UK Government tariff on Russian seafood imports introduced

A tariff on Russian seafood is included in the latest batch of sanctions implemented by UK Government.

UK Government has released details of its latest round of sanctions against Russia today. This includes an additional 35% tariff on Russian seafood imports. A tariff on whitefish was originally announced back in March in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tariff on Russian seafood

The tariff will affect all seafood imports of Russian origin. Russian caught product that is substantively processed in another country is not considered Russian origin.

The tariff came into force on Tuesday 19 July and will apply to any direct imports of Russian seafood from this date.

Any consignments that have already cleared Russian or Belarusian customs and are en-route to the UK will be unaffected.

Photo of a tray of whitefish fillets

Our response to the Russian seafood tariff

In response to the tariff introduction, our Director of Operations Aoife Martin said:

UK Government has now implemented an additional 35% tariff on seafood imports from Russia in response to the war in Ukraine. The ongoing situation following the Russian invasion in March continues to have a horrific impact on the Ukraine and the people living there.

The seafood tariff sanction was originally announced earlier this year but implementation was paused to allow work to be undertaken to understand likely impacts on the seafood sector. Ministers are implementing the tariff now following consultation with industry. As the tariff sanction has been long signposted, many seafood businesses have already been looking at alternative options, but any businesses still importing seafood direct from Russian will be impacted when the tariff comes into force next week.

The UK is not self-sufficient when it comes to domestic landings of whitefish. In 2020 we landed about 47,000 tonnes of cod and haddock but imported over 430,000 tonnes of whitefish. Russia controls 45% of the global whitefish supply so removing this fish from our seafood supply chain will have impacts as businesses try to find alternative sources of supply. Consumers can expect to see different species in their local fish and chip shop. Unfortunately seafood prices may also have to rise.

Guidance for seafood businesses

Our Regulation team has produced guidance for businesses who may be affected by the tariff to help explain how the ‘Russian origin’ label is applied. You can download the guidance note from the link below:

Businesses looking for further advice can contact our Regulation team on regulation@seafish.co.uk.