Couch analytics #54. 20 tons of smuggled phones at customs

Next to us there is a huge, parallel world with which we almost do not come into contact and know little about it. This world has its own electronics manufacturers, companies that sell goods inside Russia and supply goods from outside. The basis of the well-being of many players in this parallel universe is built on ordinary smuggling, or, as it is also called, double bass, that is, importing goods without paying duties or with the maximum reduction in its size. As a rule, the goods themselves also have certain flaws from the point of view of manufacturers, for example, they are not intended for Russia, but are produced for very specific markets and are technically very different. The reason for this "Couch Analytics" was the story at the customs in Pulkovo, let's turn to the original source, the Fontanka newspaper:

Back to news »

The FSB seized 50,000 Chinese smartphones in Pulkovo

Employees of the Department "K" of the FSB of Russia and the Pulkovo customs detained a 20-ton cargo that arrived the other day on a flight from China. In containers, instead of declared plastic souvenirs, it-smuggling with tens of thousands of iPhones and iPads was found.

According to Fontanka, on the night of November 30 of this year, operatives of the 7th department of the Directorate "K" of the FSB of Russia, involved in the credit and financial sphere, and employees of the Pulkovo customs met the cargo that arrived on a flight from Beijing to the address of the St. Petersburg company LLC "Palmyra". In two customs declarations, cheap photo frames and plastic figurines were declared. However, when opening the cargo at the Pulkovo temporary storage warehouse, employees found 15,000 Lenovo A560 mobile phones and about 35,000 iPhones and iPads.

At this time, the cargo has been detained, the material of the check has been formed, as a result of which a criminal case on smuggling may be initiated.

Let's start the debriefing with the fact that the title of the article does not quite correctly reflect the essence of the issue, it is difficult to call the iPhone / iPad Chinese phones, despite the fact that they are produced in this country. Let me remind you that Apple does not have wholesale sales of iPhone / iPad to third-party partners, with the exception of operators and those who have signed a direct contract within a particular country. You can’t come to China and buy a batch of iPhone officially, already at this stage all the goods that you find will not be official from the manufacturer’s point of view, it will not have a direct relation to it and bear any legal responsibility.You buy it at your own risk, and the prices for Apple products cannot be called low, they allow the supplier to earn 3-6% of the strength, but the risks of such operations are much higher. How is it that the same wholesale price for different countries of the world allows you to make money on the iPhone? After all, the cost is scrupulously set at plus or minus the same levels in order to exclude the possibility of a gray market and the flow of goods from one market to another. And here we come to explaining the first reason for smuggling - tax savings.

Any state has customs duties on certain groups of goods, for example, in Russia, until recently, phones and tablets were subject to a 5% fee, but then it was canceled, considering it inappropriate. It turns out that the importer only needs to pay VAT, which is 18%. And the same Apple Rus, supplying goods to the Russian market, pays VAT, which increases the wholesale cost of all goods by 18%. With official deliveries, you cannot save here, you indicate the cost of delivery, and then VAT is calculated from it.

We talked about customs and goods checks in detail in Sofa Analytics No. 8.

Understating the customs value of goods, that is, indicating an incorrect, reduced wholesale price, allows you to reduce VAT payments, that is, achieve savings of 10-12 percent compared to paying all taxes "on the forehead". But for any category of goods there is a certain range of prices, and, for example, a smartphone cannot cost less than 3,000 rubles, such a price should raise questions at customs, and then your product will be closely examined for underestimation of its value.

But with smuggling, another unpleasant moment arises. If, during a customs check, they discover that phones are in your container instead of figurines, then in the future this turns into a criminal case. The cost of solving the problem in this case is at least equal to the price of the goods that ran into the check, and often exceeds its price, that is, the risks of smuggling are extremely high. But the profits are so noticeable that many companies and people continue to play this game year after year. In Russian realities, the almost complete absence of post-customs control of goods makes the fate of smugglers easier, although progress in this direction periodically occurs and the state tries to introduce a through VAT check from the supplier to the store shelf. But for some reason, only big business touches, and this happens from time to time, purposeful work is not being carried out. As a result, smuggling remains a very popular way to save money on the cost of goods. And this game involves hundreds of companies of different levels, from the smallest to the largest.

