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Anti-investor cases

To which Far East investors complained to the Attorney General

"The Lord created us without us, but we will not be protected without us," Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika called this idea his main credo. In Khabarovsk last Tuesday, Mr. Chaika repeated these words, having listened to the investors' stories about how they are being checked. "Paralysis of IT infrastructure", recalled loans, downtime and layoffs - and that's not all that happens to entrepreneurs after tough visits by law enforcement. EastRussia listened to three cases on how difficult it is to invest in the Far East, with no less interest than the Prosecutor General.

Anti-investor cases
Photo: RFP Group

On the general conclusions of the joint collegium of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Eastern and Eastern Development on the protection of investors' rights in the Far East, EastRussia wrote yesterday, Promising continuation. Three real stories about investments are below.

"The peculiarity of our business is that with a minimum of allotted quotas, we can not develop traditional fishing in the exclusive economic zone, but we are mastering the World Ocean. Actively developing deep processing, we supply up to 85% of products to the domestic market. We produce tare, we repair ships ourselves. Exactly that our activity is so diverse, it allows us to get a lot of experience of interaction with state bodies and to identify the most acute problems of practice of state regulation, law enforcement and control and supervisory activities, "Alexander Efremov, the manager of the group of companies" Dobroflot ", diplomatically began.

Mr. Efremov’s assessment sounded weighted against the background of what happened 15 months ago: then, last spring, Dobroflot’s largest shipbuilding base in the world, Vsevolod Sibirtsev, and the company’s office were visited by armed soldiers of the FSB and special forces at customs. Militiamen suspected that the company was repacking foreign products, that is, in fact, smuggling, carried out seizures and searches. The investigation of the criminal case was terminated on April 21, but the underlying regulatory contradictions are not resolved.

The legislation of the Customs Union, explained the head of Dobroflot, considers any products made outside the territorial railway as a foreign product. But this contradicts Russian legislation, which defines products similar to those produced by Dobroflot, as “products from aquatic biological resource catches,” and simplifies its clearance in Russian ports, removing them from the requirements of the Customs Code of the Customs Union. “This term allowed to form a practice that existed for three years. We took this position as a basis, ”the businessman explained.

EastRussia Help. Business "Dobroflota" (before 2015 year the group was called "Primrybsnab") is conducted in the open sea. The GC includes the companies "Yuzhmorrybflot", "New World", "Movement", Livadia Repair and Shipbuilding Plant. The fleet consists of fishing vessels (project 503 - STR "Dmitriy Shevchenko", "Kalinovka", "Sterlyad", "Kireevka", "Salma", "Sedanka", project 420 - STR "Kalinovsk", "Kostroma", "Nogliki" , "Plastun", RS "Taimen" and "Hurricane"), three floating bases processing catches (the project 13490 - "Bay East" and "Captain Efremov" - and "Vsevolod Sibirtsev") and refrigerators ("Harmony", "Komsomolia" Kaliningrad, Ozersk, Progress, Rustika, Symphony). Annually, "Dobroflot" produces about 150 million cans of canned food. Catches to the shipping depots are unloading fishing trawlers, not only Russian ones. "Vsevolod Sibirtsev" for the next 9-month flight, launched this June, should produce 50 million cans of canned food.

Last year, the Far Eastern Customs Administration decided that canned products imported into Russia by Vsevolod Sibirtsev, in which there were catches delivered by foreign vessels, should be taxed - this all started. "At the declaration stage, the customs authorities do not take a decision to correct the customs value of the goods. The decision is made when the offense turns into a crime. So it was in our case. Our products were issued within a year. And only after a year all this resulted in a rather tough criminal process, "said Alexander Efremov.

The criminal prosecution and its wide media coverage resulted in serious damage to Dobroflot, the head of the company continued. Last November, Alexander Efremov told EastRussia, That "Dobroflot" because of the idle time caused by the actions of law enforcement officers, was forced to reduce about 600 employees of the coastal processing. He clarified at the Prosecutor General's Office: "Although criminal cases are instituted against officials, the reputational impact is for the economic agent. This is damage to credit reputation. In loan agreements of most banks, there is a clause about unilateral termination in case of instituting criminal cases against employees of the company. And loans really respond, enterprises remain without working capital. In our case, due to the reduction in lending, we were forced to reduce by more than six months about 600 people. People lost their wages. If we take only direct losses of the enterprise from premature informing of the public about criminal cases, they amounted to about 126 million rubles. Due to the costs of maintaining businesses during downtime and fines because of late payments to suppliers. "

In conclusion, Alexander Yefremov asked Yuri Chaika for three things. Firstly, "to verify the legality of selective application of the norms of the Customs Code of the Customs Union and the requirements of the customs authorities for placing under the customs procedure for fish products that have come from the open part of the World Ocean and from the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation." Secondly, to cancel one of the items of one of the orders of the FCS. Thirdly, "according to the President's message to the Federal Assembly, to limit the dissemination of information on the initiation of criminal cases against employees of legal entities before the entry into force of the conviction of the court."

