Goods whose manufacturers have left the Russian market began to be shipped to Russia with the help of parallel imports, according to media reports. New models of Samsung watches and smartphones, iPhones, as well as various game consoles Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and other models are available in the Svyaznoy store chain.
According to Svyaznoy President Aleksey Vukolov, in most cases all of these devices will be 10-20% more expensive than similar products that were supplied to our country before the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. As reported by Vedomosti, the company’s representatives said that the imported goods will last for about 2-3 months. All the equipment purchased through parallel imports will be covered by a warranty and service, which used to be paid for by the equipment manufacturer, but now the distributor covers all the costs. Svyaznoy did not specify who exactly is importing gadgets.
At the moment, other retailers have not reported on the beginning of sales of goods imported into Russia through parallel imports. For example, Megafon representatives said that the stock of goods available in their warehouses is quite enough to meet the demand of customers. According to Vedomosti, one of the companies told them directly that they are afraid to announce officially about parallel imports, as in the future they hope to resume trade relations with manufacturers.
Retailers believe that the activation of devices will go smoothly in Russia, facilitated by the common customs space of the EAEU countries, as well as the use of various common regulations by these countries. However, there is a risk that a vendor (product supplier) may not allow a device to be activated if it was originally designed for a different region as Samsung did. Appliance manufacturers are known to be able to keep track of this, using the serial number and IMEI (unique phone code).
It should be recalled that back in early May, the Ministry of Industry and Trade officially approved a list of more than 50 different categories of goods that fall under parallel imports. Earlier, as reported by RIA Novosti, the Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said that this list will be adjusted. It can be expanded or narrowed depending on what decisions will be taken by foreign companies and firms to further cooperate with our country. In late March, as previously reported in the media, the Russian government decided to legalize parallel imports to meet the demand for goods of foreign firms that are popular in Russia. At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade clarified that parallel import is not legalization of counterfeit goods, and it is allowed to import original products, but through alternative supply channels.
A few days ago, according to RIA Novosti, the head of FAS Maxim Shaskolsky said that the mechanism involved in parallel imports should be extended to all goods in Russia. This should be done to prevent the rights holders from being able to set a high price for the goods, as monopolists. According to Shaskolskiy, the temporary exclusion from parallel imports is subject to companies that build factories in Russia, invest in it and localize production.