The name of Palmira LLC will not say anything to any of the market players, it is a layer, a one-day company that was created for smuggling. The reason why these shipments failed in this particular case is simple - because of the situation with Turkey, they introduced total checks of goods at customs. I don’t know how true this is, but market players claim that the reason for checking the cargo of Palmira LLC was that they supplied some goods from Turkey, these were previous cargoes.

An important digression about the work of customs in any country in the world. Nowhere is 100% control of imported goods carried out, this is impossible from the point of view of the resources of the customs services, and the speed of the passage of goods will then be minimal, the same products will begin to deteriorate before they hit the shelves of stores. Control is selective, for smugglers it is roulette, and in this game you can maximize your chances if you know what rules and how goods are checked, which raises questions from customs. You need to be able to present your goods according to the documents in such a way that it gets lost among others and no questions arise. This is an art and should not be underestimated.

Now let's go back to the original story, which, in addition to the iPhone/iPad, featured some Lenovo A560 phones. Here is how Gleb Mishin, Lenovo vice president responsible for Russia and sales in its territory, commented on the situation on his Facebook page.

The key phrase is "If this came to market, we'd have a sip of hell." Why did such a nice-looking and inexpensive phone cause such a reaction from Gleb Mishin? Look at the phone, it is quite ordinary and does not betray its infernal essence.

The reason is that this model is produced only for the Chinese market and in every sense refers to products that are so often called Chinese. For the home market, Lenovo often releases models with stripped-down features, savings on plastic and its durability in certain conditions. This is a normal approach when you clearly limit the geography of the device, selling it in one country. The main task inside China is to achieve a minimum cost, which Lenovo does.

Outside of China, such phones work, inside - Android, often there is even a choice of other languages, and at first glance these are great deals. For example, Lenovo A560 can be easily found in stores in Ukraine, Belarus.

In Russia, this device is popular in the regions and is on the shelves at an average price of about 5-6 thousand rubles. The purchase price in China is about $40. In the same Ukraine in retail, the device can be found for 60-65 dollars. Such a price is possible only with smuggled supplies, and this is easily determined by monitoring prices on the market.

Why is such supplies harmful for the manufacturer? I'll start with the obvious, this affects sales of the same Lenovo in these countries, the potential audience switches to a cheaper product that bypasses the representative office and is not intended for the market. The first blow was dealt to official sales, and the volume of deliveries of such phones is huge, 15,000 devices went to Russia in this batch alone. It is interesting that about 25,000 such phones are already operating on the Russian networks of operators, that is, 25,000 people have purchased these phones and started using them, which means that the volume of smuggled deliveries amounted to at least 40-45 thousand pieces, since there is also a certain the number of devices on the shelves of sellers.

In the same Lenovo globally, there are tools to track sales of any model at the level of each country. But here the personal interests of quite specific countries and managers come into play, in China, for example, someone selling phones in such volumes writes them down as achievements, but if it turns out that these are deliveries to foreign markets, then a person or even a group of people can hurt a lot. Therefore, inside the company, they try not to reveal such small secrets even in front of their offices in other countries, as they actually ruin their lives, trip them up.

The long-term effect of the appearance of phones not intended for the Russian market will be expressed in the fact that a significant number of consumers will face their breakdown. They will not be able to work normally in Russia in the same subzero temperatures, the quality of the radio module is very different, there are many nuances that will make these phones worse than any models of the company that are officially presented in Russia. Although the same name is written on them, in fact these devices are very different, during operation, users will find out on their own skin. And none of them or almost no one will think that they themselves made such a choice, bought a cheap phone, not intended for Russia. They will consider that their choice is correct, but the quality of Lenovo leaves much to be desired. And next time they will choose another brand, that is, the potential audience of the Lenovo brand in the long run may be reduced. And this is the very hell Gleb Mishin spoke about.

