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New long-term strategy to fight counterfeits in Russia

Counterfeits are an evil, as believes Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He has signed new strategy to fight with this evil, which decreases tax and revenue and causes danger and insecurity for health and life of Russians. “Counterfeits interfere with creation civilised marketplace. It is impossible to measure precisely the scale of this disaster because illegal turnover is in gray economy. But according to different assessments in some fields of industries the scale of counterfeits can be up to 50%” – said Medvedev at governmental meeting.

Russian constitution guarantees unity of economic space, support of competition, freedom of economic activity and protection of property, including intellectual property, and protection of rights and interests of citizens. Therefore in order to achieve this goal it is necessary to mitigate the level of illegal turnover of industrial products and create civilized marketplace.

As it is stated in strategy, the illegal turnover of counterfeits is caused by different factors (internal and external), including insufficient execution of control and supervising by law enforcement authorities and also insufficient functioning of Russian judicial system, high corruptive risks, low level of business ethics, low income and, as a consequence, weak purchasing capacity of most people in Russia, underdevelopment of public control etc.

Among the main factors causing infringements of Russian law in the field of illegal turnover of industrial products are named: moving of products across the custom borders of Eurasian Economic Union without compliance with law; unfair importers benefit from such factor as absence of control on internal borders of Members States of Eurasian economic union; illegal manufacturing of industrial products; making and using of bogus documents confirming compliance with law of produced and disseminated products; imperfection of Russian law in relation to illegal turnover of industrial products.

Illegal turnover of industrial products is decentralised and currently consists of violations, which are reflected within the framework of different and separate provisions of Russian criminal code and administrative code. It should be also mentioned that facilities of unfair manufacturers and suppliers are constantly improved and it is not so easy to distinguish the original product from fake. Illegal products are spread in low price segment as well as in high price segment. Besides, there is developing market of due diligence services for illegal products.

First of all strategy defines what is missing: definition of illegal turnover of industrial products, its absence negatively affect interpretation and implementation of Russian law; weak coordination between state authorities in the field of controlling and supervising; deficit of staff members; insufficient custom border control and low level of public control and tolerance of public to counterfeits.

First of all in order to fight counterfeits it is necessary to provide opportunities for legal business in relevant fields of industry. Protection of intellectual property by state is also vital. Must be guaranteed an inevitability of punishment for violations of law connected with illegal turnover of industrial products. And certainly Russian law should be improved accordingly.