December 15, 2011
The exclusion in the list of importers submitted by competent authorities of foreign countries has resulted in the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Control's (Rosselkhoznadzor) refusal to issue permit to economic entities to import fish and fish products to the Russian Federation.
On November 21, 2011, FAS found that Rosselkhoznadzor violated Clause two Part one Article 15 of the Federal Law on Protection of Competition, reported the press-centre of FAS Russia.
Investigating the case, the FAS Commission established that the Administrative Regulations, approved by No. One Order of the Ministry of Agriculture of January 9, 2008, does not require including economic entities in the list of importers submitted by competition authorities of foreign states.
According to Rosselkhoznadzor import products of foreign fish-processing companies, must be submitted to Rosselkhoznadzor by the competent authorities of foreign states (including, Norway) on the basis of bilateral Memorandums concluded with competent authorities of these countries. Rosselkhoznadzor must take this information into account verifying the petitions for import of water bio-resources to the Russian Federation.
Analysing the Memorandum signed between Rosselkhoznadzor and Norway's State Service for Control over Food Products, FAS established that the document does not require mandatory submission of information about concluded contracts in order to grant permissions to import fish and fish products to the Russian Federation.
The Commission also established that the requirement set by Rosselkhoznadzor for mandatory submission of information by Norway about concluded contracts, is valid only for two kinds of fish and fish products - rainbow trout and salmon. For other kinds of fish and fish products supplied from Norway, information about concluded contracts is not required to issue permission to import these products to the Russian Federation.
The Administrative Regulations is applicable to all kinds of cargo controlled by Rosselkhoznadzor (animals, products of animal origin, etc.), and the requirement for mandatory submission of information about concluded contracts by the competent authorities of foreign states, is valid only for fish and fish products. In the case of Norway - only for trout and salmon; and for the countries with whom such Memorandums are concluded.
According to the Commission, the procedures for granting permissions for importing the goods controlled by Rosselkhoznadzor, established by the Administrative Regulations, are unified for all economic entities. In spite of this, Rosselkhoznadzor sets different requirements depending on the country of origin and the type of the regulated cargo.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, absence of Russian importers of fish and fish products in the lists of importers, submitted by the competent authorities of foreign states, does not constitute the grounds for refusing to grant permission to such company to import the above products to the Russian Federation, as required by the Administrative Regulations.
Having investigated the case, the Commission issued a determination to Rosselkhoznadzor to stop violating the antimonopoly law and obligated Rosselkhoznadzor to adjust Argus automated system in compliance with the Administrative Regulations, and to present during a year to FAS Russia on a quarterly basis information about entities that petitioned to import fish and fish products to the Russian Federation, specifying the decisions made by Rosselkhoznadzor on these petitions.