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Free port grew
As a preferential regime turns the Far East into the territory of not only promises, but also ongoing development
Photo: Tass / VEF Photobank
The idea of the Free Port as a territory where one can trade duty-free excites the minds of mankind for a long time - as is known, the first free port was created in the Italian Livorno in the 16th century, and the words denoting a port without taxes exist in most European languages: Freeport, Freihafen, Porto Franco. The similar regime has its history in Russia, where in the 19th century Odessa became the first "seaside harbor, enjoying the right of duty-free importation of foreign and all native products". But in the Russian Far East everything was, as in many other things, quite special.
Duty-free trade in foreign goods on the outskirts of the country was first allowed in 1828 in Kamchatka - for ten years. And with the development of Eastern Siberia and the Amur region, a similar regime was introduced in many border ports, including on the Amur: the economy of the Far East had to be raised, and there was no regular communication with Europe. The vast territories of the Amur General Governorship and the Transbaikal Region of the Irkutsk General Governorship enjoyed preferential customs tax.
Vladivostok since the middle of the XIX century has become one of many, but perhaps the most famous in Russia Far Eastern port-franco, where, as contemporaries wrote, American goods could be bought cheaper than in America itself. However, once relations with the west of the country were established, first by regular flights by sea and then by the Trans-Siberian railway, the regime became not so much useful as harmful: it made the development of new production facilities in the field unprofitable, and therefore was canceled in 1909. It would seem, irrevocably.
Modern Russia did not know anything like the term of the port-franco of the times of Imperial Russia - until December of the year 2014, when President Vladimir Putin, addressing the Federal Assembly on an annual address, said: "I propose to grant Vladivostok the status of the Free Port with an attractive lightened customs regime." And further: "We will continue cooperation with the countries of Asia. The Asia-Pacific region is moving forward, and Russia as a Pacific country will use this potential. "
PHRASE - THE NEW LAW
Preparation of the bill on the Free Port in the Ministry for the Development of the Far East began immediately after the announcement of the President's message. Not only representatives of the Primorsky Krai administration, but also the general public, from diplomats to businessmen, were involved in discussing the possible parameters of the revived regime of port-franco. Special public hearings were vital: after all, the president formulated the task in just one sentence, and what exactly "fill" to fill the Free Port, nobody really imagined. This was a real "brainstorming": the first version of the bill was born by the end of January 2015, more than 700 experts took part in its discussion.
One of the key problems that had to be solved with the help of the new regime was the optimization of the work of the customs. "The main problem to be solved is administrative barriers. Today, the activities of ports are controlled by a large number of organizations. All this drags out the procedures of customs clearance, which we must minimize. The same applies to port charges - they should be minimal, "- explained in 2015 the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District - Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev.
On April 2, 2015, the “zero readings” of the draft law were held by the Public Chamber. On May 6, 2015, the draft law was submitted for consideration to the government of the Russian Federation. It was approved on June 5th. On June 19, the draft law was considered in the first reading by the State Duma. July 3 - adopted in the third reading. July 8 - approved by the Federation Council, and July 13 - signed by President Vladimir Putin. 90 days were allotted for the law to come into effect - until October 12. During this time, amendments were adopted to various Russian laws and regulations of both the government and various departments - in order for the law to work. In early September 2015, the Free Port was presented to the guests of the first Eastern Economic Forum, which took place on Russky Island.
ONE IS SUCH - AND NOT ONE
At first glance, the Free Port regime repeats the TOP regime: similar tax privileges, customs and administrative preferences are offered to those companies that apply for the status of a resident of the Freeport of Vladivostok (SPV). The companies that invest in the creation of new industries (or in the modernization of existing ones) at least 5 million rubles have the right to apply for benefits. Infrastructure, as in the TOP, the state does not build the Free Port, although it can be built on the terms of public-private partnership. In the rest everything is very similar: zero rates of taxes on profits, property and land in the first five years, reduced insurance premiums for employees, the possibility of applying the regime of free customs zone - all this is in the TOP.
However, the Free Port surpasses all TOPs, taken together, according to the area of application of the preferential treatment regime, and this is its first feature.
In the original version of the draft law, it was proposed to extend the preferential treatment to seven municipal entities of Primorsky Krai: in addition to Vladivostok, the city that historically developed around the seaport, Artem, Nadezhdinsky and Shkotovsky districts, as well as municipalities included in the international transport corridors "Primorye" -1 "and" Primorye-2 "- Partizansky, Frontier and Khasansky districts.
Then the number of municipalities of the port-franco grew to 12, after that - already up to 15. The scale is difficult to assess if you do not look at the map. The first phase of the SST turned out to be a huge territory along the land border with China and the DPRK, and with Japan along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Including all the sea resorts of the Khasansky area to the southwest of Vladivostok and the coastal strip a few hundred kilometers to the east from Vladivostok, including the most important port of Nakhodka for Primorye.
Then the regime was extended to other subjects of the Far East. Vladimir Putin, during the first Eastern Economic Forum, instructed the government to consider extending the SST regime to other harbors. "I believe that we managed to work out a successful and competitive formula for the Free Port, using both our historical experience and the best foreign practice. Therefore, I suggest that the government consider extending the Free Port regime to other key harbors of the Far East, "the president said.
Thus, since July, 2016 has been operating in the Vanino Municipal District (Khabarovsk Territory), Korsakovsky District (Sakhalin Region), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Kamchatka Region), Pevek (Chukotka) and Lazovsky Municipal District of Primorsky Krai. Since 1 July 2017, the regime was extended to the Uglegorsk city district of the Sakhalin region. Minvostokrazvitiya also made proposals to the government to extend the regime to international airports Khabarovsk (Novy), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Elizovo), and also to the Soviet-Havana municipal district. And in August it became known that the expansion of the regime is possible and on Blagoveshchensk.
