Russia to impose 4 to 7 percent duty on exports, including seafood

A meeting of the Russian government.

Russia will implement new duties on exports, including seafood, on 1 October, 2023.

The 21 September announcement from the Russian government’s news service said 4 to 7 percent duties “will be applied to a broad range of goods,” and a duty of up to 10 percent will be applied to fertilizer exports.

“This regulation is designed to support the rational balance between exports and domestic consumption,” it said. “The measure is temporary and is designed to protect the domestic market. The decision will help protect the domestic market from unwarranted price increases.”

The regulation, Resolution No. 1538, imposes the duties through the end of 2024, including on all products listed under Group 3 of the Foreign Economic Activities of the Customs Union (TN VED TS) codes, which includes “Fish and crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates.”

The tariff rates will be tied to the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Russian ruble, with the stipulation that if the exchange rate drops to less than RUB 80 (USD 0.84, EUR 0.79) to USD 1.00 (EUR 0.94), the duties will be nullified. With the value of the ruble between RUB 80 and RUB 85  (USD 0.89, EUR 0.84) to the USD 1.00, the duty will be 4 percent. With the rate between RUB 85 and RUB 90 (USD 0.95, EUR 0.89), the duty rises to 4.5 percent. Between RUB 90 and RUB 95 (USD 1.00, EUR 0.94) to the dollar, the rate rises to 5.5 percent, and at RUB 95 or above, the rate moves to 7 percent.

The rates will be set monthly using the exchange rate determined by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and ratified by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development on the first of each month.

The duties are not retroactive to transactions that occur before the tariffs come into force on 1 October.

Russia increased its year-to-date exports between January and August 4 percent year over year by volume to 1.4 million metric tons (MT), though its earnings fell 4 percent by value to USD 3.6 billion (EUR 3.4 billion). Total seafood production nationwide reached 4 million MT for the year as of 18 September, up 11.5 percent, according to Russian Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo).

Of the total, 771,000 MT was frozen fish, up 86 percent year over year, and valued at USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.4 billion).

Russia’s increasing trade with China was the primary factor in the bump in exports, with Russia sending 81 percent more seafood products, or 811,000 MT, to China through the year as of 18 September, valued at USD 1.7 billion (EUR 1.6 billion), PortNews reported, citing Rosrybolovstvo data posted on Telegram.

Russia has imported 390,000 MT of seafood products valued at USD 1.7 billion (EUR 1.6 billion) thus far in 2023. Of that total, 41,000 MT has been frozen fish, up 18 percent year over year, with a total value of USD 226 million (EUR 213.6 million). Russia has banned exports from a number of countries in response to sanctions imposed on it for its invasion of Ukraine.

Year-end data for 2022 released in June 2023 by Rosrybolovstvo revealed the country produced 4.8 million MT of seafood in 2022.  Ilya Shestakov, the head of the Federal Fisheries Agency, said on 13 September he expects national product to reach 5.08 million MT in 2023, with exports to remain flat year over year, though rising to countries in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

Also, the head of Rosrybolovstvo, Ilya Shestakov, noted that Rosrybolovstvo, in connection with the successful salmon run, does not rule out that the production of red caviar in the Russian Federation may double in 2023, the price is expected to be quite low.

“Middle Eastern countries began to buy more from us,” Shestakov said. “The markets there are premium, but it is necessary to develop a culture of consumption of our products, including crab.”

Shestakov said global sanctions against Russia have not impacted its seafood industry.

“The situation in the industry is stable. The sanctions, in fact, did not touch us at all,” Shestakov told TASS.

However, Shestakov acknowledged the country’s effort at refurbishing its domestic fishing fleet has been delayed due to sanctions, saying redesigns of some ships have been required due to some equipment no longer being available in Russia

Photo courtesy of Russian Ministry of Economic Development


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