The Russian government has published a list of goods for which the ban on parallel imports is being lifted - from May 6, 2022, more than 50 categories of products can be imported into Russia without the permission of brand owners and bypassing dealers - from diapers, cosmetics and smartphones to cars, metals and nuclear reactors.
The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade also said that this list of goods for gray imports to Russia may change depending on what other foreign companies leave the Russian market.
The full list of goods for parallel import to Russia contains 96 items of goods: from matches and watches to metals and nuclear reactors. The list has been compiled using two approaches: a targeted import permit and a broad, no-exemption approach. A selective approach is applied to equipment (brands are listed - for example, Apple, Samsung, Canon, HP, Toshiba), to cars (these are the main foreign cars).
Parallel importation of cosmetics, on the contrary, is allowed with exceptions of certain brands - for example, Garnier, L'Oreal, Oral-B, Blend-a-Med. Parallel imports of clothes, shoes, hats, umbrellas, suitcases, bags, soap and weapons are allowed without restrictions on brands.
Agricultural products were not included in the list of goods for parallel import to Russia, with the exception of trees and floriculture products (cut flowers, bulbs).
Previously, either the copyright holder or official dealers could import such goods into Russia, because the Russian customs authorities previously checked the presence of the company that imports the goods in the list of authorized persons of the copyright holder. Now the Russian customs will check the codes of the commodity nomenclature of foreign economic activity (TN VED) and brand names with the published order. At the same time, the products themselves must be legally put into circulation in the country from which they are imported.
Items included in the list for parallel imports to Russia account for almost half of Russia's imports (their value can be estimated at $100-120 billion per year).
If we consider trade only with "unfriendly" countries, then this estimate drops to $60-70 billion, that is, to a quarter of imports.
The new measure provides an opportunity to organize new schemes for legal supplies and replenishment of stocks, which will reduce the risks of shortages and rising prices. At the same time, there is a possibility of some increase in prices due to more complex logistics and procurement schemes, but this will be offset by increased competition between suppliers and the absence of inflated margins from official dealers, who sometimes used their unique position.