The second feature of the Free Port is its clear anti-bureaucratic nature. Over the past two years, the application of the law has become clear that it was possible to transfer it from paper to reality in various fields. So, in terms of reducing administrative pressure and redundancy of control procedures, the SST regime became the golden key to the most complicated bureaucratic lock.
Customs at the Freeport, the authors of the bill suggested, should start working around the clock, rather than several hours a day, as it was earlier on the Russian-Chinese border. And with 1 October 2016, the checkpoints in the Free Port have earned, as required by law - around the clock. "Now, when working on the border, a single control body has been introduced. In addition, the Government of Russia has shortened the terms of state control at customs. Their limiting value is established. Electronic declaration of goods is introduced. This is done only in the Freeport of Vladivostok, "said the Minister for the Development of the Far East Alexander Galushka.
Another example is from the sphere of reference of another control service, the border control service. The law set out a rule on the simplified visa regime of the Free Port of Vladivostok. It takes a considerable time, almost two years, to bring this norm into effect. A separate law was adopted, which introduced a new type of entry permit - an electronic visa. Inventory. A whole system of interagency cooperation was developed, special equipment and software were installed. As a result, from 8 August 2017 citizens of 18 countries can enjoy a unique preference - via the Internet to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia for an e-visa, receive a response within four days, and, if approved, enter the territory of the Freeport for up to 8 days. The first tourists have already appreciated this innovation, and in the future their flow will only grow.
BILLIONS FOR PEOPLE
And the Free Port promises to grow the same way. After all, its main goal is to attract investments. And a lot of them went to SPV - the bill goes on hundreds of billions of rubles. According to the preliminary assessment of experts, as a result of the establishment of the Free Port of Vladivostok, the GRP of the Primorsky Territory is expected to grow significantly - 2,2 times to 2025 (up to 1,4 trillion rubles) and 3,4 times to 2034 trillion rubles. The increase in the GRP of the Far Eastern Federal District by 2,1 may amount to 2025 trillion rubles. The number of newly created jobs is estimated in 1,97 thousand people - to 84,7 year, 2021 thousand people - to 108 year, 2025 thousand people - to 468,5 year.
The SST regime, investors say, helps them to reduce the final cost of production. And this increases the competitiveness, which is critically important for small and medium-sized businesses. Since the beginning of the 2017 year, for example, residents of the Free Port Vladivostok have been granted 18 million rubles of exemption from customs payments, the Far Eastern Customs Administration reported. The port establishes a special legal regime for entrepreneurs, which provides for a number of preferences. Residents have the right to place goods under the customs procedure of the free customs zone (STZ), which makes it possible to import goods without payment of duties and taxes and without non-tariff regulation of equipment and raw materials. The use of such a procedure is possible only in a specially equipped zone of customs control at the resident site. There are two such now: LLC "Fr. Russian and Ussuriisky Industrial Park LLC. Since the beginning of the year, the customs authorities in the port have issued 12 declarations for goods that are placed under the customs procedure of the FCZ.
Two years after the signing of the law on the Free Port, 396 received applications for the status of a resident of the Free Port for a total of 374 billion rubles. Almost half of applications from potential residents are intended for the implementation in the city of Vladivostok (191 application), in second place - Artemovsky urban district (37 applications). The confirmed investment projects promise the creation of more than 30 thousand new jobs. "From the results of the work of residents for two years: 10 projects were fully implemented, the amount of investments in them amounted to more than 10 billion rubles, more than 1,5 thousand jobs were created. By the end of the year, we expect that more 25-30 investment projects will be completed, "said Denis Tikhonov, General Director of the Far East Development Corporation.
Thus, new enterprises with a residence permit in the Free Port are already a reality.
The first of the residents of SPV has put in operation the industrial and industrial park "Aviapolis Jankowski" in Artem, the company DNS Development. The industrial park is built in several stages on the territory of 180 ha. Its sites already use DNS, Eldorado, Kari, "The World of Packaging", "Nevada" and Samsung: warehouses, production and warehouse complexes have been commissioned and introduced on the site. The volume of investments already made - more than 700 million rubles, created jobs - more than 130.
Implemented the first stage of the project and the company "Olginskie lesopromyshlenniki", which creates an enterprise of non-waste processing of roundwood in the Olginsky district of Primorye. The status of the Free Port resident was received by the company in September 2016. The volume of investments in the project will be 50 million rubles. The company launched the production of edging and floorboards, pallet boards and timber.
Small projects are launched in the Free Port one by one. In Ussuriysk, KB Plast opened the production of pipeline systems from polypropylene. The plant's capacity is 20 tons of finished products per month. The production process is automated, but to provide it you need 10 jobs. Construction began at the end of 2016, the company invested about 7 million rubles, and the investor intends to develop the project further: he is working on plans to increase capacity to 35-40 tons of finished products per month. Already, the pipes produced in the Freeport are delivered to a dozen regions of Russia.
The Free Port is also developing in other subjects of the Far East. Opened - a brick factory in Vanino LLC «Tokinsky brick factory». The design capacity of the plant is 5 million pieces of bricks per year. Investments amounted to 14 million rubles. Two residents immediately went to the Free Port in Chukchi Pevek - one will produce drinking water, and the second - to grow food in the greenhouse. New port capacities are being built in Sakhalin in Korsakov, and the coal business is developing in the Uglegorsk District. There are the first approved applications to the Free Port of Vladivostok in Kamchatka.
Published in the journal "Economics of the Far East"