Russia's high import duty hits Pakistan's produce exports

Russia's high valuations of Pakistan's fruit and vegetables is worrying the country's exporters. These exporters believe that if the valuation issue is quickly resolved, fruit and vegetable exports to the country will increase immensely. 

In his letter to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sept 10, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Chairman Waheed Ahmed, said the import duty imposed by the Russian government on the Pakistani potato was 61 cents per kilogram during the last season while it was 48 cents per kilogram for the Egyptian potato.

The fair export cost-and-freight (C&F) value of the Pakistani potato was 36 cents per kilogram during the last season, he added.

Similarly, the fair export C&F value of the Pakistani kinnow is 75 cents per kilogram, whereas the Russian customs’ valuation is higher than that. The kinnow valuation by the Russian customs was 90 cents per kilogram from December to January and $1.05 per kilogram from February onward.

Mr Ahmed said exporters had to sell their products at cheaper rates due to the higher valuation. Besides a higher valuation, the duty is 8.75 per cent and value-added tax (VAT) is 18pc, he noted.

He informed the finance minister that the Russian customs values the Pakistani kinnow against the Spanish and Moroccan kinnow, which are highly priced. Kinnow from Spain and Morocco is seedless and gives an impressive cosmetic look, contrary to its Pakistani counterpart, which is neither seedless nor carries an impressive cosmetic look, he said.

Hence, its selling price in the Russian market is far lower: Moroccan and Spanish kinnow are available in the range of $10-19 per 10kg whereas the Pakistani kinnow sells for just $6.50-7.50 per 10kg.

Mr Ahmed said the kinnow season is approaching and the government should take up the matter immediately to enhance the export of Pakistani fruits and vegetables to the Russian market.


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