The State Duma drafted a bill that opens a wide field for the Russian government to introduce new restrictions on goods from the United States and other countries that supported US sanctions against Russia. Under partial prohibition, imported alcohol and tobacco products, as well as certain types of medicines, can be imported for the first time. In addition, the embargo on food and software can be extended.
The authors of the draft law "On measures to influence the unfriendly actions of the United States of America and (or) other foreign states" submitted to the lower chamber of the parliament include the Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, the leaders of United Russia, the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and Fair Russia. The purpose of the document is to protect the interests and security of the Russian Federation, the rights and freedoms of its citizens, to prevent and suppress unlawful and unfriendly actions by the US and other foreign states. "Other foreign countries" are understood as countries that have decided to join the actions of the United States and have imposed sanctions against certain sectors of the economy of the Russian Federation, its legal entities and individuals. To which "actions" the United States should join countries that are at risk of getting under sanctions, and what "support for decisions" of the US can consist in, the document does not clarify.
The restrictions proposed by parliamentarians for the first time since the beginning of Russia's sanction war with the West can touch on alcohol and tobacco products.
The import of these goods is expected to extend a full or partial ban. There is little American alcohol in Russia in the total import volume. According to customs statistics (there are "b"), last year the US share in the supply of whiskey was 10% (3.72 million liters), Roma - 0.17% (9.8 thousand liters), tequila - 0, 89% (30.1 thousand liters), quiet wines - 0.58% (1.41 million liters), beer - 1.08% (1.67 million liters). Of the popular drinks, the victim of the new embargo may be Jack Daniel's bourbon (whiskey) of Brown-Forman. Its losses from Russian sanctions, the youngest analyst of Freedom Finance, Alen Sabitov estimates up to $ 20 million in revenue each year. This, the expert notes, will not have a significant impact on the business of Brown-Forman, whose annual turnover is about $ 3 billion. Another Japanese producer of alcohol, injured by Russian sanctions, may become Japanese Suntory - it produces whiskey in the United States Jim Beam. Her losses in the global revenue of $ 2 billion Mr. Sabitov estimates up to $ 7 million annually.
A cigarette of American production in Russia today is not at all, says the editor-in-chief of the industry news agency Russian Tobacco Maxim Korolyov. According to him, the total volume of cigarette imports to Russia last year was about 7 billion pieces with domestic production of 246 billion pieces (of which about 23 billion pieces were exported). "The response sanctions, however, may affect the import of Captain Black cigarillos that are produced in the United States," Mr. Korolev said. Get a comment TC Megapolis (importer Captain Black) failed.
For the first time under the restrictions on imports into Russia can fall and American drugs.
The exception will be those drugs, analogues of which are not produced in Russia or countries that are not subject to an embargo. According to the DSM Group, the share of US drugs in the Russian market in 2017 was 9.9%, their turnover - 130.3 billion rubles. In the segment of hospital purchases, this figure was 40.8 billion rubles. (15.7% of the total volume), additional medicines - 19.7 billion rubles. (17%), in pharmacies - 69.8 billion rubles. (7.4%). The share of deliveries of ready-made dosage forms from the USA, according to the data of the financial director for pharmaceutical projects of IPT Group Julia Petrischeva, does not exceed 5.2% in physical terms. In money in 2017, the volume of such supplies amounted to approximately 30 billion rubles.
Before adding American drugs to the sanctions list, the government should analyze whether the generics registered in the country are produced in the right amount, says Ivan Glushkov, deputy general director of Stada CIS. He notes that the document deals with drugs manufactured in the US, and the production of some American companies, he said, is in different countries. In addition, Mr. Glushkov notes that the bill, which restricts the provision of certain types of services for state and municipal needs by US companies, may concern the maintenance of medical equipment in medical institutions.
Prohibit imports from the US MPs also offer agricultural products, raw materials and food.
