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The state Duma has strengthened the priority for domestic carriers in the waters of the Northern sea route
Material posted: Publication date: 20-12-2017

20 December, the Duma passed the bill № 1155137-6 "On amendments to the rules of the Russian Federation regarding the extension of the concept of "cabotage". In profile Committee on transport and construction commented on the adopted innovations.

"The adopted draft law we are talking about the provision of vessels under the Russian flag exclusive rights for carriage of all cargoes shipped in the waters of the Northern sea route, as we have many investment projects on the shelf. In this case it was very important to spread the norm not only on the waters of the port, but also on the shelf, artificial Islands, installations and structures over which according to the UN Convention on the law of the sea, the coastal state has exclusive jurisdiction.

In the future, if you use the expandable areas, it is important to avoid contradictions with international treaties, international Maritime law in terms of freedom of navigation. But in the Arctic the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea gives the opportunity to the coastal state to legislate in those areas which are covered with ice more than 180 days in a year.

In world practice such protectionism is not innovation. In the European Union defining the concept of "cabotage" provides for the regulation, similar to that proposed in the bill. USA back in the mid 90-ies legislated that all the oil from Alaska is transported by ships under the American flag. This also applies to cabotage and international navigation. They defended their freight base in 1995-m to year, and we are doing this now.

Thus in contrast to American protectionism, where in addition to the national flag and the owner of the vessel, and the crew must be U.S. citizens, and the ship itself should be built in America, we have a system much more liberal – is the Russian flag, in this case the owners of the vessel, the shipowner may not be Russians", - concluded member of the Committee on transport and construction, head of section of Maritime and river transport of the Expert Council Victor Deryabkin.

"The bill consists of two parts – the addition of the concept of "cabotage" in accordance with the realities of today and the exclusive right for the Russian carriers. It's time for reasonable protectionism in the shipping industry. Practical step made by the legislators. The adopted amendments provide additional cargo base for Russian air carriers, the growth of courts under the Russian flag, orders to shipbuilders, the momentum of development of the Northern sea route. It is possible that the next step will be a discussion on securing commitments for the construction of vessels at Russian shipyards.

I recall that in the 2011 year was adopted by the № 305-FZ "On support of shipping and shipbuilding", which later developed and supplemented by improved economic conditions for vessels under the Russian flag, had created an economic base for shipowning community, which years later will be able to build a new high-tech vessels in Russia to spend money in their country. And this moment has arrived.

90% of world trade is transported by sea. London, Singapur, Hong Kong, Rotterdam, new York is considered the world's Maritime centers. So do the availability of Finance, insurance services, representation of owners in these ports. It services and management, shipping related businesses constitute the bulk of the money supply. And if at least some of that money to expand in the country, the effect on the economy would be substantial," commented the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on transport and construction member of the section of Maritime and river transport of the Expert Council Pavel Fedyaev.

Anna Gornova

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