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31 Mar, 2022 11:09

Russia lifts ban on parallel imports

The measure is meant to ensure the availability of goods amid sanctions
Russia lifts ban on parallel imports

Russia has allowed parallel imports – the purchase of branded products from another country without the authorization of the intellectual property owner – Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on Wednesday.

The aim of the mechanism is to meet the domestic demand for goods that are in short supply due to sanctions.

The measure will “guarantee the shipment of goods to our country ... in spite of the unfriendly actions of foreign politicians,” Mishustin said during a televised government meeting, adding that the list of accepted parallel imports will be drawn up in the coming days.

The authorization was introduced as part of a package of measures to support businesses and consumers following the exodus from Russia of major international brands from a wide array of industries amid Western sanctions related to Ukraine.

The imported goods will be subject to all existing customs and control procedures to exclude counterfeit products, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service said on Wednesday.

Parallel imports will be “especially important for socially-significant goods like medicines, foodstuffs and children’s products,” Reuters quoted the founder of Russian online retailer Wildberries, Tatyana Bakalchuk, as saying.

Parallel imports are legal in some countries, such as the US, while other countries require all imported goods to be authorized by the original manufacturers to prevent them from losing control over sales and presentation of their goods overseas. Until Wednesday, parallel imports had been prohibited in Russia and were punishable by a fine of up to $60,000.

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