Why is the Lenovo A560 pure smuggling? The answer lies in the fact that the device was not certified for the Russian market, no notification was submitted to the FSB for cryptoprotection tools, there is no guarantee. This is a phone not intended for Russia, and it is impossible to import it officially, however, just as it is impossible to officially sell it. But in the absence of post-customs control, the sale of such devices in retail, as well as online stores, is possible, no one monitors this.

I would like to note one important point, in the professional environment there is an opinion that if a product is on Yandex.Market, it means that there is a lot of it inside the country and there is a gray market. And this is Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T400 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo HDD 128GB, in turn, means that this problem must be dealt with. In fact, many goods that are presented in small shops are sold in the ads of private sellers in volumes of tens of thousands of pieces, but they are not presented at all on Yandex.Market, it's just a different niche in the market. And it seems that none of this simply exists, and the story is contrived. But the example with the delayed phones and their number, as well as the figures I gave of how many Lenovo A560s are already working in Russia, prove exactly the opposite. A parallel official market does not just exist, it is noticeable and eats off sales from large retail chains, as well as manufacturers during this crisis. This is literally a black market, where no taxes are paid either when goods cross the border (smuggling) or when they are sold within the country. Although both are done by completely different people. We have an amazing situation, in parallel there are two worlds with their own principles of work. In other countries, this is often not possible, as the world of smuggled goods hits the economy and washes money out of it.

Did a small experiment, spending twenty minutes on it. I looked in online electronics stores, as well as in offers on the market for goods that can be considered pure smuggling, since their cost is obviously lower than theoretically possible. On the move, I found about a dozen models, some of them from well-known companies that obviously should not do anything like that. But I believe in figures that say that with a phone costing $70 in China, the price of an officially imported device in Russia cannot be about $90 on the shelf, this is a utopia. Or philanthropy on the part of the manufacturer. But as long as no one is doing this on the part of the state, the situation with smuggling will not improve. This is a huge parallel market in which billions of rubles are spinning. And for the most part, this is money that is washed out of the economy. And from the consumer's point of view, I repeat the simple truth - buying a product without a guarantee means that you have no rights other than the right to throw this product away when it breaks. But maybe the price is so attractive that you don't care?

I hope this debriefing has clarified for you why smuggling is so popular and how money is made from it, both on universal goods (for example, the iPhone) and those that are not intended for sale in Russia. It is always important to understand how the cost of goods is formed, and you can easily transfer the examples given to any product groups, and not just to electronics.

Couch analytics #54. 20 tons of smuggled phones at customs

Next to us there is a huge, parallel world with which we almost do not come into contact and know little about it. This world has its own electronics manufacturers, companies that sell goods inside Russia and supply goods from outside. The basis of the well-being of many players in this parallel universe is built on ordinary smuggling, or, as it is also called, double bass, that is, importing goods without paying duties or with the maximum reduction in its size. As a rule, the goods themselves also have certain flaws from the point of view of manufacturers, for example, they are not intended for Russia, but are produced for very specific markets and are technically very different. The reason for this "Couch Analytics" was the story at the customs in Pulkovo, let's turn to the original source, the Fontanka newspaper:

Back to news »

The FSB seized 50,000 Chinese smartphones in Pulkovo

Employees of the Department "K" of the FSB of Russia and the Pulkovo customs detained a 20-ton cargo that arrived the other day on a flight from China. In containers, instead of declared plastic souvenirs, it-smuggling with tens of thousands of iPhones and iPads was found.

