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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government Cancels 14 Export Licenses

After three months of warnings, Russia's Trade Ministry has canceled 14 company licenses to export strategic materials, such as oil, metals and timber, amid a government campaign to limit dumping of Russian raw materials on the world market.

At the same time, however, the Foreign Trade Ministry, removed the license requirements for 11 goods.

Vladimir Chernyshov, a ministry official in the department of export licensing, said the government took away the licenses of the 14 companies after they failed to provide documents detailing their 1992 exports.

In June, the ministry had temporarily suspended licenses of 94 enterprises, including major companies such as Logovaz, warning them that they would lose them permanently by July 1 if they did not account for their exports.

Their statements had been due in April, but the deadline had been moved up several times because a majority of exporters had not yet handed in the necessary documents.

By July 1, the ministry took away the licenses of the 14 who had not submitted the proper documents, Chernyshov said. All of the major exporters warned in June complied with the requirement, he said.

Chernyshov said that the data on exports was needed to see if companies had paid export duties, followed regulations and charged reasonable prices on the world market.

The Russian government has tried to crack down on illegal and semilegal exports of oil, metals, timber and other goods that can be bought for state-subsidized prices in Russia and sold well below world prices abroad.

Western countries have pressured Russia to limit the flow of raw materials onto the world market, accusing it of causing a market crash in aluminum and several other commodities.

The ministry plans to review all licenses before they are set to expire at the end of August.

Chernyshov said dumping could be considered grounds for not renewing export licenses.

But the number of export licenses is still rising.

Chernyshov said that a total of 640 enterprises have special exports licenses, up from 571 in April. The list applies only for exports of goods that are called "strategic materials" because they are deemed vital to the Russian economy. One of the latest additions to that list was fish.

On Wednesday, Foreign Trade Minister Sergei Glazyev crossed 11 goods off this list, mostly chemicals and timber products, the newspaper Commersant Daily reported. Three goods, including propylene and timber used for furniture, were added to the list.

Ministry officials said earlier this year that, as domestic prices for raw materials approached world levels, Russia would rely increasingly on export tariffs rather than licenses and quotas to control its exports.

Oil and natural gas products, the most heavily subsidized and the most valuable export earners, will stay on the list well into 1994, officials said.