On Thursday, Russian e-commerce firm Ozon (OZON.O) announced that it had begun selling goods through a parallel imports mechanism on its platform, taking advantage of legislation Russia has enacted to try to mitigate the impact of Western sanctions.
Due to unprecedented sanctions and supply chain issues, Russia has legalized so-called parallel imports, which allow retailers to import products from other countries without the permission of the trademark owner.
“Goods imported through parallel imports are available on Ozon,” according to the company. “We have already begun selling popular electronics brands, including smartphones and their components, on Ozon.”
Parallel imports, according to Ozon, provide Russian consumers with a variety of products, but the company is working to prevent counterfeit items from appearing on its platform by requiring sellers to confirm the proof of originality of the goods they sell.
Ozon stated that it would not reveal brand names.
Russia has included a wide range of goods from foreign automakers, technology firms, and consumer brands in the parallel imports scheme, aiming to protect consumers from business isolation by the West after regular imports fell due to sanctions and logistics disruptions.
Hundreds of foreign companies have withdrawn from Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, despite the fact that new laws allowing Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties are expected to be passed in the coming weeks.