According to Fontanka, on the night of November 30 of this year, operatives of the 7th department of the Directorate "K" of the FSB of Russia, involved in the credit and financial sphere, and employees of the Pulkovo customs met the cargo that arrived on a flight from Beijing to the address of the St. Petersburg company LLC "Palmyra". In two customs declarations, cheap photo frames and plastic figurines were declared. However, when opening the cargo at the Pulkovo temporary storage warehouse, employees found 15,000 Lenovo A560 mobile phones and about 35,000 iPhones and iPads.

At this time, the cargo has been detained, the material of the check has been formed, as a result of which a criminal case on smuggling may be initiated.

Let's start the debriefing with the fact that the title of the article does not quite correctly reflect the essence of the issue, it is difficult to call the iPhone / iPad Chinese phones, despite the fact that they are produced in this country. Let me remind you that Apple does not have wholesale sales of iPhone / iPad to third-party partners, with the exception of operators and those who have signed a direct contract within a particular country. You can’t come to China and buy a batch of iPhone officially, already at this stage all the goods that you find will not be official from the manufacturer’s point of view, it will not have a direct relation to it and bear any legal responsibility. You buy it at your own risk, and the prices for Apple products cannot be called low, they allow the supplier to earn 3-6% of the strength, but the risks of such operations are much higher. How is it that the same wholesale price for different countries of the world allows you to make money on the iPhone? After all, the cost is scrupulously set at plus or minus the same levels in order to exclude the possibility of a gray market and the flow of goods from one market to another. And here we come to explaining the first reason for smuggling - tax savings.

Any state has customs duties on certain groups of goods, for example, in Russia, until recently, phones and tablets were subject to a 5% fee, but then it was canceled, considering it inappropriate. It turns out that the importer only needs to pay VAT, which is 18%. And the same Apple Rus, supplying goods to the Russian market, pays VAT, which increases the wholesale cost of all goods by 18%. With official deliveries, you cannot save here, you indicate the cost of delivery, and then VAT is calculated from it.

We talked about customs and goods checks in detail in Sofa Analytics No. 8.

Understating the customs value of goods, that is, indicating an incorrect, reduced wholesale price, allows you to reduce VAT payments, that is, achieve savings of 10-12 percent compared to paying all taxes "on the forehead". But for any category of goods there is a certain range of prices, and, for example, a smartphone cannot cost less than 3,000 rubles, such a price should raise questions at customs, and then your product will be closely examined for underestimation of its value.

Many companies decide on smuggling, as in this case it is possible to drastically reduce the cost of goods, not to pay VAT in full. In our example, phones and tablets were imported under the guise of plastic figurines and cheap photo frames. That is, they deliberately changed one category of goods to another, and consequently, reduced the cost of a unit of goods. In this case, customs payments were calculated by weight characteristics, let's give an approximate calculation to show the order of numbers and their differences. I did not set the task of calculating exactly the weight characteristics of phones, their cost, so do not judge strictly, my task is to show the principle of how it works.

One package of iPhone 6s weighs half a kilogram, that is, two phones fit in a kilogram. With a wholesale price in China of $600, we get the cost of two devices at $1200. That is, the minimum amount of VAT should be $216. When smuggling, payment per kilogram of cargo ranges from 6 to 10 dollars. You can easily see the difference in price, which allows you to achieve the minimum cost of goods and win compared to official supplies, at the same initial wholesale price or at least very close cost.

But with smuggling, another unpleasant moment arises. If, during a customs check, they discover that phones are in your container instead of figurines, then in the future this turns into a criminal case. The cost of solving the problem in this case is at least equal to the price of the goods that ran into the check, and often exceeds its price, that is, the risks of smuggling are extremely high. But the profits are so noticeable that many companies and people continue to play this game year after year. In Russian realities, the almost complete absence of post-customs control of goods makes the fate of smugglers easier, although progress in this direction periodically occurs and the state tries to introduce a through VAT check from the supplier to the store shelf. But for some reason, only big business touches, and this happens from time to time, purposeful work is not being carried out. As a result, smuggling remains a very popular way to save money on the cost of goods. And this game involves hundreds of companies of different levels, from the smallest to the largest.

