ROMANIA – In 2016, Romania’s fish sales rose 3 per cent to a total of €350 million. The increase was related to a number of factors, including the rise in domestic demand and the government’s move to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) on fish, according to senior industry representatives.
“There have been some positive developments in Romania’s fish and seafood industry. Romania is not as fond of fish and seafood as Spain, France and Italy which are the European leaders,” Cristian Dărmănescu, the chief executive of local fish and seafood distributor Romfood Trading, told local news site Profit.ro.
“However, we have reported a noticeable growth in the consumption of fish over the past three years, and this is a good sign.”
According to Dărmănescu, the Romanian government’s decision to cut the VAT on various food products, including fish, was one of the most important factors which contributed to the rise in domestic fish consumption.
As of June 1, 2015, the VAT on fish and various other food products was reduced from the previous rate of 24 per cent to 9 per cent.
Romfood Trading markets its output in the Romanian market under the brand of Alfredo Seafood. The company specialises in salmon and tuna, as well as various seafood products, according to data from Romfood Trading.
In addition to Romfood Trading, other major companies active in the country’s fish and seafood industry include Negro 2000, Ocean Fish, Bonito and Peștișorul de Aur (Golden Fish).
The Romanian fish market is dominated by imports. The US Department of Agriculture said in its last year’s report on the country’s fish industry that the domestic fish supply cannot meet the consumers’ needs and preferences, and accounts for less than 20 per cent of the total demand. The remainder is covered by imports.