"Did you yourself apply? Now the new leadership of the FCS, an exceptionally professional and decent man, has headed now, "Yury Chaika asked Alexander Efremov. "We, you know, have more than 62 appeals to all bodies of state power, including the customs service," the entrepreneur answered, worried, "there really is the principle of the moment that there is a formal approach. After the introduction of the Customs Code of the Customs Union, one already built legislation, the Russian one, was actually intertwined with the Customs Code, which was adopted without taking into account the specifics of Russia. The fact is that…". "No, no details. Appealed, yes? "- interrupted the explanation of Yuri Chaika. "Yes, 62 treatment," - said the head of "Dobroflot". "I understand everything. We will see. We'll see, thanks, "the Prosecutor General assured.


“Investments in our project to create the Far Eastern Center for the Deep Processing of Wood in the city of Amursk already exceed 10 billion rubles. Over the past five years, the holding has paid budgets of more than 10 billion rubles in taxes, deductions and duties. But doing business and investing recently has become quite difficult - due to the large number of checks against the company, carried out by government agencies. The situation with the checks we have is this: in the 2016 year and the beginning of 2017, more than 500 inspections were conducted with respect to the RFP Group, ”began RFP Group President Konstantin Lashkevich.

"Basically, these are inspections of compliance with forest and environmental legislation and forest management conditions. But there are also new types of checks that we encountered for the first time. For more than a month, a field audit of the Federal Treasury Department for the Khabarovsk Territory was conducted. Subject - the observance by our companies of the conditions for granting subsidies to a priority investment project for the development of forests, including two companies that are residents of the TOP. Also check of the Federal Tax Service of residents for compliance with the tax legislation on TOP. There was also a Komsomolsk-on-Amur check of the interregional environmental prosecutor's office of JSC "Dallesprom" - also on the priority project. And I also wanted to mention the operative-search activities of the FSB in the Khabarovsk Territory. On the subject of what - while feedback from the FSB is not received, we are trying to understand the essence of the department's issues in order to constructively answer them, "Lashkevich said.

EastRussia Help. Forestry business RFP Group is the largest in the Far East of Russia. 42,16% of the holding belongs to the Russian-Chinese Investment Fund (a joint venture of the RFPI and the Chinese CIC), the rest of the capital through Invest AG is controlled by private shareholders. With an allowable cut-off volume of more than 4 million cubic meters per year, the group's enterprises harvest about 2,4 million cubic meters of timber annually and are among the three largest global forest suppliers to China.

Since 2009 in the Amursk company is building a center for deep processing of wood, which has already partially earned. The project involves the construction of factories for the production of 300 thousand "cubes" of veneer, 240 thousand "cubes" of sawn timber and 90 thousand tons of pellets. The planned production figures have not yet been reached. The veneer plant gave 2016 thousand cubic meters of products in 160, the lumber plant in June released the first batch of spruce in a test mode and will be officially opened in September. The site where the RFP Group operates in Amursk, entered the territory of Komsomolsk's advanced development in 2015. The status of the TOR residents is immediately shared by two companies of the group: OOO Amur Timber Industry Company and ZAO Amursky Industrial Center.

RFP Group "would not like to complain", but Konstantin Lashkevich drew attention to the fact that numerous inspections create risks of a new type for investors. "Most importantly, these risks are great," he stressed. "For example, after the FSB's operative-search activities were carried out at our office, the activities of many companies included in the RFP Group were paralyzed. In particular, due to the fact that the IT-infrastructure of the holding was paralyzed. We have not yet restored it, even two months later. And because of the dissemination of information, the question arose among creditors about business reputation. This resulted in the decision of several banks to suspend lending, including Sberbank, which is critical when we launch a new plant and need working capital. We also had to cancel the placement of bonds on the Voskhod exchange, the money from which we planned to invest in a new project - the production of fuel pellets. "

As another example, Konstantin Lashkevich brought a lawsuit from one of the forest reserves to the RFP Group, filed at the end of 2016. Claims amount - 4 billion rubles. “According to the results of the consideration, the case in the first instance collapsed, but as soon as the information got into the network, our investors-lenders learned instantly, and many processes got a stake. There are many such examples, and they endanger the existence of the whole business, ”he said. The President of RFP Group stressed: “We want to emphasize the responsibility of government agencies and the extent to which audits affect business. In general, there are many such examples. We propose to think about creating a preliminary control mechanism in terms of obtaining and using state support measures with the subsequent granting of immunity to the investor of the "one window" type. Now a large number of bodies can check and interpret, and any claim for any amount creates the risk of investing, ”he said.

