As a result of the untiring efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka through the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation, the Federal Service of Veterinary Surveillance under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has granted approval on 12th November 2014 to import fish and fish products to the Russian Federation from Sri Lanka.
Initially, 14 Sri Lankan fish exporting companies who had sought to export their products to the Russian Federation have been included in the register of enterprises and individuals allowed to export into the territory of the Russian Federation and would benefit from this approval. Moreover, these companies would also have the added advantage of exporting their products to the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan since these countries have established a Customs Union with the Russian Federation, whereby a product imported to one country can also be imported to the 2 other countries without payment of Customs duties.
The population of the Russian Federation is about 150 million and the Russian market with its rising purchasing power is quite sizeable. There is high demand for fish and fish products in Russia, particularly for exotic fish varieties and seafood. The 14 Sri Lankan companies which have been approved to export fish and fish products to Russia would be able to supply fish and fish products in the categories of Fresh or Chilled Fish, Frozen Fish, Fish Fillets and Other Fish Meat, and Dried or Salted Fish. According to statistics of the Russian Federal Customs Service, in 2013 Russia imported 443,014 tons of fish and fish products of these categories to the value of US$ 1581 million. During January-September 2014, Russia imported 484,000 tons of fish and fish products falling under this category to the value of US$ 1422 million.
The opportunity to export fish and fish products to the Russian market is a major achievement for the fisheries industry of Sri Lanka. Generally, the Russian authorities issue licenses to foreign companies to export food items to Russia under stringent conditions after conducting numerous checks and even making spot visits to food processing plants in foreign countries to verify compliance of quality and hygiene standards. The fact that approval has been granted to export Sri Lankan fish products to Russia is testimony to the high quality and standard of Sri Lankan fish products supplied to the international market and the confidence reposed in Sri Lankan fish exporting companies meeting the strict standards of the Russian authorities.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka said that it wishes to place on record the cooperation received from the authorities of the Russian Government for granting approval for export of fish and fish products from Sri Lanka.