The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission finally resolved a long dispute on amount of duty-free bunker fuel supplied to a ship as supplies. Russian bunkering suppliers waited for this event for a long time because over the past few years customs authorities restricted the amount of fuel deliveries to their own discretion in attempt to combat its illegal export. Custom officers applied their own calculation method which caused a fair criticism both from consumers and the bunker suppliers: the permitted amount was limited to "quantity not exceeding necessary volume for proceeding to the nearest port outside the customs territory of the Customs Union".
This practice contravened both the Customs Code of the Russian Federation, and the current Customs Code of the Customs Union. Both Codes contained the only criterion of quantitative restrictions for amount of bunker fuel exported duty-free to ships to renew their stock. It should not exceed the capacity of technological tanks intended for bunker fuel.
Currently, the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission has finally cemented this rule.
At the same time it established a special procedure for calculation the volume of duty-free fuel based on average actual consumption of the ship's engines. In practice, this looks as follows: if the last bunkering delivery to the ship on the territory of the Eurasian Union occurred not earlier than 30 days ago, the maximal permitted amount of duty-free fuel is obtained by multiplying the value of its average daily consumption by the number of days elapsed from the date of the last bunkering. However, if the date of the last bunkering on the territory of the Eurasian Union has been more than 30 days earlier, or the vessel arrived to the territory of the Eurasian Union for the first time, it will be allowed to get duty-free bunker fuel not exceeding the capacity of its installed tanks.
The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission clearly defined in this decision the list of information that must be presented when declaring the bunker fuel supplies.
The Russian Association of Marine and River Bunker Suppliers fully participated in discussions over the document being a part of the specially organized working group.
Market participants welcomed the decision of the Commission with great relief because sometimes situations occurred which reminded of the absurd theatre. It took a huge amount of time and resources, and, as a consequence, brought losses to the bunker companies. One expert commented on the event as follows: "The new procedures did not make life easier, but at least no one imposes restrictions on the export of bunker fuel".
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