"And for what period of time did 500 conduct inspections?" Yuri Chaika asked. "This is 2016 and the first five months of 17," Konstantin Lashkevich reminded. "One and half year? Yury Alexandrovich, look, please, - the Prosecutor General appealed to his deputy in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Gulyagin. "It's impossible, 500 checks!". "Yes, we have become accustomed to, do not complain," - said the head of the RFP Group. "It's a bad habit, bad! The Lord created us without us, but we will not be protected without us, that's why we must defend ourselves, "Yuri Chaika reacted to the reserved rustle of the hall.


A few more stories about investor problems were told to Yuri Chaika by Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin. "At the end of last year, construction of one of the objects of the ethno-cultural complex in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was suspended. This is one of the residents of the Free Port. The wording: the absence from the legal entity of the approval from the territorial administration of Rosrybolovstvo to carry out construction work in the water protection zone. There was an agreement there, it was already revealed during the verification process. At the beginning of this year, the ban was canceled. But already in the middle of the month the construction was again stopped and prohibited. At this time - because of the lack of approval of Rosrybolovstva for work in the Avacha Bay, while the facility is located in the water protection zone of Lake Kultuchnoye. Only after the intervention of the plenipotentiary representative for the Far Eastern Federal District and the deputy prosecutor general in the Far Eastern Federal District the situation was resolved, and the project is being implemented, "the head of the region said.

Not less "stopper" on the path of investors are unscheduled inspections, the governor continued. "A vivid example is the first implemented in the TOP" Kamchatka "project to build a water park. Since the commissioning of the facility at the end of last year, the supervisory and supervisory authorities for the entrepreneur conducted 12 unscheduled inspections. All of them are conducted in accordance with the existing order, coordinated in the Ministry of Regional Development. One was conducted by the Ministry of Emergency Measures, one - by Rospotrebnadzor, and ten by the State Labor Inspectorate. The investor, who invested about 2 billion rubles in the project, having built an object with no analogues in the entire Far East, is now in the proceedings. And the reason is simple: for a long time I did not pay my employees' salaries, "Vladimir Ilyukhin said.
"During the inspections," he admitted, "the facts of violations are confirmed in most cases, but where to find this balance in order to let investors work? We for this purpose created and created? ".

Having heard this phrase, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev joined the discussion. “I apologize, you said that you need to find a balance. I do not understand this question. Our supervisory activities should ensure respect for the rights of citizens and development. It is not to harm, not to the collapse of the state directed? I know what a request. You are now listing, not paid wages. Listen, you are the governor. You should have met the person and help. They built an important and unprofitable facility for Kamchatka, helped with construction, and helped the bank. But this is the work of the governor, ”said Yury Trutnev.

EastRussia Help. The water park “Miracle Island” began to build 2014 in February and put 2016 into operation in December. The cost of building the first stage - a little more than 600 million rubles. The owner of the object is a local entrepreneur Alexander Vetchinov. The park is located on the territory of the recreation center “Lesnaya” in the Elizovsky district. Attractions are designed to visit more than 700 people at the same time.

After the meeting of the board, EastRussia directly asked the Kamchatka governor: and what about the water park next? "He worked like that, and he will work. I no longer began to speak at the collegium, but there a whole complex of events in the province is being carried out to help them. Including the organization of the mass arrival of children's groups to raise attendance. But there are problems that lie in the technical plane - Rostekhnadzor, fire services. This is due to the safety of people, through such things you can not overstep. There were many complaints from the complex's visitors on the roughness, it's clear, a new enterprise, it is rolling, "the governor said.

He stressed that the water park is a socially oriented facility, very important for Kamchatka, and the investor “loves” his region very much and wants to build the second stage of the water park, but for this it is necessary to resolve the financing issues. "Part of the funds for the first stage he had borrowed, now there are certain difficulties, but hands do not give up, we will support him", - assured the head of Kamchatka. “If an enterprise suffers from this kind of sore, you need to come, help, and not put it in a corner, and he stopped his business,” added Vladimir Ilyukhin.
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