Russia allows “grey imports” to maintain supply chains

By bne IntelliNews April 3, 2022

The Russian government has approved so-called “parallel imports” or "grey imports" of products without the permission of the copyright owner, Kommersant daily and The Bell reported, citing a draft bill of such legislation.

As followed by bne IntelliNews, Russian supply chains are in disarray and starting to feel the spillover effects from Western sanctions for the military invasion of Ukraine. In addition to direct goods and components supplies, about 50-60% of the critical equipment that Russian industrial companies use is either imported or depends on imports.

According to Kommersant, Russian imports already dropped by about a third from their peak in February 2022. A total of 72 goods categories, or almost any goods and equipment besides agricultural goods, will be allowed for “grey imports”, according to the daily.

Currently only the copyright owner or an official dealer of the copyright owner is able to import goods into Russia without an explicit copyright permission. Under the new legislation all non-counterfeit goods will be allowed as imports, regardless of the copyright permission status. This would allow goods imports to be re-routed that have been sanctioned by the copyright owners through “friendly” states such as the UAE and Kazakhstan, the analysts surveyed by Kommersant believe.

However, the measure will only help with the goods that have been blocked from sales in Russia by the copyright owner. The flows of goods that have been directly sanctioned by the EU and the US will still be closely followed by foreign regulators that would sanction the participants of such transactions. 

The measures are also expected to support local carmakers AvtoVaz and Kamaz that are scrambling to resume assembly amid ruptures of foreign components.

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