The name of Palmira LLC will not say anything to any of the market players, it is a layer, a one-day company that was created for smuggling. The reason why these shipments failed in this particular case is simple - because of the situation with Turkey, they introduced total checks of goods at customs. I don’t know how true this is, but market players claim that the reason for checking the cargo of Palmira LLC was that they supplied some goods from Turkey, these were previous cargoes.

An important digression about the work of customs in any country in the world. Nowhere is 100% control of imported goods carried out, this is impossible from the point of view of the resources of the customs services, and the speed of the passage of goods will then be minimal, the same products will begin to deteriorate before they hit the shelves of stores. Control is selective, for smugglers it is roulette, and in this game you can maximize your chances if you know what rules and how goods are checked, which raises questions from customs. You need to be able to present your goods according to the documents in such a way that it gets lost among others and no questions arise. This is an art and should not be underestimated.

Now let's go back to the original story, which, in addition to the iPhone/iPad, featured some Lenovo A560 phones. Here is how Gleb Mishin, Lenovo vice president responsible for Russia and sales in its territory, commented on the situation on his Facebook page.

The key phrase is "If this came to market, we'd have a sip of hell." Why did such a nice-looking and inexpensive phone cause such a reaction from Gleb Mishin? Look at the phone, it is quite ordinary and does not betray its infernal essence.

The reason is that this model is produced only for the Chinese market and in every sense refers to products that are so often called Chinese. For the home market, Lenovo often releases models with stripped-down features, savings on plastic and its durability in certain conditions. This is a normal approach when you clearly limit the geography of the device, selling it in one country. The main task inside China is to achieve a minimum cost, which Lenovo does.

Outside of China, such phones work, inside - Android, often there is even a choice of other languages, and at first glance these are great deals. For example, Lenovo A560 can be easily found in stores in Ukraine, Belarus.

In Russia, this device is popular in the regions and is on the shelves at an average price of about 5-6 thousand rubles. The purchase price in China is about $40. In the same Ukraine in retail, the device can be found for 60-65 dollars. Such a price is possible only with smuggled supplies, and this is easily determined by monitoring prices on the market.

Why is such supplies harmful for the manufacturer? I'll start with the obvious, this affects sales of the same Lenovo in these countries, the potential audience switches to a cheaper product that bypasses the representative office and is not intended for the market. The first blow was dealt to official sales, and the volume of deliveries of such phones is huge, 15,000 devices went to Russia in this batch alone. It is interesting that about 25,000 such phones are already operating on the Russian networks of operators, that is, 25,000 people have purchased these phones and started using them, which means that the volume of smuggled deliveries amounted to at least 40-45 thousand pieces, since there is also a certain the number of devices on the shelves of sellers.

In the same Lenovo globally, there are tools to track sales of any model at the level of each country. But here the personal interests of quite specific countries and managers come into play, in China, for example, someone selling phones in such volumes writes them down as achievements, but if it turns out that these are deliveries to foreign markets, then a person or even a group of people can hurt a lot. Therefore, inside the company, they try not to reveal such small secrets even in front of their offices in other countries, as they actually ruin their lives, trip them up.

The long-term effect of the appearance of phones not intended for the Russian market will be expressed in the fact that a significant number of consumers will face their breakdown. They will not be able to work normally in Russia in the same subzero temperatures, the quality of the radio module is very different, there are many nuances that will make these phones worse than any models of the company that are officially presented in Russia. Although the same name is written on them, in fact these devices are very different, during operation, users will find out on their own skin. And none of them or almost no one will think that they themselves made such a choice, bought a cheap phone, not intended for Russia. They will consider that their choice is correct, but the quality of Lenovo leaves much to be desired. And next time they will choose another brand, that is, the potential audience of the Lenovo brand in the long run may be reduced. And this is the very hell Gleb Mishin spoke about.

