Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Europe

UK delays tariffs on Russian whitefish

LONDON — Plans to impose sanctions on Russian whitefish have been postponed by the U.K. government amid fears over the impact on Britain’s seafood industry.

Whitefish was among the Russian exports set to be slapped with a 35 percent tariff by the U.K. in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

A U.K. government official said the sanctions have been “delayed while we sort some technicalities,” but stressed that “we are totally committed to them.” Any suggestion the plans had been dropped entirely was “totally untrue,” the official added.

Roughly 30 percent of the U.K.’s whitefish originates from Russia, which controls between 40 to 45 percent of the global supply, according to industry body Seafish.

When the measure was first announced, Britain’s seafood processing industry and struggling fish and chip shops, which rely on the supply of Russian whitefish including cod, said they feared price rises as a result of the sanctions could squeeze their businesses.

Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, said: “I think government wants more time to investigate the impact of sanctions on whitefish so have just held off for the time being.

“We of course support any measures they deem suitable to bring the conflict to a speedier conclusion.”

The whitefish sanctions were announced on March 15. However, unlike other Russian products targeted including cereal, cement and fertilizer, the tariffs were not imposed on whitefish when they came into force on March 24, according to Seafish, a public body that supports the U.K.’s seafood industry.

“This specific tariff change has been delayed to allow for further work by government to understand the specific implications of this change for the seafood sector,” a spokesperson said.

“We will continue to work with government and seafood businesses to help ensure there is a clear understanding of the complexities around seafood trade and processing to ensure these measures have maximum impact on Russia while taking care that U.K. businesses are not penalized unnecessarily. 

“We will also continue to provide advice and guidance to businesses to help them to adapt to these changes.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the government is imposing the “most punishing sanctions ever on Russia following its unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

“We intend to introduce a 35 percent tariff on imports of whitefish from Russia, subject to further work on the specific implications for the sector,” the spokesperson said. 

“We continue to speak with the industry body, the National Federation of Fish Friers, and other sector representatives about potential pressures as they navigate any changes.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Europe

Paul Dallison writes Declassified, a weekly satirical column. Boris Johnson is toast. Finished. Done for. But despite resigning, and befitting of a man who thinks...

Europe

LONDON — Boris Johnson has finally been persuaded to resign, after more than one third of his own government colleagues — including a clutch...

Europe

Jamie Dettmer is opinion editor at POLITICO Europe. “Nothing in his lifeBecame him like the leaving it.” These lines, from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” are of...

Europe

Up to 71 million people from the poorest countries in the world are projected to be facing severe poverty as a result of the...

Europe

Kyiv is summoning Turkey’s ambassador to Ukraine after Ankara released the Zhibek Zholy cargo ship with “stolen” Ukrainian grain Wednesday evening, Ukraine’s Ministry of...

Europe

Press play to listen to this article LONDON — Boris Johnson will resign after a wave of government resignations and a revolt from his...

Europe

In this ongoing project, POLITICO is hosting a sort of digital diary following Ukrainian refugees across Europe as they adjust to lives forever changed...

Europe

This article is the product of a POLITICO Working Group. Post-Brexit U.K. is looking for fields where it can get ahead of the EU —...