifted and Russia and Norway have received quotas of 152,000 tonnes each. Norwegian consumers are not very fond of capelin, therefore the catch will be most likely reduced to fishmeal, shipped to salmon farms as fish feed or, which is the worst thing, exported to the markets of Russia and Belarus thus pushing down the prices.

As for pollock shipments, pollock imported into Russia is mostly of the Russian origin, the fish harvested in the Sea of Okhotsk, exported to China for processing and re-exported back to Russia with up to 30% glaze.

Head of the Agency's Press Service Alexander Savelyev says that the introduction of the protective duties has been initiated by the nation's fishery companies and the Agency has supported the proposal.

Besides, the Agency and fish businesses are initiating creation of a chain of small shops called Ocean to focus on mass consumers and offer affordable prices, Savelyev said. In such shops the products' affordable prices should be able to provide for profitable operations of both the fishery industry and traders thanks to absence of intermediaries.

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