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  • 2023 March 20 13:40

    Russian Union of Grain Exporters asks to elaborate new procedure of Kerch Strait passage

    Newly adopted procedure may cause problems such as idle time of ships and disruption of contracts

    The Russian Union of Grain Exporters accounting for over 80% of Russia’s grain export has addressed First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov with a request to elaborate the procedure of the Kerch Strait passage in order to prevent the increase of ships’ idle time, says Interfax.

    On March 13, RF Ministry of Transport, informed ship owners about the new Kerch Strait passage procedure for ships loaded in seaports of the Russian Federation, on inland water ways, and beyond the Russian Federation, reads the letter obtained by Interfax.

    “Transport security is getting increasingly crucial every year since the security implies a system of measures that ensure safety of goods, life and health of people, - the letter reads. - By today, the procedure established throughout many years foresees that measures to control ships and cargoes are carried out by the government agencies and each ship entering the territorial waters of the Russian Federation is controlled by all government services - customs, border guards, etc.

    “The new ships passage procedure significantly complicates the shipowners’ activities and can cause idle-time problems for ships and disruption of contracts, both internal (purchase) and foreign trade ones (export), financial losses and damage to the business reputation of exporters, inability of elevators to accept products as grain cannot be loaded on ships as scheduled,” reads the letter.

    “To prevent the critical idle time situation” the Union suggests the improvement of the procedure: set the maximum of ship inspection time at 24 hours, determine the order of priority for ships, exclude inspection of ships in ballast (without cargo), timely submission of inspection information to ships’ masters.

    As Eduard Zernin, BoD Chairman, the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, told Interfax, it is crucial to keep the pace of export shipments in view of the record high harvest. “It is significant to reduce the pressure of surplus grain on the internal market. It is equally important for the reputation of Russia as the global leader in supply of wheat to the countries in need,” he said.

    In 2022, Russia harvested a record high volume of grain – 157.7 million tonnes including 104.2 million tonnes of wheat.

    No comments from the Ministry of Transport have been obtained by Interfax.

    On 7 March 2023, the border service started inspecting all ships approaching the Kerch Bridge and sailing to Russia including those in ballast.

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