Alcohol patrol

Alcohol companies unite in anti-counterfeiting activities.  

Alcohol Producers Union (known as SPAP) reported that major vodka producers will sign Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement. Leaders of the market, such as Alcohol Siberian Group Ltd., Russian Alcohol, Synergy, Moscow distillery Crystall, national Rosspirtprom, are members of the union; their share equals to 55% of legal spirits production in Russia.

Vodka in Russia is traditionally consumed in volumes exceeding total of legal output the difference lies in counterfeit production (see image). Excise growth preplanned for the next years may aggravate the situation.   Now minimum retail price of 0,5 l is 170 Rubles, whereas 80 Rubles is excise, says Mr. Igor Kosarev, Board Member of Russian Alcohol. In 2014 excise will be 100 Rubles, in 2015 120 Rubles. The greater the amount is, - says Mr. Kosarev, the higher the probability that illegal producers will switch from little known vodkas to counterfeit of renowned brands.
No one needs No name vodka at the price of 170 Rubles, - assures Mr. Vadim Drobiz, Executive Director of TZIFRRA ().  They have nothing to do but copy popular brands. He continues: Up to now bootleggers have not dealt with counterfeit, their share was not over a few percents from total sales, but the situation is changing rapidly. Mr. Drobiz notes that in year 2012 there were more reports from Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning detection of clandestine manufacture and sales of counterfeit of popular brands. Share of counterfeit Ladoga goods amounts to 50% in Northern Caucasus Federal District, says CEO of Ladoga, Mr. Veniamin Grabar.      

How future parties to this agreement intend to fight pirate goods? Number of sales representatives and merchandisers  of companies that are members of Alcohol Producers Union (SPAP) amounts to 5000, says one of its employees. For now each one of them works for the employer: monitors distribution, layout, etc. These employees will be responsible for detection of counterfeit of all brands owned by members of the Agreement, as the saying goes, in the field. Information on counterfeit detection will be entered to Integrated Database (its implementation is scheduled in Agreement) and forwarded to Federal Service For Alcohol Market Regulation (RAR).  

Federal Service For Alcohol Market Regulation takes strong anti-counterfeit measures, - believes Ms. Natalia Kuzmina, Head of Alcohol Siberian Group Ltd. Legal Support Department, but then continues: We may top up their administrative actions with our market actions. According to her, one of these actions may be refusal to make agreements or enter into any kinds of business relationships with companies who violate regulation. Mr. Kosarev is strongly categoric: Members of the agreement will not cooperate with those who produce or sell counterfeit goods using their brands.

Representative of Federal Service For Alcohol Market Regulation told Vedomosti, that the Service is aware of producers plan and favours it altogether. Head of Department of Federal Service For Alcohol Market Regulation, Mr. Vladimir Mishelovin says that they have not yet received the document, but the concept in whole raises no objections.  

Elizaveta Nikitina, Vedomosti

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