“Almost all of the materials used in the manufacturing of fishing gear, we have produced by our own means. Ten years ago, raw materials were bought in Holland and Portugal, but starting from 2006 we have launched our own production, began to learn about existing technologies and developing our own technology”, says Andrey Fedorov.
Today the company produces about 150 finished pelagic trawls a year plus about a thousand net bags. More than 80% of production goes abroad. High demand for Kaliningrad trawls abroad Andrey Fedorov exclusively connects with the quality of products, as the prices are quite comparable with European ones - one trawl costs more than 100 thousand dollars.
“Any high-quality products cannot be cheap, much less ours, based on scientific inventions of the Soviet Union and more than 50 years of experience in pelagic fishing”, says the head of the Fishering Service.
“It’s not a secret for anyone that in the West this work began to developing for 25-30 years later, while we already had a powerful scientific base, profile based universities and research fleets”.
Successful Russian inventions are trying to be copued
According to Andrei Fedorov, the company Fishering Service was forced to abandon the official site, where they published schemes for their inventions.
“After some time we saw fishing gears, which other manufacturers used, based on our engineering, sketches which we published on our website. For the same reason, we refused to patent our own inventions, since the patent immediately falls into open access”, explained Fedorov.
“Another option is «plagiarism» - when fishermen buy original fishing gear and then try to copy them. It happened in 2005 when Fishering Service supplied trawls to Chile. Due to the fact that the local manufactures did not have necessary experience and knowledge, the «clones» were getting worse all the time. The story ended with the Chileans again appealing to Kaliningrad and agreeing for on partnerships in the servicing trawls”.
What hinders export
Despite the large number of foreign customers, Fishering Service has no special difficulties with exporting theirs products, except for two factors. As mentioned by the head of the company, the first one being the imperfection of the legislation regarding the return of foreign exchange earnings.
“Even if you fulfilled all the obligations to the state and have paid taxes, but you have not received payment for the goods, due to one reason or another, on the date which was fixed in the contract, of course this is a common thing in real life, however the penalties are still applied after even as much as criminal charges. This risk stops everybody, and people work through offshores to minimize these risks”, says Fedorov.
The second factor is the absence of a fixed exchange rate for exporters of non-raw-material segment. According to Andrei Nikolaevich, exporters of industrial goods should be excluded from the stock exchange, and the currency proceeds should be bought by the Central Bank at a fixed exchange rate for a period comparable to the turnover period. The fixed rate should be set around 25% higher than the market rate.
Representation - the best option for cooperation
Today Fishering Service prioritizes cooperation with those vessels that operate in national zones under national flags. The issue was that in 2012, in one of the fishing zones, due to an order by the local government, all the fishery companies, with which the enterprise cooperated, collapsed. Therefore, we can conclude that the vessels working in the country of registration, from this point of view, are much more reliable. In addition, in these countries you can open your own offices of representation, engaged in service maintenance.
“Now we are entering the Moroccan market, we have a signed contract with the Icelandic company Isfell, we have an office of representation in the Faroe Islands, we are starting to deploy a base in the Far East. However with USA we had a problem: despite the fact that all contacts were established, local companies that produced fishing gear were so underdeveloped that they simply would not be able to service high-tech trawls”, Andrei Fedorov explained.