Abstracts of the report of the President of the APIEFP Mr. Niyazi Gasymov at the annual meeting (September 11th, 2017)
In pursuance of the meeting request of 2016, the APIEFP management met with representatives of the Retail Companies Association (ACORT).
We exchanged information, opinions and ideas, discussed the possibility of joint actions, even agreed to conclude a Memorandum of Cooperation, the draft of which proposed to include:
joint preparation of proposals to the federal legislative and executive authorities of the Russian Federation on the regulation of trading activities in the fruit and vegetable market;
agreeing the positions of the APIEFP and ACORT on building of a civilized fruit and vegetable market and participation in the development of public policy in such sensitive areas of legislation as administration and market regulation.
However, the management of ACORT did not react to our proposals and our further appeals ignored.
At the time of the depreciation of the ruble and the crisis in the Russian fruit and vegetable market, the APIEFP appealed to the Ecuadorian banana producers and exporters through the Embassy of Ecuador to the Russian Federation with a reasoned request not to increase the purchase and export prices for bananas for Russia. Our opinion was heard, and the minimum selling price was slightly raised only from January, 1st, 2017. As a result, Russian imports of bananas from Ecuador grew by 11% in 2016.
The Association of Ecuadoran Exporters of Bananas ACORBANEC, which accounts for about 30% of the total export of bananas from Ecuador and approximately 65% of Ecuadorian banana exports to Russia, became a new member of the APIEFP in 2017.
The presentation of ACORBANEC is available on the website of the APIEFP and in the September issue of the RussiafruiT Magazine.
Labelling of Food Products
The Association, together with its Russian and foreign members, repeatedly appealed to the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and other federal ministries and agencies with an appeal to clarify the extremely unsuccessfully formulated and therefore ambiguously interpreted provisions of the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union "Labelling of Food Products" (TR CU 022/2011).
There were even appeals to President Putin.
At the meeting in the Technical Regulation and Accreditation Department of the EEC we received an oral informal explanation that it is not necessary to label each transport package or consumer’s package with fruits and vegetables. Ostensibly to the pallet with a cargo it is enough to put labels in an envelope.
However, no formal explanation from EEC has yet been received.
The APIEFP also initiated a discussion on the development of a "one stop shop" to fill out the labels for cargo.
The APIEFP was invited to the working group of the above-mentioned Department of the EEC.
Zero import duty on oranges
The Association appealed to the government of the Russian Federation to remove import duties on vegetables and fruits, which do not grow on the territory of the Russian Federation.
An important practical result of these actions was the EEC regulation on zeroing the import duty on oranges from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017.
During a personal meeting with the leadership of the Tariff and Non-tariff Customs Regulation Department of the EEC, the Association could in time and operatively to prevent the attempt of the EEC to return the 5% import duty on oranges as early as April 2017. To this end, the APIEFP has involved the Ministry of Economic Development and other government agencies in addressing this issue. As a result, the draft refund to the 5% duty was blocked.
Moreover, the APIEFP appealed to the EEC not only to extend the zero import duty on oranges for 2018, but also to extend it to the whole group of citrus fruits.
The APIEFP was invited to the working group of the above-mentioned Department.
The annual consumption of fruits and berries per capita in Russia decreased from 64 kg in 2014 to about 34 kg in 2016, with a recommended rate of 60.0 kg to 118.1 kg.
From the "Recommendations on rational norms of food consumption that meet the contemporary requirements of healthy eating" of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, it follows that the current consumption of fruit in Russia is less than 35% of the approved rational rate of 100 kg. For comparison: the average American consumes 126 kg of fruit per year, and the average Australian - at least 135 kg.
Therefore, the APIEFP supported the bill No. 19842-7, introduced by Mr. Vladimir Kashin, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Agrarian Issues, and supported by Mr. Alexander Tkachev, the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
The essence of the bill is reduced to a decrease in VAT on fruit ("fruits, berries and grapes") from the current 18% to 10%, that is, on equalizing fruits and vegetables in terms of their taxation. It should be noted that in foreign countries, VAT on fruits is significantly lower than in Russia: in Poland this tax is 8%, in Germany - 7%, in the Netherlands - 6%, in Italy and Spain - 4%, in Great Britain, Turkey and Israel - 0%.
On February 3rd, 2017, the APIEFP sent a letter No. 04/02 to Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma, in which it drew the attention of. on reduction since 2013 of an annual consumption of fruit and berries per capita in the Russian Federation.
Reducing VAT on fruit will not cause economic damage to the economy of the country, as the financial compensation will be the growth of tax revenues from increased sales.
In case of successful passage of the above-mentioned bill, it will be possible to confidently expect a decrease in retail prices for fruits and, as a result, an increase in their consumption, including by children and socially vulnerable groups of the population.
Embassies and trade missions
The APIEFP has established constructive partnership relations with embassies and trade missions of the Republic of South Africa, Morocco, Iran, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Argentina and Namibia.
According to a proposition of the Ambassador of Morocco, an agreement was reached on the transfer of information to the APIEFP on artificially created barriers to trade between Morocco and the Russian Federation. The ambassador promised to convey this information to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Morocco in October 2017.
Interviews with the ambassadors of South Africa and Morocco, the trade missions of Ecuador and Egypt are published in the September issue of the RussiafruiT Magazine.
The APIEFP did all the work of maintaining website content that informs the members of the APIEFP (in the closed website section) and all stakeholders on a weekly basis about current wholesale prices in Moscow and also spreads a global and domestic news of the fresh segment. There are regularly updated statistics and analytical data.
The Board of APIEFP decided to publish a special issue of the RussiafruiT Magazine to the annual meeting of the Association and the international exhibition WorldFood Moscow 2017. The said issue is focused on various aspects of the activities of the APIEFP and its members.
Unfortunately, the members of the APIEFP showed different interest in providing the magazine with their information materials. As a result, the materials relevant to the activities of the APIEFP and its members amounted to only 70 per cent of the magazine’s total content.