Employees of the customs service of Russia during the processing of parcels
Photo: Alexander Kryazhev / RIA Novosti
The FCS does not pass on the territory of Russia any goods, if he insists on it, the owner of the brand. It is on this basis, customs does not allow import of Xiaomi smartphones. This is a precedent for the Russian market, experts say
In late April, the public organization “Roskomsvoboda” reported that some Russians who have bought smartphones in the foreign Internet-stores, faced difficulties in obtaining equipment in Russia. According to her, the Federal customs service (FCS) has become a “wrap” on the border of smartphones Xiaomi, and Sony. In this case, the Agency relied on the rules of importation of goods into the customs territory of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU), which, among other things, prohibited the shipment of counterfeit and pirated items. According to “Roskomsnab”, one of the regional customs has addressed with the corresponding request to the owner of the trademark Xiaomi in Russia — the company “Smart orange” — and she stated that “the item has signs of counterfeiting” and that the company objected to its import to the territory of Russia.
RBC became known the official position of the FCS on this issue. As the representative a press-Department services, in accordance with article 18 of the universal postal Convention (signed in Doha on October 11, 2012) prohibited the inclusion of all categories of shipments of counterfeit and pirated items. “The recognition of counterfeit goods to the competence of the customs authorities is not true. Determine whether the products identified by the customs authorities, signs of violation of intellectual property rights (counterfeit), rests with the copyright holder. If the information provided by the right holder, moving the goods is counterfeit, the customs authorities shall take measures to prevent the importation into Russia of prohibited goods arriving by international mail, and ensure their immediate removal from the country”, — said the representative of the FCS.
As explained RBC representative of the RDC Group, which owns the company “Smart orange”, she, along with Xiaomi cooperates with the Russian customs authorities to prevent the illegal importation of products. “We urge our fans to purchase the company’s products only through the official sales channels. In this case, they will receive an official warranty and you will be able to fully take advantage of the after-sales service”, — said the representative of the RDC Group. To the official channels of sales relate to the stores RDC Group (six in the country — in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok), as well as the salons of mobile operators, leading retailers and the official online store of Xiaomi. Other foreign online stores official sales channel is not considered, said the representative of the RDC Group.
RBC appealed to Chinese vendor Xiaomi with questions whether the company’s position RDC Group, how many buyers from Russia ordered smartphones in the foreign Internet-stores and how many of these devices have been returned to the sellers. All of these issues, the company forwarded to the RDC Group.
The representative of Sony Mobile Russia has refused comments.
Xiaomi Mi Max
Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Precedent on mail
In 2016, Russia has sold 26.8 million smartphones on 329,78 billion rubles, according to the largest mobile retailer MTS. Sony held a 3.8% market share in value and 2.2% in real terms, Xiaomi — less than 1%. However, the Chinese manufacturer intends to the end of the year to be in the top 5 by revenue in the domestic market, had previously said his spokesman.
According to leading analyst Mobile Research Group Eldar Murtazin, models for different markets differ from each other in their price the manufacturer can put a different margin level. “The model that are sold in Russia, margins are usually higher than one that is designed for the Chinese market, so the manufacturer is not beneficial to a consumer from another country has ordered a Chinese online store, even if the goods are legal,” — said the expert.
Also, according to him, the RDC Group tried to prevent the import of smartphones are not natural persons and companies-competitors. “Until recently, in addition to the RDC Group in the country, Xiaomi smartphones were imported a few more companies. After the group got the exclusive, they tried to shift the retail partners themselves by setting lower wholesale prices,” said Murtazin. The representative of the “Smart orange” did not comment on this information and only said that the company wants “customers were satisfied with purchased goods, and did not form the impression, buying it from an unofficial distributor”.
The fact that under the prohibition of customs came not only bulk, but also devices for personal use, Murtazin called a precedent for the Russian market. Before smartphones could not come to the country only if not certified by the FSB. Users buying a smartphone abroad, were deprived of the corporate guarantee but in recent years for a number of models continues to operate the service and in this case, said an analyst at Mobile Research Group. According to him, now the Internet accounts for only about 0.1% of sold in Russia of Xiaomi smartphones, the device is mainly sold in retail.
Managing partner of Board of lawyers “starinsky, Cartago and partners” Vladimir starinskij told RBC that the counterfeit can be recognized as a product that “is made under the brand of the manufacturer, another plant under the brand name of Xiaomi”. “If products are manufactured at the factory Xiaomi, on the application of [article 18] of the universal postal Convention speech can not be. Here, most likely, war distributors who lobby their interests. For the recognition of counterfeit goods should be the conclusion of a specialist or expert. If such a conclusion is not, it is illegal to talk on the recognition of counterfeit goods. Not always in a distributor company there are specialists able to distinguish the counterfeit products from contrafactos,” said starinsky. According to him, in Russia there is a practice where in a similar way by unscrupulous distributor restricts competition. “The described scheme can be used by customs authorities to the moment when the Russian legal entity or individual to appeal against these actions with the appropriate authorities”, — said Vladimir starinskij.
Executive Director of the Association of companies the Internet-trade (AKIT) Artem Sokolov called the actions of the FCS is valid. “Today, the Russian customs has the legal right to selectively open international mail in that case if they contain counterfeit products. And they even have a certain amount of opening of such packages. But such practice is used in the classical scheme of import, when the imported mark or brand that is available in the customs register of intellectual property objects (TROIS). But from the point of view of sending parcels this is the first time”, — said Sokolov. As the Executive Director of the AKITA, “so the copyright holder found a very good way to protect your brand”. The expert did not rule out that “this schema can be extended to other products”.