Russian officials and companies are arguing about the access of ships to the Northern Sea Route

The Ministry of Industry and Trade introduced a draft law to the government on restricting admission to the Northern Sea Route of gas-carriers of foreign construction. Will suffer from this "Novatek" Leonid Mikhelson. Attack on it is supported by Rosneft Igor Sechin.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade introduced a law to the government restricting the access of foreign-built vessels to transportation of oil, gas and coal in the Arctic. However, the bill does not suit everyone: they are dissatisfied with the largest shipper of the Northern Sea Route NOVATEK, although the United Shipbuilding Company (USC) and Rosneft, which is building the superstar Zvezda, are quite happy. In the discussion of officials, the question of which ship is considered Russian comes to the fore. The criteria is being finalized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, market participants are asking that the conditions do not become radical and obstructive.

Kommersant learned that on May 31, the Ministry of Industry and Trade submitted to the government a draft Federal Law on Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Code (KTM) prohibiting the use of new foreign vessels for transporting oil, gas and coal produced in the Russian Arctic from 2019 (see " Kommersant "from March 22). The exclusive right to these works is received by ships built on the territory of the Russian Federation, while Russian is considered to be a vessel that meets the criteria for confirming the production of industrial products on the territory of the Russian Federation (Government Decision No. 719). But the criteria for referring the courts to the Russian courts are being finalized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

As the director of the Department of Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Boris Kabakov noted during the discussion of the document on June 21 in the framework of the meeting of the Committee of the Union of Machine Builders, all vessels until January 1, 2019, under the Russian flag, regardless of construction, will continue their work. Foreign ships can also be admitted by government decision, but for this, the interested party must justify the impossibility of using Russian vessels, the official explained. According to him, the ministry "objectively assesses the capabilities of the shipbuilding industry, there are no rose-colored glasses." It is necessary to develop a mechanism for admission to the operation of foreign-built vessels, added Boris Kabakov, who will arrange all interested parties.

The bill in current language is actively supported by the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). Its head Alexei Rakhmanov assured: "The only product that can not be manufactured in Russia today is large gas carriers of the ice class. All the rest we can and are ready to do. If necessary, we will pay penalties for late execution of orders, but we will work. In another way, without the forces and coercion, unfortunately, it does not work in the Russian Federation. "

Supports innovations and Rosneft (implementing in the consortium with Gazprombank and Rosneftegaz the superstructure Zvezda, which is considered the main beneficiary of the bill): its comments on the document have been taken into account, and the result is characterized by the company as a "weighted mechanism to stimulate domestic shipbuilding".

But the bill raises questions from the largest shipper of the Northern Sea Route - NOVATEK. Within the framework of the discussion, the deputy chairman of the company's board Lev Feodosiev noted that by 2025 NOVATEK projects will provide half of the planned cargo traffic of the Northern Sea Route to 80 million tons, and the discussed initiative "will simply limit the implementation of the company's projects". The top manager stressed that "prohibitive measures to stimulate something is impossible." The bill has no economic calculation, its purpose is not clear to the end, the document does not correspond to the president's instruction, Novatek believes.

The Ministry of Economy did not respond to a request from Kommersant, the Energy Ministry was informed that they sent their comments to the Ministry of Transport. The Transport Ministry agreed on the document, but during the discussion the director of the department of state policy in the field of sea and river transport of the Ministry Vitaly Klyuev admitted that a number of issues require additional discussion. It is about the availability of incentive measures, not only restrictive measures, as well as clarification of the concept of "a vessel built in the Russian Federation".

"It is possible to build only a hull, this amounts to 30-40% of the cost, and everything else is imported from abroad, or to force to produce all equipment that is simply not produced in Russia today and it is not clear when it will be produced," explained Mr. Klyuev. The president of the Russian Chamber of Shipping, member of Sovcomflot's board of directors Alexei Klyavin agrees with this: "The draft law should be considered in conjunction with Resolution No. 719 in order to clearly understand what to regard as Russian. If we correctly approach the definition of this term, then we can clearly understand where the border that actually introduces prohibitive measures for the Russian shipowner. "