The Russian government has authorised the parallel importation of a number of foreign products, which manufacturers do not currently export to Russia, without permission from the owners of the trademarks or other intellectual property rights on the products themselves.
Order No. 1532 of the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry, dated May 6, 2022, introduces new rules regarding the parallel importation into the Russian Federation of foreign products that are not currently exported to Russia, also due to the sanctions resulting from the conflict in Ukraine.
“Parallel importation” means the importation of a product, without the consent of the owner of the trademarks or other intellectual property rights on that product, that has been purchased in a third country where the product has been legitimately sold.
The order includes a list of foreign goods and brands that manufacturers are not currently exporting to the Russian Federation. The list includes a wide range of products, from automotive spare parts to clothing, as well as a list of brands.
The ordinance authorizes the importation into the Russian Federation of the products on the list starting from 7 May 2022, without the consent of the owner of the intellectual property rights and despite any requests to block imports at the Russian border that the right-owners may have filed with the federation’s authorities; civil liability is also ruled out for those who import the products through unofficial distribution channels.
It should be noted that the provision is only applicable to products that have already been legitimately marketed in a foreign country, therefore it does not concern the possible importation of counterfeits.