I hope this debriefing has clarified for you why smuggling is so popular and how money is made from it, both on universal goods (for example, the iPhone) and those that are not intended for sale in Russia. It is always important to understand how the cost of goods is formed, and you can easily transfer the examples given to any product groups, and not just to electronics.

Couch analytics #54. 20 tons of smuggled phones at customs

Next to us there is a huge, parallel world with which we almost do not come into contact and know little about it. This world has its own electronics manufacturers, companies that sell goods inside Russia and supply goods from outside. The basis of the well-being of many players in this parallel universe is built on ordinary smuggling, or, as it is also called, double bass, that is, importing goods without paying duties or with the maximum reduction in its size. As a rule, the goods themselves also have certain flaws from the point of view of manufacturers, for example, they are not intended for Russia, but are produced for very specific markets and are technically very different. The reason for this "Couch Analytics" was the story at the customs in Pulkovo, let's turn to the original source, the Fontanka newspaper:

Back to news »

The FSB seized 50,000 Chinese smartphones in Pulkovo

Employees of the Department "K" of the FSB of Russia and the Pulkovo customs detained a 20-ton cargo that arrived the other day on a flight from China. In containers, instead of declared plastic souvenirs, it-smuggling with tens of thousands of iPhones and iPads was found.

According to Fontanka, on the night of November 30 of this year, operatives of the 7th department of the Directorate "K" of the FSB of Russia, involved in the credit and financial sphere, and employees of the Pulkovo customs met the cargo that arrived on a flight from Beijing to the address of the St. Petersburg company LLC "Palmyra". In two customs declarations, cheap photo frames and plastic figurines were declared. However, when opening the cargo at the Pulkovo temporary storage warehouse, employees found 15,000 Lenovo A560 mobile phones and about 35,000 iPhones and iPads.

At this time, the cargo has been detained, the material of the check has been formed, as a result of which a criminal case on smuggling may be initiated.

Let's start the debriefing with the fact that the title of the article does not quite correctly reflect the essence of the issue, it is difficult to call the iPhone / iPad Chinese phones, despite the fact that they are produced in this country. Let me remind you that Apple does not have wholesale sales of iPhone / iPad to third-party partners, with the exception of operators and those who have signed a direct contract within a particular country. You can’t come to China and buy a batch of iPhone officially, already at this stage all the goods that you find will not be official from the manufacturer’s point of view, it will not have a direct relation to it and bear any legal responsibility. You buy it at your own risk, and the prices for Apple products cannot be called low, they allow the supplier to earn 3-6% of the strength, but the risks of such operations are much higher. How is it that the same wholesale price for different countries of the world allows you to make money on the iPhone? After all, the cost is scrupulously set at plus or minus the same levels in order to exclude the possibility of a gray market and the flow of goods from one market to another. And here we come to explaining the first reason for smuggling - tax savings.

Any state has customs duties on certain groups of goods, for example, in Russia, until recently, phones and tablets were subject to a 5% fee, but then it was canceled, considering it inappropriate. It turns out that the importer only needs to pay VAT, which is 18%. And the same Apple Rus, supplying goods to the Russian market, pays VAT, which increases the wholesale cost of all goods by 18%. With official deliveries, you cannot save here, you indicate the cost of delivery, and then VAT is calculated from it.

We talked about customs and goods checks in detail in Sofa Analytics No. 8.

Understating the customs value of goods, that is, indicating an incorrect, reduced wholesale price, allows you to reduce VAT payments, that is, achieve savings of 10-12 percent compared to paying all taxes "on the forehead". But for any category of goods there is a certain range of prices, and, for example, a smartphone cannot cost less than 3,000 rubles, such a price should raise questions at customs, and then your product will be closely examined for underestimation of its value.

Many companies decide on smuggling, as in this case it is possible to drastically reduce the cost of goods, not to pay VAT in full. In our example, phones and tablets were imported under the guise of plastic figurines and cheap photo frames. That is, they deliberately changed one category of goods to another, and consequently, reduced the cost of a unit of goods. In this case, customs payments were calculated by weight characteristics, let's give an approximate calculation to show the order of numbers and their differences. I did not set the task of calculating exactly the weight characteristics of phones, their cost, so do not judge strictly, my task is to show the principle of how it works.

