Amendments in Eurasian Economic Union Treaty to allow parallel import
MOSCOW (BelTA) – The Eurasian Economic Commission has prepared draft amendments to the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty that will allow parallel import for a number of groups of commodities. The information was released by Timur Suleimenov, member of the Board (Minister) for Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission, in Moscow on 11 March. The statement was made after the session of the working group tasked with putting together proposals regarding the future application of the principle of exhaustion of exclusive rights to intellectual property, BelTA has learned.
Timur Suleimenov explained that at present the principle of exhaustion of exclusive rights to intellectual property is applied in the Eurasian Economic Union on a regional basis. In accordance with the principle parallel import is impossible without permissions of rightsholders. Antimonopoly agencies of several EEU member states came up with an initiative in favor of legalizing parallel import by making the transition to the international principle of exhaustion of rights. The Eurasian Economic Commission suggests preserving the regional principle as the one that serves development goals of the Eurasian Economic Union member states. At the same time the Commission believes it is advisable to allow parallel import for the groups of commodities, in which trademark owners abuse their rights. The Minister remarked that the novelty will allow responding to shortages in some groups of commodities or to their poor quality.
Timur Suleimenov stressed that the transition to the international principle of the exhaustion of rights for individual groups of commodities requires amendments to the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty. He said he believes that the amendments can be made part of the Treaty as early as 2016.
The Minister for Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission said that Russia insists on allowing parallel import for medications and medical products while Kazakhstan would like to do the same for automobile parts. The two main groups of commodities are the point of issue, he said. Apart from that, other groups of commodities are under consideration, including food, perfumery, and cosmetics. According to Timur Suleimenov, Belarus intends to study proposals of its partners.
During the session of the working group Timur Suleimenov presented a draft action plan designed to implement the proposal on exemptions from the regional principle of exhaustion of exclusive rights to trademarks for individual categories of merchandise inside the Eurasian Economic Union. Apart from that, participants of the session discussed results of an analysis of national and international researches that evaluated the influence of the principle of exhaustion of rights on economic and social indicators of the Eurasian Economic Union member states. Participants of the session also discussed results of an analysis of the legal aspects involved in the introduction of the differentiated principle of exhaustion of rights.