: Buyer Beware: Getting Russian goods to Ukrainian market in spite of boycott
Business16:45 Apr. 3, 2016

Buyer Beware: Getting Russian goods to Ukrainian market in spite of boycott

Russian goods make up 10% of those on Ukrainian shelves

Russian good have practically disappeared from Ukrainian store shelves.

The barcode ‘46' which denotes a Russian good, is rarely seen.

Read also Russia's 'food fight' with Ukraine

Thanks to a boycott, experts say imports from Russia have fallen by almost 90% since the Kremlin launched its hybrid war in Ukraine two years ago. 

Read also Ukraine brings into force second round of trade bans on Russian goods

Previously, much of the coffee and tea sold in Ukraine carried the Russian tricolor as its country of origin. But that's all changed with most such products now packaged in Ukraine and sold under the Ukrainian flag. Among the last few items carrying Russian barcodes are chewing gum, snacks and chocolate bars.

But in spite of a boycott but the public and an official embargo, Russian business still find ways to get their goods to the Ukrainian market. A Ukrainian barcode doesn't always mean revenue from the sale of an item won't go to a Russian company. 


(UNIAN Photo)

Oleksiy Doroshenko, Ukrainian Suppliers Association General Director: "You can import a ton of washing power from Russia and pack it in Ukraine but you can't bring an already packaged item because that is subject to sanctions. But the powder on its own is not. Companies producing seafood, tea, coffee have all set up packaging operations in Ukraine."

Read also Ukrainan parliament passes tit-for-tat sanctions against Russia

Experts say shoppers should be aware – Russian products are sometimes sent through Europe meaning labels and packaging often mean goods look European when they are in fact Russian.

Overall, the effect has been to boost domestic producers. In the absence of Russian goods, Ukrainian firms have stepped in. Experts say items from Russia now account for no more than 10% of all those found on Ukrainian store shelves.


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