As you know, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed to include alcoholic beverages in the list of goods allowed for parallel import. The project is posted on a special site. The list may include the so-called elite and not very drinks from "unfriendly countries".
The document proposes to import without the consent of the copyright holders, in particular, Veuve Clicquot champagne; vermouth Martini and Cinzano; whiskey Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam, Hennessy, Johhnie Walker, Chivas; rum Captain Morgan, Havana Club, Olmeca tequila and others...
Recall that in May of this year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade just refused to allow alcoholic beverages to be imported by parallel imports. Then the department, referring to the opinion of the Ministry of Agriculture, explained this by the danger of an increase in counterfeit volumes:
“Given the difficulties in identifying the right holder of such products, allowing parallel imports for these groups may lead to an increase in counterfeit goods.” There is no doubt that the new initiative of officials is aimed precisely in their favor, since the prices for these drinks will be affordable only for themselves, while the rest of the country's population will have to be content with cheap vodka or fake "elite" alcohol, as it was already in the 1990s. years. Moreover, domestic producers of alcohol will also have a hard time.
Analysts of the Provisional Government comment on this news:
“Domestic manufacturers strongly opposed such a decision. They rested on the fact that a dangerous surrogate would pour across the border, and, of course, they talked about their lost profits. They say that foreign markets are closed for us, so why should we crowd in the domestic market? But the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as usual, let the interests of the Russian industry through the beard.
This step can be logically explained as follows - the government is going to make good money on this. This can be done by creating another single operator. There is already a contender - Soyuzplodimport, subordinated to Rosalkogolregulirovanie. As a monopoly supplier of high-quality imported liquor, you can get very, very good revenue.
There is another explanation - high-ranking officials lobbied. Bastrykin, Medvedev, Patrushev, Sobyanin - they don’t want to drink Stolichnaya, they want to sip Moet and polish Ballantine’s ... "
Interestingly, alcohol consumption in Russia directly depends on the economic state of the country. Thus, the analyst Vadim Radaev in his work “Alcohol cycles: the dynamics of alcohol consumption in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, 1980-2010s” found out:
“Change in real disposable income of the population, measured as an increase in % over the previous year in 2000–2020, significantly correlates with the level of per capita alcohol consumption
In 2000-2007, when the growth of real disposable income is kept at an all-time high level (on average +12% per year), per capita alcohol consumption increases.
In 2008-2014 Income growth drops sharply (up to 3% per year on average), and in 2015-2017 it goes to minus 2.5% per year, and alcohol consumption is declining.
In 2018-2019 the fall in real incomes stops, ..., and ... with this, the decline in alcohol consumption also stops.
Accordingly, contrary to stereotypical ideas, alcohol consumption does not increase during crisis, but during more prosperous periods; during a crisis, it sags due to the reduction in the budgets of households for which alcohol is not a matter of prime necessity ... "
Today, however, there is an increase in alcohol consumption by the population. Experts partly explain this by self-isolation during the covid period, as well as the stressful state of society against the backdrop of the economic and political agenda. The country's authorities are very concerned about the process of alcoholization of the population. So much so that the State Duma has already seriously discussed the labeling that may appear on bottles of alcoholic beverages: “Alcohol is your enemy!”
The fact is that the deputies received a draft amendment to the Federal Law “On State Regulation of the Production and Turnover of Ethyl Alcohol, Alcoholic and Alcohol-Containing Products and on Restricting the Consumption (Drinking) of Alcoholic Products” for consideration by the deputies.
It also proposes using appropriate drawings (pictograms) to indicate information on the contraindications to the use of alcoholic products by persons under the age of 18, pregnant and lactating women, persons with diseases of the nervous system and internal organs, as well as persons driving vehicles.
It should be noted that not so long ago, Putin spoke out that the most effective way to combat alcoholism is to promote a healthy lifestyle. True, observers are quite skeptical about this legislative initiative, logically assuming that such labeling will not have any special impact on people who drink alcohol excessively.
Analysts of the Novy Vek channel comment on the deputies' initiative:
“A new “anti-alcohol group” has appeared in the State Duma, headed by the head of the Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky. The deputies figured out how else to frighten Russian alcoholics. After tobacco products in Russia, they plan to label alcohol. The inscription "Alcohol is your enemy!". Let's remember the names of the "saviors of the fatherland." In addition to Slutsky, these are Yaroslav Nilov, Sultan Khamzaev, Fedot Tumusov. True, the bill is still being developed, but the authors are determined.
According to Radio 1 News, parliamentarian Khamzaev went further than the rest, calling for the specification of the “image of the enemy” on alcohol labels. “Indeed, the existing packaging does not correspond to the degree of threat from alcohol. The only thing is that I do not agree with the labeling. What is an "enemy"? It is necessary to write more specifically: "Alcohol kills." Clarity should be in actions, so I think that it is necessary to write more specifically, ”the politician said.
The initiators of the project want to place full information on the dangers of alcohol on bottles - especially for minors, pregnant women, nursing mothers and drivers. If a new type of label is introduced, the "warning" will take up at least 20% of the area. The inscription will be bright and large, in a red frame on a white background - so that it can be seen from afar.
You might think that drinking Russians can be stopped by a piece of paper on a bottle. Interestingly, on the alcohol tincture of hawthorn they will also write “Alcohol is your enemy!”. There, after all, the bubble is quite small and you can’t make out what is written on the etiquette.
What else can you advise the deputies in their good undertaking? For example, in the bill to raise the minimum age for the sale of alcohol to 21 years. Limit the number of bottles sold per person, and release only in specialized stores from 9 to 10 in the morning. And you can also add the inscription "Books are our friends."
Then, of course, everyone will stop drinking and start reading…”