Since June 18, Lithuania has stopped allowing freight trains with a number of goods in transit to and from the Kaliningrad region. What was banned due to sanctions, reports a material of “Klops”.
Goods prohibited forimport, import are defined by the latest version of EU Council Regulation No. 833/2014 (on sanctions against Russia due to events in Ukraine). The ban also applies to transportation by road. The restrictions included products made from iron, steel, alcohol, timber, glass containers, caviar, non-ferrous metals, fertilizers, and cement. The list includes petroleum products (gasoline and diesel), but automotive fuel can be transported until February 5, 2023.
Governor Anton Alikhanov estimated the restriction of cargo turnover at 40-50% of all cargo transiting through Lithuania by rail.
How is the Kaliningrad business doing with the import of cosmetics, building materials, alcohol and other goods
On Tuesday, June 21, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Kaliningrad Region posted an expanded list of goods prohibited for transit through Lithuania. The list included, including cosmetics, alcohol, flowers and even red caviar. “Klops” talked to local entrepreneurs and found out how things were going.
Flowers and fertilizers
The closure of transit through Lithuania at the moment has not affected the supply of flowers to our region, since flowers are purchased in Holland, and do not come to us from Russia. This was told by the leading florist in the delivery service “Romashka39” Nadezhda Polyakova.
“It is more difficult with fertilizers, they are all from big Russia, as long as there are reserves. We hope for the ferry and are waiting for the price increase, the cost of delivery to our region has already increased 3 times. So far, the most difficult thing is the EU ban on the transport of potted plants and herbs, which will come into force in early July. Workarounds not yet found, most likely there will be a shortage for some time. Therefore, if you have long wanted to buy a palm tree or a cute cactus, now is the time, ”Nadezhda explained.
As the flower growers say, the biggest difficulty in the sphere is the lack of clear delivery dates. Since April, “everything is in floating mode”, it is difficult to plan weddings and large orders. But, according to Nadezhda, there are also pleasant moments – mutual assistance has grown between representatives of the industry.
In matters of cost, the florist shares good news. She said that Holland had slightly reduced the price of flowers for Russia to help offset the increased shipping costs, which had quadrupled.
“Now the prices are at last year’s level, which pleases. This applies to cut flowers. Potted plants and fertilizers will rise in price unequivocally, it is not yet clear in what percentage terms and how we will bring them to Kaliningrad. This question remains open … ”, Nadezhda said.
There are also beauty products on the list, but they are in the “luxury” section. The cost per unit must be more than 300 euros. Yulia Semyonova, director of the Chic and Shine network, said that the ban does not apply to mass-market products, that is, to what the average consumer uses.
“We both transported and will continue to transport by road, we do not fall under this sanctions list, there will be no shortage of goods in our region. Many partners who booked a place on the ferry are told to go from there to the ground customs, because they need to carry sanctions, ”shared Yulia.
She said that if there are no problems with gasoline, then the cost of goods should not rise either. The rise in prices occurred a few months earlier, when the goods were held at customs for a long time, the trucks stood for 2-3 weeks and drivers had to pay for demurrage.
“We do not predict big increases, everything that was possible has already increased. One of the suppliers even said that he lowered prices, we will also lower them, ”the representative of the network assured.
Although the product was included in the sanctions list, the director of the Kamchatka company, Yevgeny Timofeev, said that this problem did not affect their area.
“There is and will be caviar in the store, our product is delivered to the region by aviation from Kamchatka directly, so there is no need to worry,” the entrepreneur assured.
Eugene is now in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. He said that sockeye salmon is the first to spawn, there are already caviar. It is impossible to send by ferry “perishable”, only by air and in compliance with the temperature regime. Delivery by plane through Moscow takes two days. The first caviar of this year was sent yesterday, today it will be brought to the region, and tomorrow it will be put on the counter.
“The price of caviar has not changed. Fresh sockeye salmon is sold in the region of 7500 and above, last year’s chum salmon is 6500-7000, and it was before, ”said Evgeny.
This product was also included in the sanctions list – it cannot be transported either by train or by trucks, now suitcases will go across the sea. The head of Chemodan39.ru, Anton Rodionov, said that part of the cargo has been sent by ferry since the beginning of the year – then there were queues at the borders. Instead of the usual 3-4 days, the goods had to wait for two weeks without any guarantees. The sea route definitely takes no more than two weeks.
“Now we will transport all goods by water. It will be 30 percent more expensive. The cost of suitcases brought by land and by sea was the same for the end consumer. At the expense of own funds had to compensate for the increased costs of transportation. From the 18th, when ground transport was no longer allowed, we began to systematically raise prices, ”says the head.
According to him, there are companies that still transport luxury goods through Lithuania. There is no confirmation of this information, in addition – officially this category of goods was included in the list of “prohibited”.
Representatives of companies involved in the transportation and sale of alcohol declined to comment on the situation. Many of them are waiting for July 10, when the EU must clarify the specific positions that will fall under the sanctions.
It is too early to buy fuel — restrictions on the transportation of petroleum products should come into force no earlier than February 2023.
In Kaliningrad construction stores, they noticed an increased demand for cement and an influx of visitors. “Klops” talked with representatives of retail chains. The situation with building materials in stores was told in Baucenter, Trade House Stroitel and Leroy Merlin.
The head of the press service of the regional government, Dmitry Lyskov, said on Wednesday, June 22: “There is no shortage of cement in the Kaliningrad region.” The authorities advised not to panic and not create an artificially high demand for certain types of goods, in particular, for cement.
Due to Lithuania’s restriction of transit to the Kaliningrad region, not only the delivery time of goods, but also the price may increase. This was announced by the founder of the BMK group of companies, the general director of the Investment Metallurgical Union Oleg Chernov. He is quoted by Business FM Kaliningrad on Monday, June 20.
“In the future, the worst option is an increase in the price from 10 to 20%, depending on the transportation format: either it’s a ferry, or it’s a container. Delivery times will also increase – plus 2-3 months. So far, we predict this for ourselves, ”said the expert.
The representative of the press service of the Rastsvet Group of Companies, Olga Skovorodnikova, suggests that a shortage may arise:
“From the moment Lithuania announced the restriction of transit through its territory by the Russian Federation of a number of goods, mainly building materials, there may be some shortage of them on the market and, perhaps, prices for them in the region will rise again. But from experience, regulators from the authorities work, as well as measures to support the construction industry. We are confident that the situation will be resolved.”
The press service of Ozon said that the delivery of orders to the Kaliningrad region is carried out as usual and mainly by sea.
“We introduced delivery by water about a month ago. The average delivery time for goods from other regions is about 7 days. In the Kaliningrad region, we have about 200 Ozon pickup points. Customers, as before, can order goods from the marketplace at the nearest point and pick them up at any convenient time. The cost of delivery has not changed,” commented the press service.