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Multiplying sadness

Far East fishermen can not reach an understanding with customs even with the help of Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev

Recently, the FCS has forced fishermen to bear additional costs for containers and packaging. The Pollock Catchers' Association and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives tried to understand the essence of the problem and help fishermen ...

Multiplying sadness
It is no secret that the domestic fishing industry is overloaded with all sorts of bureaucratic procedures and requirements from various oversight government departments, since the bureaucratic apparatus of modern Russia is much larger than even that of the Soviet Union (territorially and numerically significantly superior to the modern Russian Federation). Administrative barriers entail significant time and financial costs. This ultimately affects the cost of fish products, whose high cost and inaccessibility for the mass consumer has long been the talk of the town.

Even the most influential Russian Deputy Prime Minister and curator of the Far East, Yuri Trutnev, could not shake one of the barriers that were not eliminated in the outgoing year (especially strongly disturbing Far Eastern fishermen, who provide a third of the total catch in the country). It is about the reluctance of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) to return the packaging materials (TUM - used by any fishing vessel for cross-border transshipment of fish products) the status of ship supplies. This status was valid until the end of 2013 and did not create any problems for fishermen when transporting fish products, enclosed in any container or packaging.

But in December 2013, the Federal Customs Service of Russia, by its letter, ordered all customs authorities of the Russian Federation to consider TUM as ordinary goods. This immediately made life difficult for the fishermen. As he said in a private conversation with the correspondent. "ER" the head of one of the fishing industry "our sorrows have multiplied - there are many times more bureaucratic hemorrhoids and headaches."

After giving the container-packaging the status of a product, the obligation arose to declare it, place it under the customs procedures for release for domestic consumption, export, re-export, etc., as well as unload TUM into temporary storage warehouses (TSW) when importing fish products into the territory. RF, and, of course, pay for storage services. After that, a number of fishing companies filed several lawsuits against the FCS. But, despite the verdict of the arbitration courts in favor of the fishermen, the FCS did not change its decision.

“Even requests from the regional branch of the FCS - the Far Eastern Customs Administration (DVTU) did not help, - said Georgy Martynov, president of the Association of Fisheries Enterprises of the Primorsky Territory, in an interview with East Russia correspondent, - the departmental leadership has several options for solving the problem: to release TUM - regardless of their “commodity” status from placement at the temporary storage warehouse or to return them the status of ship supplies in the draft of a new Customs Code.

But the proposals of the subordinates did not meet with support from the FCS management. In the same way, it remained deaf to similar appeals to "sort out the situation" from the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Envoy to the Far East. There is only one answer: "It is impossible to classify packaging materials as ship's supplies, since TUM does not at all correspond to the very term" supplies "in its interpretation in the context of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures."

According to the employees of the DVTU themselves, made in private conversations, regional fishermen often de facto bypass the requirements of a bureaucratic innovation that is inconvenient in all respects. They simply do not place containers and packaging at the temporary storage warehouse. And if they are caught doing it, then they willingly pay a fine, since the costs associated with transporting TUM from the raid to the customs control zone and back, plus the fee for temporary storage warehouse, are much more expensive.

Of course, all these expenses, both the representatives of the Far Eastern customs and the fishermen themselves, are automatically included in the cost of fish products, falling, in the end, on the shoulders of the end consumer. At the same time, customs duties on TUM, as on goods, are so insignificant that they make no difference in filling the federal budget with customs revenues.

The issue of eliminating administrative barriers in customs clearance of packaging materials became one of the most discussed at a joint industry meeting held in Vladivostok on December 21 by two well-known organizations in the Far East - the NGO "Association of Pollock Catchers" (ADM) and the regional office of ANO "Agency for Strategic initiatives ”(ASI).

As a result, the president of ADM German Zverev asked the head of the Far Eastern representation of the ASI, Olga Kurilova, to bring to the attention of the Government of the Russian Federation the urgent request of fishermen for a legislative settlement of the problem that arose due to customs bureaucracy. As you know, it is the Agency for Strategic Initiatives that has the authority to stimulate comfortable conditions for doing business in Russian regions - through monitoring the situation on the ground, analyzing it and making its recommendations to the highest government bodies.

As it was noted at the meeting, in addition to customs, the redundancy of bureaucratic procedures and documents (in the opinion of the fishermen themselves) also abound: seaport administrations, Rosselkhoznadzor, Rosmornadzor, structures subordinate to Rosrybolovstvo, and others ...

At the same time, in spite of everything, there remains a place for fruitful cooperation between government authorities and representatives of the fish business. Far Eastern fishermen hope to optimize not only the market rules of the game for themselves, but also to simplify the very process of delivering fish products to the final Russian consumer.
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