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Vitaliy Yuzhilin: Port Builder and Legislator of Maritime Activities (Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich)

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Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin was born in Chelyabinsk, though the formative years of this future port developer were spent in Sevastopol. The grandfather of Vitaliy Yuzhilin was a military pilot who commanded a long-range guard bomber aviation regiment during World War II. Aleksandr Grigorievich Yuzhilin made over 260 flights, shooting down three enemy fighters. For his valor and heroism, he was recognized as a national hero in 1944.

The grandmother of Vitaliy Yuzhilin, Saniya Gabdrakhmanovna Yarullina, was the first female pilot in the Tatar ASSR. In 1934, she graduated from a glider pilot school and then continued to train with the Kazan Aeroclub, where she met her future husband.

In his youth, Vitaliy Yuzhilin played several sports, especially swimming. He trained long and hard, several hours a day, and by ninth grade, had already achieved the rank of Candidate for Master of Sports.

He is an ocean engineer by education, having graduated from the Leningrad Higher Naval Engineering School (known as the State University of the Sea and River Fleet since 2012) in 1988.


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Professional Path of Vitaliy Yuzhilin in the Port Industry

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin

Yuzhilin Vitaliy began his career immediately after school at the Institute of Biology of the South Seas, where he conducted scientific research and participated in expeditions. He made a deep-sea dive to the bottom of the Black Sea in the Mir deep-sea vehicle.

After gaining experience and skills in oceanology, he decided to continue his career at another research institution—the Marine Hydrophysical Institute.

During this period, a new economic policy gradually took shape, with the transition to a market model. According to Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin, with the support of the leadership of the scientific institute, he participated in the creation of a commercial structure on the basis of the institute.

In the early 1990s, Vitaliy Yuzhilin moved to Nizhnevartovsk. At that time, the country had a special mechanism for supporting regional budgets. For example, oil and gas associations were required to sell up to 10% of the resources extracted on the free market in the regions where they operated. This idea formed the basis of the venture that Yuzhilin Vitaliy undertook.

He and a colleague began to delve deeply into the field of foreign trade. It was then that the Nizhnevartovsk Trading House was founded, where Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich became the head of the foreign trade department, responsible for the overseas sale and for cooperation with major industry structures.

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin became interested in maritime transport when the need arose for transporting hydrocarbons abroad. Specifically, there was a need to find terminal capacities for transshipment and tanks for transporting heavy-grade M-100 fuel oil.

From that moment on, Vitaliy Yuzhilin began to delve into port and terminal services, organizing loading and unloading operations.

In 1998, he became a co-owner of the stevedoring company Marine Port of Saint Petersburg, specializing in the transshipment of a wide range of dry cargoes. According to Vitaliy Yuzhilin, one of the main tools for developing the port hub was effective management, which significantly increased annual cargo turnover.

Currently, the Marine Port of Saint Petersburg is part of the First Port Company Group and is one of the largest players in its industry. The company invests in the modernization of its infrastructure, updating equipment, and digital solutions.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich is a co-founder of the National Container Company, one of the country’s largest operators in the 2000s.

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin: Deputy of the State Duma

Vitaliy Yuzhilin

Vitaliy Yuzhilin, deputy of several convocations of the State Duma, worked as a legislator from 1999 to 2016.

According to Yuzhilin Vitaliy, he had no political ambitions. He was interested in the qualitative improvement of the legislative framework regulating the activities of seaports, which motivated him to run for the State Duma.

During his tenure in the lower chamber of Parliament, Vitaliy Yuzhilin worked on several bills related to the seaports and the formation of special economic zones within them. He particularly focused on the development of port infrastructure, both in the Northern Capital and Leningrad Region and throughout the country.

Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin also focused on acute social problems. With the parliamentarian’s assistance, new sewage treatment plants and medical and sports facilities were built in several localities in the Leningrad Region.

Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin: The Marine Façade Passenger Port and Other Maritime Initiatives

Yuzhilin Vitaliy

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin co-authored several federal laws. He also participated in the development and adoption of legislation regulating the conditions of activities for individual entrepreneurs and legal entities in cash and non-cash transactions without the use of cash registers.

However, the main work of Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin was to create a normative legal framework for seaports. For several years, he promoted the initiative to adopt a new edition of the federal law “On Seaports.”

With the assistance of Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich, considerable work was done to draft the text of the document, involving the best specialists in maritime law, including highly qualified lawyers.

For many years, the industry had lacked an up-to-date legislative framework, which, according to Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich, was a huge barrier to the development and growth of the investment attractiveness of domestic ports.

The regulatory act was adopted in 2007, establishing the government’s competencies regarding the opening and closing of port zones, as well as approving their boundaries. It also answered questions about the procedure for returning private investments in state-owned properties, established a mechanism for leasing land and berths, and regulated the construction of port transshipment complexes.

