×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

iPhones, Gaming Consoles Enter Russia As ‘Parallel Imports’ – Kommersant

Moskva News Agency

The first shipments of smartphones and game consoles under Russia’s so-called “parallel import” scheme have arrived in the country, Kommersant newspaper reported Thursday.

The scheme was designed as a way to maintain imports of consumer goods into Russia despite Western sanctions and an exodus of Western firms from the Russian market. 

Mobile retailer Svyaznoy was the first company to publicly announce it has taken advantage of “parallel imports,” according to Kommersant, topping up its inventories with the latest iPhone and Samsung smartphones, as well as PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo game consoles.

Russia’s parliament passed legislation this week removing penalties for importing goods on a government-approved list – including cars, clothes and raw materials – without approval from trademark owners.

Other Russian retailers have declined to acknowledge if they, too, have imported consumer goods not originally intended for the Russian market. 

Electronic manufacturers in South Korea, Japan and the U.S. suspended sales in Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

The items that have arrived in Russia were likely originally intended for export to one of the other four ex-Soviet members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan.

Svyaznoy, according to Kommersant, promised that Russian consumers would not experience issues with activating the devices. 

But the cost of the “parallel import” goods will likely be significantly higher than the equivalent products sold in Russia before the start of the war. 

Electronics prices could go up by as much as 20%, according to an unnamed industry source quoted by Kommersant.

However, Svyaznoy vowed to take on the warranty costs. 

“The costs were previously covered by the manufacturer, and now it’s the distributor who will pay,” Svyaznoy was quoted as saying.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more