Fishing gear group Hampiðjan has wholeheartedly condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its ongoing action in the invasion of a democratic sovereign state.
The company states that it has systematically withdrawn from doing business with Russian fishing companies, has already ended the majority of such activities, exports no products to Russia, and is in this way contributing to efforts to influence the policies of the Russian authorities.
Hampiðjan has for decades provided services for Russia customers and to support this activity had established a small sales operation in Kaliningrad under the Hampiðjan Russia name. This company has two staff in Kaliningrad and one in Murmansk, and they have been responsible for negotiating contracts with Russian fishing companies, although transactions have been carried out directly between subsidiary company Hampiðjan Ísland and entities in Russia.
The arrangement has been such that the costs of running the Kaliningrad office have been paid from Iceland and this has been the only revenue of the Russian sales operation.
Payments to Hampiðjan Russia were ended in February and its activities have been suspended. No contracts have been signed in recent months and no business has taken place.
No Russian trawlers have called in Iceland this year, while in previous years around fifteen vessels have called for services before heading for fishing grounds south-west of Iceland.
According to a statement by the company, Hampiðjan has subsidiary companies in fifteen countries, including the Faroe Islands, Norway, Denmark and Spain. Sales from Denmark to Russian customers have been ended, although the subsidiary companies in the Faroe Islands, Norway and Spain have the flexibility to follow the guidelines put in place by the authorities in each country, and services to Russian fishing vessels in Faroese, Norwegian and Spanish ports have been exempted from sanctions.
The Norwegian authorities in particular have stressed the importance of maintaining services, as Russia and Norway share a border and also co-operate on management of Barents Sea fish stocks.
Hampiðjan’s sales to Russia in 2021 accounted for 4.37% of the overall turnover of the Group.
Due to the pandemic and with much of the previous year’s business rolled over, the 2021 figure was higher than it would otherwise have been, and prior to the war in Ukraine, the prediction had not been that business with Russia would continue at the same level.
As the company’s business with Russia traditionally takes place mostly in the early part of each year, significant sales had already been made before the invasion began on 24th February. Business conducted in the first weeks of the year will therefore be reflected in Hampiðjan’s 2022 figures.