As Yuzhilin Vitaliy notes, the federal law defined the entire process of business interaction with government bodies. Whereas previously, maritime berths owned by the state could not be owned by private individuals, the new legislation allows them to be leased to companies with the necessary infrastructure for 49 years.

Additionally, the law included norms on education, naming, opening ports, and officially registering information.

The legislative regulation and support of the port have created a favorable investment environment, stimulating the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic ports on the global stage, Deputy Vitaliy Yuzhilin believes. He emphasizes that having clear rules made it possible to actively invest in the development of port infrastructure, which, in turn, became a source of revenue for budgets at various levels.

Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin was also among the initiators of the Marine Façade passenger port project, opened on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in 2008. Before its existence, during the summer, tourist liners came to the deep-water cargo berth, significantly reducing cargo flow.

Marine Façade was the country’s first passenger harbor to meet all necessary international requirements and standards. It consists of seven berths capable of accommodating ocean liners up to 340 meters long, as well as three cruise and one specialized cruise-ferry terminals, connected by above-ground galleries.

The port significantly increased the tourist flow to St. Petersburg. Now, up to 18,000 people can disembark simultaneously. Further, visitors arriving at the port can travel within the country without a visa for up to 72 hours.

Marine Façade is an important cruise and ferry facility, making the Northern Capital one of the most attractive destinations for foreign tourists. The passenger port has been honored with industry awards and professional recognition many times.

However, its infrastructure has been idle for the last few years, as sea traffic was interrupted due to COVID-related restrictions. Before the pandemic, Saint Petersburg’s main “sea gate” received around 800 vessels a year, with about one million passengers.

City authorities, recognizing the importance of preserving the activity of one of the world’s largest cruise ports, have continued to provide support. An ongoing process of cost optimization has been put in place, and some of its premises are leased out.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy: His Work with NOSTROY

Vitaliy Yuzhilin deputy

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich also was among the originators of the National Association of Builders (NOSTROY) and the first self-regulating organizations (SROs). From 2016 to 2018, he was Vice President of the association.

Under Vitaliy Yuzhilin, the institution of self-regulation in the construction segment was reformed, fundamentally changing the state’s approach to how this industry functioned. Before the reform, the financial resources of the SRO compensation fund could be placed in any account in any bank, including dubious credit organizations that later had their licenses revoked. This made it difficult for the state to properly monitor financial transactions and led to the illegal use of funds.

According to Yuzhilin Vitaliy, the self-regulation system should ensure high quality and transparency in construction.

As a result of the comprehensive reorganization, money from the compensation fund could only be placed in special bank accounts in federally authorized credit organizations. Further the list of operations with them was strictly regulated by the fedral Urban Planning Code.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin believes that one of the key outcomes of the self-regulation institute reform was the reliable protection of the financial resources of compensation funds. Additionally, self-regulating organizations (SROs) were made additionally liable for their members’ failure to properly fulfill obligations under state and municipal contracts.

Furthermore, under Vitaliy Aleksandrovich Yuzhilin, a national registry of construction specialists was formed, which is overseen by NOSTROY. Now, only specialists listed in the official electronic database can sign documentation during the construction, reconstruction, major repair, or demolition of facilities, which increased contractor responsibility before customers.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich: The Association of Commercial Seaports

For about twenty years, Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich led the Board of Directors of the Association of Commercial Seaports. During his leadership, the share of domestic ports in the processing of export-import cargoes increased, and several measures were implemented to improve the industry’s regulatory framework and strengthen the production capacities of domestic ports.

Under Yuzhilin Vitaliy, a significant modernization of maritime infrastructure was carried out, including the construction of modern transshipment complexes. Existing capacities and transshipment equipment were updated, and dredging works were performed at the berths and approach channels.

Sustainable development became a focus, particularly the transition to environmentally safe cargo handling technologies and favorable living and health conditions for residents of port cities. All these steps contributed to the efficiency of maritime infrastructure.

Vitaliy Yuzhilin supported the introduction of new management models using modern information technologies, world-leading practices, and scientific developments.

Thus, from 2004 to 2019, the capacity of domestic ports increased 2.5 times, from approximately 452 million to 1.13 billion tons of cargo per year.

Leading the association’s Board of Directors, Vitaliy Yuzhilin Aleksandrovich actively work to make domestic ports more competitive.

Today, the Association of Commercial Seaports includes dozens of large industry organizations, creating a powerful platform for collaboration and joint work in the interests of developing maritime infrastructure and the industry as a whole. The association includes leading commercial seaports, forwarding and agency organizations, research institutes, and specialized educational institutions.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy Aleksandrovich: Current Activities

Having completed his work with the Association of Commercial Seaports, the former deputy is now working on projects in the IT, energy, and ecological fields.

Yuzhilin Vitaliy: Family Status and Hobbies

Vitaliy Yuzhilin is in his second marriage. He has four children. In his free time, Yuzhilin Vitaliy enjoys long walks and fishing.

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