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The Ministry of Industry and Trade wants to ban the import of foreign equipment


Russia is preparing for digital autarkism: the Ministry of Industry and Trade wants to ban the import of foreign equipment

What consequences can such a decision have for the market and consumers?

Ministry of Industry and Trade together with Russian vendors of computer technology considers the idea on limiting parallel imports to Russia of products of more than 20 foreign brands, including Acer, IBM, Dell and others. Such a proposal was put forward by the consortium of ANO Vychislitelnaya Tekhnika (ANO VT; Yadro, Aquarius, Kraftway, etc.), which believes that it is necessary to ban the supply of equipment whose analogues are produced in the country.

According to ANO VT, equipment from HPE, Acer, Pure Storage, Basler, Asus, MSI, Delta Electronics, Palit, Palo Alto, Quanta, Schnider Electric, as well as IBM, Dell, NetApp, Fusitsu, HP, xFussion, Inspur, Cisco, Hitachi, Arista, and Oracle. Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Vasily Shpak confirmed to Kommersant that the ministry is discussing this initiative and is waiting for more specific proposals from manufacturers.

The Ministry of Digital Development stated that they were ready to consider the issue of blocking parallel imports only for products that are already produced in Russia. The representative of Aquarius also noted that it is impossible and inexpedient to completely stop parallel imports.

Parallel import allows you to import goods without the consent of the right holder. This scheme has been in effect since May 2022 for groups of goods and brands that are not produced in Russia and the supply of which was refused by a foreign manufacturer. According to the Federal Customs Service (FCS), in 2022, the supply of servers, data storage systems (DSS), computers and spare parts for computers decreased by 15%, to $6.6 billion. The physical volume of imports decreased by 24%, to 41 million devices.

Some Russian electronics manufacturers have moved production abroad or are planning to do so in the near future due to high taxes and difficult market conditions. About 10% of Russian companies producing telecommunications equipment, industrial, consumer and mobile electronics have transferred assembly from their local production facilities and assembly lines to China, Vietnam and Turkey.

Restriction of parallel imports of computer equipment can lead to a shortage and an increase in prices for equipment in the market. This opinion was expressed by representatives of RATEK (Russian Association of Electronics Retail Chains) and the Oxygen data center. They also noted that Russian storage systems and servers are not able to fully meet the needs of the market, both quantitatively and technically. Limiting the supply of foreign computing equipment may slow down the development of some areas of the IT industry, including the financial sector, cloud platforms and others.

In February 2023, Russian manufacturers have already proposed to introduce duties in the amount of 20% of the cost on foreign DWDM and DAS systems (equipment for optical networks). In December 2022, they also asked the Ministry of Digital Transformation to ban the import of Dell, HP, Acer and MSI laptops and introduce a 20% cashback on the purchase of domestic mobile computing devices.

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