Fines for consignees for tank demurrage can increase to 8 thousand rubles. per day

Fines for consignees for tank demurrage can increase to 8 thousand rubles.  per day


As Kommersant learned, the government instructed the St. Petersburg International Trading Exchange exchange to work on the issue of doubling the fines for the consignee for excess downtime of cars with petroleum products. These fines after the tenth day of downtime can increase from 4 thousand to 8 thousand rubles. per tank. According to gas station owners, increasing fines will not solve the problem of tank idle time, but carries the risk of rising fuel prices at gas stations.

The government recommended that SPIMEX change the rules of exchange trading so that fines for consignees for demurrage of railway tanks would increase to 8 thousand rubles. per day, follows from the minutes of the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and oil companies on March 22 (Kommersant has a copy). Fines can reach this level on the 11th day of excess downtime. According to Kommersant’s interlocutors, the issue was discussed at the exchange section council in the first half of February, but there is no decision yet. The protocol also recommends that the exchange increase the amount of guarantee security for buyers under exchange contracts from 5% to 15% for railway shipments. SPbMTSB did not respond to Kommersant’s request.

Increasing fines for excess downtime will not only not solve the problem, but will also create additional significant costs for consignees and risks of increasing the cost of fuel for the end consumer, Rinat Fattakhov, general director of the fuel trader Ufaoil, told Kommersant. “Only in 20% of cases, downtime is due to the fault of consignees, and the key reasons are the limited capacity of the railway network,” he believes. According to Rinat Fattakhov, for Ufaoil over the past two years the number of downtimes has already increased sixfold. So, on the first to fourth day of excess downtime, the fine is 2 thousand rubles. per tank, from the fifth day – 4 thousand rubles, on average this is about 2 thousand per ton of petroleum products per month, and the cost of storage at an oil depot is much lower – 700 rubles. per month, so “remarks that it is profitable for buyers to store fuel in wagons are unfounded.” According to another Kommersant interlocutor, “downtime during the unloading of exchange-traded petroleum products is critical.”

With the share of exchange shipments in the Russian Federation reaching 10% of the total number of petroleum products transportation from January 2023 to March 2024, the share of unloading downtime due to exchange transactions exceeded 50% of all unloading downtime.

The situation with downtime is complicated, agrees the head of Infoline-Analytics, Mikhail Burmistrov. There is a separate problem with tanks that go through the exchange: there are often small shipments by carload, small consignees, there are problems associated with their acceptance, as well as with specific floating delivery times. There is logic in the decision on fines, the expert believes, since it is important that in conditions of unstable supply of fuel to the domestic market, “it is the exchange history that continues to develop.”

The solution to the problem of excess downtime primarily lies in ensuring the rhythm of shipments and reducing delivery times for motor fuels by rail, which almost doubled in 2023, says the head of the Russian Fuel Union, Evgeny Arkusha. “As for fines for excess downtime, it must be paid by the one who is at fault. To do this, you need to return to the procedure for automatically filling out a general form act (form GU-23.— “Kommersant”), describing all movements of the tank after arriving at the destination station, but today, for unknown reasons, such acts have ceased to be issued by Russian Railways,” he notes.

Alexander Novak also instructed FAS, SPbMTSB and JSC Russian Railways to work on the issue of granting the right to the supplier to reject an application for the supply of petroleum products if JSC Russian Railways reports a congestion of cars at the corresponding destination station. The FAS told Kommersant that they received the order and “conceptually support the initiative to prevent the risk of overstocking the refineries, which could result in a reduction in fuel output.” The service believes that the idea can “reduce the load on the railway infrastructure and increase the turnover and rhythm of petroleum product deliveries.”

In March, due to drone attacks, several primary oil refining units at Rosneft and LUKOIL refineries were damaged, which created risks of fuel shortages. According to the protocol, oil workers were “recommended to accelerate the utilization of refinery capacities through the timely removal of petroleum products.”

Dmitry Kozlov


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