Vladivostok customs defining seafood customs value under new scheme
In the first nine months of 2009 Vladivostok customs cleared more than 473,000 tonnes of seafood for import and more than 474,000 tonnes for export from Russia under the new regulations, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to news.vl.ru.
Fish caught in the offshore waters is one of the most specific articles cleared by Vladivostok customs as it is subject for clearance within 3 hours and control of its customs value is effortful. During the nine months since entry into force of the government's order No.990 dated 24 December 2008 the customs officers cleared 449 vessels, mostly in compliance with the deadline specified by the current legislation.
The sticking point in the seafood clearance procedure is not only the time period of product clearance, but the customs value of marine products. To control the customs value it is necessary to provide valid and up-to-date price information as the value of seafood depends on a number of factors such as the fishing and processing area, degree of processing, seasonality, etc. For a long time the regional database of cargo customs declarations has been the only information source and independent information on prices on the world market has been unavailable. Now a working group consisting of specialists from the Fisheries Department of Vladivostok-led Primorsky Krai and the local customs bodies has been established in order to define the customs value of marine products. The Customs Department of the Russian Far East and the province's Fisheries Department have already drafted an agreement on reporting customs value of marine products.
For some time control of the customs value while clearing seafood for sale at the Korean and Japanese fish auctions was problematic, said Vladivostok customs. Such products were primarily declared as temporary imports and the customs value was declared roughly as at the moment of clearance neither buyer nor product price were known. Even after the product sale and corresponding update of the customs value the situation was no better, because in the final declaration as export goods customs applicants presented the documents and declared the sales value of the goods. In the meantime, according to the Law "On Customs Tariff", the customs value is the value specified when the goods are first placed under the customs regime, but in some cases traders either sell not all the products or sell them to different buyers thus making it difficult for control.
The above situation has been partly helped by the recent meeting of large seafood exporters with representatives of Vladivostok customs who have clarified peculiarities of the customs value control as regards seafood exported for sale on the world market.