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Russian Federal Customs Service Reports
February 1, 2007 17:15

The federal customs service resumed its fight against counterfeit production over the past year. Results are unlikely to be called comforting: candies, clothes, perfume and disks take the top positions in the Russian list of fake products. Moreover, manufacturers of counterfeit things are becoming more and more sophisticated in their business. By the end of 2006 customs officers detected about 3 million units of counterfeit production summed at over 38mn rubles.

According to the data provided by the Federal Customs Service, in the period of 1998-2004 the total amount of production withdrawn by European customs services increased by 1000%. By WTO’s estimate today’s world turnover of fake production makes up $500bn. As for Russia, the situation has changed but not much: some prudent market participants notify positive tendencies. For instance, if earlier the household appliances segment of the market was overshot with counterfeit DVD recorders, cell phones, TVs and washing machines, then now they make up a tiny percent, which is put into shade by legal supplies. The confectionary market demonstrates another picture, as sweets are the most popular among illegal producers.

 The perfume segment of the market is far full of its own problems; however, experts are sure that the total volume of counterfeit perfume reduced several times within the last 5 years. This is due to the fact that number of street kiosks along with fairs trading perfume has been gradually decreasing: from 60% several years ago to 17% - now. Most frequent “victims” are those brands of perfume, which cost over 50-60 EURO per scent-bottle, classical fragrance in prticular.

At the same time novelties are out of favour with illegal producers. Cosmetics are much less falsified, since it is very difficult to achieve good quality and nice layout of the product.

The Federal customs service asserts that lately the system recording trademarks in the Customs registry of intellectual property has been worked through in detail. Information of over 760 trademarks of Russian and foreign companies can be found in the document now.

For several years Russian special services have hardly been trying to show their anti-counterfeit activity. One of the main reasons explaining this situation is Russia’s forthcoming joining WTO. We should mention that the USA didn’t agree to sign the protocol allowing Russia to become a WTO member, unless the attitude of the government to the intellectual property changed. That is why 390 administrative cases regarding the facts of piracy of intellectual property were opened in 2005, and within 3 quarters of 2006 – 800.

The federal customs service is functioning and some improvements are evident, e.g. an agreement regulating cooperation in the field of piracy was signed with the International Federation of producers of audio records. At the same time there are cases illustrating the real activity of the service: while the huge piratical market where you can buy any music or video you want is operating in Moscow, our brave special services find and close down a small home factory producing illegal CDs and DVDs. The question is, if it is of any help.


Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian economy Russia International    

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