“Shuttle traders” are back in Russia: the move to circumvent sanctions

They will never admit it, they haven’t done it yet, but with the sanctions that the West has inflicted on Russia by Vladimir Putin after the reckless invasion of Ukraine, the country has gone back 30 years. The economy is increasingly on its knees, new glimmers are not seen and to cope with the closure of hundreds of brands and brands used all over the world but no longer in Moscow, the so-called transport economy has been restored.

Who are the “Shuttle traders”

In the 90s, when Russia plunged into the greatest economic crisis in its history, the army of “chelnoki” (Russian word) went abroad to buy goods and then resell them inside the country. At that time, as explained by the Courier, they were at least 25 thousand. From English, the “Shuttle traders” were singles entrepreneurs who bought branded goods in other countries, imported them and made them available to the Russian people in flea markets or small shops. In the vast majority of cases, these goods were imported without any declaration so as not to pay customs duties. Now, with the shutters of the western bran down for over a month, the only solution could be a return to the past.

The Russian economic failure

What happened in the 90s certified the failure of a people, more than anything else humiliation, the same that Putin wants indirectly to give to the people who praise and praise him so much. He will have gas and oil from him but if Western life is lacking, it will be tough for the Russians too. Here, now, even if in an unofficial way, the Russian parliament has revived this type of trade. Indeed, the Moscow authorities have established that from 6 May a certain list of goods and various products will no longer be under the prohibition of “parallel import“, but they can be reintroduced from abroad without fuss, without having the go-ahead from those who have that brand and from the same authorized resellers. This is how from cosmetics to technological products, from watches to cars, you can buy almost anything and review it in the internal market.

“Saturating the internal market”

The Russian Ministry of Commerce has made it known that this possibility “is granted to importers in order to saturate the internal market against the background of a considerable drop of the volume of goods imported into Russia“. This list could increase if other large multinationals decide to abandon Russian territory forever. According to the Department of Commerce, in addition to the nearly 100 items that can be purchased in this way, the total value would amount to 120 billions of dollars every year, basically 50% of what Moscow’s current imports are worth. On the other hand, to safeguard the good that works in Russia thanks to internal companies, large foreign producers will not have to hinder that type of economy with restrictions on imports of electronic products and cars.

On the other hand, there is no impediment to beauty products (controls disappeared) and zero restrictions also for “the imports parallel to food, clothes, shoes, undergarments, soap, drugs, bags“which, as the experts explain, have no limits either in number or on controls. In short, the stalls and the queue to buy those goods, which have become fashionable throughout Russia, sported the ladies to go to the cinema as well as at the theater or in places of sociality. The Western brand dominated Moscow until February 24, now it has almost turned gray until it disappears. Also in this case, will the standing ovation for their Tsar be triggered or will there perhaps be some rethinking?

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“Shuttle traders” are back in Russia: the move to circumvent sanctions

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