One package of iPhone 6s weighs half a kilogram, that is, two phones fit in a kilogram. With a wholesale price in China of $600, we get the cost of two devices at $1200. That is, the minimum amount of VAT should be $216. When smuggling, payment per kilogram of cargo ranges from 6 to 10 dollars. You can easily see the difference in price, which allows you to achieve the minimum cost of goods and win compared to official supplies, at the same initial wholesale price or at least very close cost.

But with smuggling, another unpleasant moment arises. If, during a customs check, they discover that phones are in your container instead of figurines, then in the future this turns into a criminal case. The cost of solving the problem in this case is at least equal to the price of the goods that ran into the check, and often exceeds its price, that is, the risks of smuggling are extremely high. But the profits are so noticeable that many companies and people continue to play this game year after year. In Russian realities, the almost complete absence of post-customs control of goods makes the fate of smugglers easier, although progress in this direction periodically occurs and the state tries to introduce a through VAT check from the supplier to the store shelf. But for some reason, only big business touches, and this happens from time to time, purposeful work is not being carried out. As a result, smuggling remains a very popular way to save money on the cost of goods. And this game involves hundreds of companies of different levels, from the smallest to the largest.

The name of Palmira LLC will not say anything to any of the market players, it is a layer, a one-day company that was created for smuggling. The reason why these shipments failed in this particular case is simple - because of the situation with Turkey, they introduced total checks of goods at customs. I don’t know how true this is, but market players claim that the reason for checking the cargo of Palmira LLC was that they supplied some goods from Turkey, these were previous cargoes.

An important digression about the work of customs in any country in the world. Nowhere is 100% control of imported goods carried out, this is impossible from the point of view of the resources of the customs services, and the speed of the passage of goods will then be minimal, the same products will begin to deteriorate before they hit the shelves of stores. Control is selective, for smugglers it is roulette, and in this game you can maximize your chances if you know what rules and how goods are checked, which raises questions from customs. You need to be able to present your goods according to the documents in such a way that it gets lost among others and no questions arise. This is an art and should not be underestimated.

Now let's go back to the original story, which, in addition to the iPhone/iPad, featured some Lenovo A560 phones. Here is how Gleb Mishin, Lenovo vice president responsible for Russia and sales in its territory, commented on the situation on his Facebook page.

The key phrase is "If this came to market, we'd have a sip of hell." Why did such a nice-looking and inexpensive phone cause such a reaction from Gleb Mishin? Look at the phone, it is quite ordinary and does not betray its infernal essence.

The reason is that this model is produced only for the Chinese market and in every sense refers to products that are so often called Chinese. For the home market, Lenovo often releases models with stripped-down features, savings on plastic and its durability in certain conditions. This is a normal approach when you clearly limit the geography of the device, selling it in one country. The main task inside China is to achieve a minimum cost, which Lenovo does.

Outside of China, such phones work, inside - Android, often there is even a choice of other languages, and at first glance these are great deals. For example, Lenovo A560 can be easily found in stores in Ukraine, Belarus.

In Russia, this device is popular in the regions and is on the shelves at an average price of about 5-6 thousand rubles. The purchase price in China is about $40. In the same Ukraine in retail, the device can be found for 60-65 dollars. Such a price is possible only with smuggled supplies, and this is easily determined by monitoring prices on the market.

Why is such supplies harmful for the manufacturer? I'll start with the obvious, this affects sales of the same Lenovo in these countries, the potential audience switches to a cheaper product that bypasses the representative office and is not intended for the market. The first blow was dealt to official sales, and the volume of deliveries of such phones is huge, 15,000 devices went to Russia in this batch alone. It is interesting that about 25,000 such phones are already operating on the Russian networks of operators, that is, 25,000 people have purchased these phones and started using them, which means that the volume of smuggled deliveries amounted to at least 40-45 thousand pieces, since there is also a certain the number of devices on the shelves of sellers.

