MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s industry ministry said on Monday it was expanding its list of brands that can be imported without the trademark owner’s permission to include goods from companies such as IKEA and American toy manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel.
Moscow has been pushing a so-called “parallel imports” scheme to help Russian consumers maintain access to a host of foreign products in the face of tough punitive sanctions imposed by the West over the conflict in Ukraine.
The mechanism allows Russian companies to buy goods from any company outside Russia, including from the country of the goods’ origin, provided they were purchased legally.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s expanded list includes luxury brands, such as Lancome, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent, domestic goods brands Wahl and Zanussi, and Japan’s Nintendo. Brands of motor oils and agricultural equipment makers were also added.
The updated list was first reported by the Izvestia daily, which said that IKEA would be added towards the summer.
“Izvestia has the correct list and it is now being registered with the Ministry of Justice,” the ministry said in a statement.
Many goods of top brands that pulled out of Russia remain available, with parallel importing mechanisms having been consolidated and expanded in the past year, demonstrating the difficulty companies have in controlling supply chains when exiting a market.
The ministry said it was working on fine-tuning the mechanism, transitioning from including brand names to rights holders, a move it said would simplify the administrative procedure.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alexander Marrow and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)