Russia: Apple iPhone 14/Pro series will be supplied to the country with a parallel import mechanism

Apple released a brand new iPhone 14 series new machine early this morning, but in March this year Apple announced that it has suspended all product sales in Russia, so how will consumers in the country buy the new machine? 

According to RIA Novosti, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said in an interview at the 2022 Eastern Economic Forum that the new iPhone  14 will be supplied to Russia through a parallel import mechanism, and Russians will have the opportunity to buy the new model equipment. Asked if new iPhone models would be allowed to enter Russia under a parallel import regime, and whether it would be an exception, Manturov replied: "Why not? If consumers want to buy these phones, then buy them. There will be such an opportunity.”

Sales of brands such as Samsung and Apple have been falling in Russia since the West imposed sanctions, data show. Sales in July accounted for only 8.5% and 7% of the market, respectively.

Apple products have previously been included in the parallel import list. Manturov previously said he planned to extend the parallel import mechanism to the full year of 2023. Russian Economic Development Minister Reshetnikov pointed out last month that Russia's "parallel import" strategy to counter US and Western sanctions is playing a positive role. As of July, the total value of goods imported into Russia through "parallel imports" approached $4 billion and weighed more than 300,000 tons, with deliveries doubling in a month and a half.

"Parallel import" refers to the act of importers of a country importing products legally placed on the market in other countries by the right holder or with the consent of the right holder without the authorization of the right holder who owns the intellectual property rights in that country. Such behavior was previously banned in Russia.

On June 21, the plenary session of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) approved a legal amendment submitted by the Russian government to legalize "parallel imports" in Russia. The amendment to the law stipulates that the use of patent achievements and brand marks embodied in "parallel import" goods does not constitute infringement and Russian companies that "parallel import" goods without the permission of the intellectual property holder shall not be liable for relevant civil, administrative and criminal matters responsibility. On June 22, the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) reviewed and quickly approved the bill, titled "Draft Law on Legalization of Parallel Imported Goods in the Russian Federation". On June 28, President Putin signed the draft law, indicating that the Russian government and society have the full right to counter the sanctions imposed on Russia by "unfriendly countries" through "parallel imports".

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