According to the food embargo introduced in August 2014, the supply of meat and dairy products, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and salt has already been banned from the United States. According to Rusprodsoyuz, in 2017, the United States supplied food products (including alcohol and tobacco) to Russia for $ 300 million, which is about 2.5% of the cost of all imports from the country ($ 12.5 billion). In the list of Russian food importers, the United States took the tenth place with a share of 3.3%. According to the Federal Customs Service, in 2017, the United States supplied 6.4 thousand tons of mineral water and non-alcoholic beverages to Russia for $ 4.5 million, 1.8 thousand tons of cocoa paste ($ 12.8 million), about 1.5 thousand tons. tons of ketchups, sauces and products for their production ($ 3.7 million), 1.4 thousand tons of pet food ($ 4.2 million), etc.
The bill establishes a ban or restriction on the admission of software (software) and technological equipment from the US and other countries to procurement for the needs of the state and individual legal entities.
It is not specified exactly which legal entities are involved. This development of the existing ban on public procurement of foreign software in the presence of suitable domestic counterparts.
Since early 2016, state agencies can purchase foreign software only if it does not have Russian counterparts, which should be included in a specially created register of domestic software.
As a separate measure of influence, the authors of the bill propose "exhaustion of the exclusive right to trademarks in respect of goods on the list determined by the government of the Russian Federation."
Their rightholders can be both physical and legal persons of the United States and other foreign countries. "Here, most likely, we mean that it will be possible to use trademarks without their consent: for example, to import original goods by parallel importers, to mark such goods with goods produced by other companies," suggests Catherine Tilling, senior partner of the Tilling Peters law firm. She emphasizes that the uncontrolled use of trademarks violates international treaties that Russia has committed to comply with, including the Paris Convention and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (included in the package of documents on the creation of the WTO). According to Ms. Tilling, if the bill is adopted in this form, Russia "will be overwhelmed by a wave of counterfeit goods, for the quality of which it is not clear who will answer, and ultimately consumers will suffer."
Head of the Bar Association "Adamova & Partners" Irina Adamova found the bill of deputies raw and unprofessional. "This is only a declaration of intent, such a law itself can not be applied. Everything will depend on what exactly will be spelled out in the government's resolution, but before that, all ministries and departments should give their assessment of the financial and economic consequences for our country for each restriction so that our own interests are not harmed, "says Mrs. Adamova. Mikhail Uspenskiy from the law firm Taxology agrees that the bill is a framework, but he supports this format: "It seems to me right to regulate certain types of sanctions restrictions through the adoption of government regulations and the compilation of separate lists. This protects us from making legislative mistakes, especially in conditions of haste. "
Several interlocutors of "Kommersant" in the Duma factions told that they did not know about the bill until Friday. The deputy chairman of the Just Russia faction in the State Duma, Mikhail Yemelyanov, explained to Kommersant that "the document is operational in nature, it is a reaction to the political situation, to tough statements by the Americans around Syria and US sanctions against Russia." "Already at the end of last week it was clear that the reaction will follow, the measures were also approximately understood," the referent said.
The State Duma on the plan should leave for a two-week vacation from April 16, then the regional week begins and the May weekend. The next day, when the parliament will be able to consider the bill in a planned manner, on May 8.
"Big Four" kept a residence permit
The draft law prohibits the provision of audit services by companies that are 25% or more owned (directly or through third parties) by companies from the US or other jurisdictions. As in all other cases, it covers services related to "state and municipal needs, as well as the needs of certain types of legal entities". The ban clearly targets the "big four" auditors who are part of multinational corporations and which account for half of the Russian audit market. However, formally all the Big Four companies operating on the Russian market have 100% Russian participation and are associated with the parent structure with only a name and methodology, which they reported in response to a request from Kommersant. "In general, I doubt that in principle there are audit organizations in Russia that could fall under these formulations," said EY partner Igor Buyan. "I believe that the legislator could intentionally allow such wording to keep the person and not to touch the companies of the Big Four," said the source of Kommersant from the largest auditing company. Remove Big4 from the market can be as participants in international audit networks, slightly changing the wording of the law, but then the list expands to at least 15 of the largest players. "The remaining non-network auditors will not be able to physically check former clients-they will not have enough people or knowledge," Natalya Borzova, deputy head of FinExpertiza, is sure.
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