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Forum bulletin

“Snow Ball” of the Shipbuilding

March 26, 2010

On March 23, aspects of regulatory framework enhancement in the area of upgrading and maintaining the fishery fleet were discussed by participants of the panel discussion organized by the Committee of the State Duma on Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology.

According to the reporter of RIA, in the cross-industry consideration of this topical issue within the framework of the panel discussion were participating representatives of the administration of Rosrybolovstvo and Duma’s Committees as well as industry associations and unions of all basic fishery regions from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad, regional authorities of these constituent territories of the federation and concerned private companies. The discussion was led by the Chairman of the State Duma on Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology Evgeny Tugolukov.

For none of the participants, the data on submarginal condition of the fishery fleet currently amounting 2 419 vessels (from catching to training) have become a discovery. The effective life of 83% of the vessels being operated has elapsed. Deputies consider “design of new types of fishery fleet vessels total capacity of which is to maintain adequate aquatic bioresources production” to be natural way out.

According to the Duma’s Committee, the problems above can be solved via amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (application of amortization factor to shipbuilding at domestic shipyards, VAT relief in case of import of vessels not entering the port), to customs law (reduction of equipment rates, duty relief in case of import of vessels not entering the port), the Federal Law on the Federal Budget till 2012 (subsidies for lease payments regarding construction and upgrading fishery fleet vessels, and so on). There is a proposal to make amendments to the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones, Fisheries Law (regarding composition of a ship registry and phasing-out of fleet units “under-disability”) and so on.

To start with, we have to admit that our fleet cannot return to foreign nations’ zones, and the non-existence of the fleet is not the only reason. There is no way to conduct research in their waters due to the norm on liquidation of “scientific” catches. Fishermen’ tax burden was lightened and at the same time they are bound to deliver their catch to the shore (with all the ensuring payments and duties). The violators just like earlier keep away from Russian ports. “Leasing in the form of bare board charter is one of advanced ways to fleet upgrading. The government offered us to practice it, and it turned to be our malediction,” continued the chairman of VARPE (National Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters). And the norm prohibiting processing on coastal fishing ships and binding to deliver the catch ashore resulted in failure of onshore processing due to lack of capacities while fishermen have suffered again. In consequence of all this, the financial condition of the industry is such that a fisherman has no in-house source to develop, and no conditions to make money.”

As a resume, the chairman of the Committee admitted the need for complementing industry shipbuilding measures drafted by the State Duma with proposals voiced there by fishermen. According to Evgeny Tugolukov, the main idea to be taken as a basis for subsequent work is the last one of the voiced: “Discussions of peculiarities and specialties can be very long but the essence is always brief and have been specified today: fishery is indeed a very important industry and the state is to attach importance to it”.

Source: RIA

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