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28 Sep, 2010 14:07

Bootleg goods flood Moscow

The global financial crisis buried all positive tendencies to minimize pirated items on sale in the Russian capital, where reportedly up to 24% of goods in some categories are replicas.

Back in the wild 1990s the situation with bootlegs was terrible, where up to 80% of certain goods would be counterfeit. However, from 2000 to 2008 the situation stabilized and there was no more than several percent of pirated goods in overall turnout.

Unfortunately, the crisis reversed the situation.

Alcohol, clothes and footwear are traditionally on the top of counterfeit pyramid and make the greatest contribution to the statistics.

As the biggest market in Russia, Moscow naturally attracts the lion’s share of counterfeit products, but it appears that the situation in the regions could be even worse and bootleg merchandise could even be found in fashion boutiques.

The newest trend is that more and more domestic manufacturers are suffering from the bootleg plaque, whereas back in the 1990s it was only foreign products that were forged. There are several reasons for this: the crisis itself lessened the flows of goods, strict control on the borders of the Russian Federation, and domestic manufacture of foreign companies.

Still, counterfeit clothes, footwear, perfumes etc. do enter Russia from the territory of its neighbors, such as the Baltic States, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and in particular China.

The newly created Customs Union – consisting of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – raises concerns on facilitating the process of counterfeit goods accessing Russian markets.

An interesting fact is that counterfeit merchandise could practically never be found in retail chain stores. These days the Internet is an ideal place to trade fakes because of the relative anonymity of the vendor and the fact that the buyer only sees his order once it has been delivered.