Due to a complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian manufacturer VDM Group, the Moscow Metro suspended the purchase of 18.4 million Troika smart cards for almost 1 billion rubles. VDM Group believes that the terms of purchase are written for the microchips of the Dutch manufacturer NXP, with smart cards supplied by AFK Sistema structures. The existing restrictions within the framework of import substitution are easily circumvented by using the terms of purchase, experts say.
Purchase of Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Moscow Metro” for the supply of 18.4 million initialized cards of special design “Troika” at an initial price of 940 million rubles. suspended due to the complaint of the company "VDM group" in the FAS, follows from the information on the website of public procurement, published on September 14. Only NXP chips (one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, was part of Philips until 2006) meet the requirements of the technical task (TOR) regarding the transition to a higher level of security, according to the complaint of the company, which Kommersant learned.
The position of the Moscow Metro is now being formed, it will be reported after consideration of the complaint to the FAS, the press service of the FSUE said. They clarified that part of the cards within the procurement will be intended for employees of contractors who are working on the metro infrastructure.
The FAS will consider the complaint of VDM Group on September 16, the head of the department for control over the placement of state orders of the service Artem Lobov told Kommersant. Previously, there were no complaints about similar purchases, he said.
Specially created conditions do not make it possible to offer an alternative, since initially the chips from NXP have the given characteristics and in fact there are no chips with similar characteristics in the world, Yuri Tyrykin, director of VDM Group, told Kommersant. However, there are no technological secrets in the products, in fact, this is "an ordinary smart card, which is produced by dozens of companies throughout the country, which are not artificially allowed into the subway," he is sure. A metro card could cost several times less than it is now, while its safety would be even higher, Mr. Tyrykin believes. The ultimate beneficiary of the purchase is ISBC (Intelligent Business Management Systems LLC), which supplies smart cards with NXP chips, according to VDM Group, pointing out that it had previously won such tenders.
ISBC is part of the RTI holding owned by AFK Sistema. On the website of state purchases, Kommersant found her contract with the Moscow Metro for 306.8 million rubles. in 2016. ISBC did not respond to Kommersant's request. From the data on the public procurement website, it follows that such a tender was also won by Micron Security Printing (a contract for 579.4 million rubles in 2018), a joint venture between the metro and Mikron, which is part of the RTI. Mikron declined to comment.
VDM Group is a manufacturer of RFID products with a chip, including plastic cards for paying for public travel in the regions of Russia. Yuri Tyrykin also owns Strana Kart LLC, according to Kartoteka.ru data. "Country of cards" has already been in conflict with ISBC and must pay her compensation of 50 thousand rubles. for "violation of exclusive rights to the ISBC trademark", follows from the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Kirov region of August 31.
The complaint of VDM Group is “a normal struggle with a purchase tailored to a specific supplier,” says Anatoly Semyonov, deputy chairman of the committee of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries. At the same time, the Moscow Metro is not included in the list of N91-r system-forming corporations and companies with state participation, which means that it is not obliged to coordinate plans for import substitution with the government, says Ilya Massukh, director of the center of competence for import substitution in the field of information and communication technologies. Thus, he states, the subway is only subject to the ban on the admission of foreign goods under the law on public procurement, which is easily circumvented by wording in the TK.