Russia launches parallel import of smartphones and gaming consoles

Russia’s Svyaznoy mobile retailer has started to import gadgets using the mechanism of parallel import, Kommersant newspaper reports, citing a company representative.

According to the newspaper, the retailer will ship in Samsung smartphones and smart watches, new iPhone models, as well as PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo gaming consoles. The devices will cost 10-20% more on average than they did before the sanctions were introduced.

The products will have the same warranty as before, Svyaznoy explained. “All these products were made for the EAEU market, so there won’t be a problem with activation. Tech support will be available for all the devices.”

From now on, the retailer will cover the service costs instead of the distributor.

Earlier, Kommersant wrote that several Russian online marketplaces had begun to consider the possibility of selling goods brought in via parallel import.

The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) approved a bill legalising parallel import two days ago, on 21 June. The law will enter into force after the Russian president signs it. Parallel import is a non-counterfeit product imported from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner.

Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade published a list of goods intended for parallel import back in May. The list included smartphones and other devices by Apple, Asus, HP, Panasonic, Samsung, as well as Tesla, Land Rover, Jeep, Jaguar cars and car parts, and a number of other goods.

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