26 June 2019, Wednesday, 16:17
We are in the same boat

New smuggling scheme: Belarus is world's leader in antiknock components export

The country's statistics has recorded a sharp growth of the export of antiknock components and inhibitors.

As charter97.org learnt, some Belarusian companies resumed their “innovative” schemes of exporting oil products under the guise of chemical products are not liable to duties when exported outside the Customs Union.

The scheme involved the export of goods under the Customs Union's customs commodity code 381190 “Other antiknock agents, oxidation inhibitors, gum inhibitors, viscosity improvers, anti-corrosive agents, prepared additives, etc.”

According to the official statistical data, a total of almost 105,000 tonnes of these products at a sum of more than 94 million dollars was exported from Belarus for six months of 2014. It's worth noting that the export increased 53-fold in quantity and 131-fold in value compared to January-June 2013.

According to the data from the National Statistics Committee and the State Customs Committee, the Netherlands and the UK are the main consumers of Belarusian antiknock components, antioxidants, inhibitors and viscosity improvers. Interestingly, these countries did not import these Belarusian products in 2013, but in 2014, the export to the Netherlands exceeded 45,000 tonnes and $41 million, and the export to the UK was over 57,000 tonnes and $52 million.

What companies produce these special products? Let's study the data of the regional statistics offices. According to the main statistical department of the Vitebsk region, local companies exported 114.6 tonnes of products with the customs commodity code 3811 in the first half of the year, which is 6 times as much as the export in 6 months of 2013. Let's compare it with last year's results, when the export of the products of this category from all Belarusian companies was only 114,700 tonnes. Simple calculations show that Vitebsk companies earned 120.3 million dollars for their goods in January-June.

The structure of the export data look interesting. For example, supplies to the CIS countries rose only 2.1%, while the export to non-CIS states increased 43-fold. Most goods are imported to non-CIS countries – 107,700 tonnes against 6,900 tonnes to the CIS. The companies registered in the Vitebsk region exported 5,100 tonnes to Russia and 100 tonnes to Kazakhstan.

The average prices of the exported goods are absolutely different. While former Soviet republics buy Belarusian fuel dopes and inhibitors at 2,105 dollars per tonne, Europe agrees to buy them only at $982, which is 2.8 times lower than in 2013.

Let's figure out who produces these goods. Only two cities of the Vitebsk region show export figures higher than $120.3 million. These are Vitebsk and Navapolatsk. Vitebsk companies increased their export by 2%, but the export of Navapolatsk enterprises rose 2.1-fold.

It looks even more interesting if we don't taken into account oil and oil products as well as republican state-owned companies and groups of companies.

It means that some Navapolatsk-registered companies, either municipal enterprises or private sector companies, made their native town the leader in export growth. Sounds like a miracle.

What companies can compete for the best export of the year title? For example, Interservice, a company known for its solvent business, is located in Navapolatsk. The list of main exporters on the website of the Navapolatsk city executive committee includes Russian-Belarusian OOO LLK-Naftan that produces inhibitors and antioxidant additives. By the way, LLK-Naftan has experience of winning the republican contest Best Businessman of the Year in the category Best Exporter. However, we cannot say for sure that these companies are the authors of the “innovative” business. It's possible that another firm was opened specially to perform this task.

Our country also looks strange in comparison with other countries. The world's export of goods in the 381190 category was about 2.2-2.4 billion dollars in recent years. Belarus was not among biggest exporters being at the bottom of Top 50 exporters with its $1.5 million.

If the data of the Belarusian government agencies were the same with the international statistics, our country would be ranked second in the exported value in the first half of 2014.

What concerned the exported quantity, we would be ranked first. But no chance.