In the same Lenovo globally, there are tools to track sales of any model at the level of each country. But here the personal interests of quite specific countries and managers come into play, in China, for example, someone selling phones in such volumes writes them down as achievements, but if it turns out that these are deliveries to foreign markets, then a person or even a group of people can hurt a lot. Therefore, inside the company, they try not to reveal such small secrets even in front of their offices in other countries, as they actually ruin their lives, trip them up.

The long-term effect of the appearance of phones not intended for the Russian market will be expressed in the fact that a significant number of consumers will face their breakdown. They will not be able to work normally in Russia in the same subzero temperatures, the quality of the radio module is very different, there are many nuances that will make these phones worse than any models of the company that are officially presented in Russia. Although the same name is written on them, in fact these devices are very different, during operation, users will find out on their own skin. And none of them or almost no one will think that they themselves made such a choice, bought a cheap phone, not intended for Russia. They will consider that their choice is correct, but the quality of Lenovo leaves much to be desired. And next time they will choose another brand, that is, the potential audience of the Lenovo brand in the long run may be reduced. And this is the very hell that Gleb Mishin spoke about.

Why is the Lenovo A560 pure smuggling? The answer lies in the fact that the device was not certified for the Russian market, no notification was submitted to the FSB for cryptoprotection tools, there is no guarantee. This is a phone not intended for Russia, and it is impossible to import it officially, however, just as it is impossible to officially sell it. But in the absence of post-customs control, the sale of such devices in retail, as well as online stores, is possible, no one monitors this.

I would like to note one important point, in the professional environment there is an opinion that if a product is on Yandex.Market, it means that there is a lot of it inside the country and there is a gray market. And this is Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T400 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo HDD 128GB, in turn, means that this problem must be dealt with. In fact, many goods that are presented in small shops are sold in the ads of private sellers in volumes of tens of thousands of pieces, but they are not presented at all on Yandex.Market, it's just a different niche in the market. And it seems that none of this simply exists, and the story is contrived. But the example with the delayed phones and their number, as well as the figures I gave of how many Lenovo A560s are already working in Russia, prove exactly the opposite. A parallel official market does not just exist, it is noticeable and eats off sales from large retail chains, as well as manufacturers during this crisis. This is literally a black market, where no taxes are paid either when goods cross the border (smuggling) or when they are sold within the country. Although both are done by completely different people. We have an amazing situation, in parallel there are two worlds with their own principles of work. In other countries, this is often not possible, as the world of smuggled goods hits the economy and washes money out of it.

I hope this debriefing has clarified for you why smuggling is so popular and how money is made from it, both on universal goods (for example, the iPhone) and those that are not intended for sale in Russia. It is always important to understand how the cost of goods is formed, and you can easily transfer the examples given to any product groups, and not just to electronics.

Couch analytics #54. 20 tons of smuggled phones at customs

Next to us there is a huge, parallel world with which we almost do not come into contact and know little about it. This world has its own electronics manufacturers, companies that sell goods inside Russia and supply goods from outside. The basis of the well-being of many players in this parallel universe is built on ordinary smuggling, or, as it is also called, double bass, that is, the importation of goods without paying duties or with the maximum reduction in its size. As a rule, the goods themselves also have certain flaws from the point of view of manufacturers, for example, they are not intended for Russia, but are produced for very specific markets and are technically very different. The reason for this "Couch Analytics" was the story at the customs in Pulkovo, let's turn to the original source, the Fontanka newspaper:

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The FSB seized 50,000 Chinese smartphones in Pulkovo

Employees of the Department "K" of the FSB of Russia and the Pulkovo customs detained a 20-ton cargo that arrived the other day on a flight from China. In containers, instead of declared plastic souvenirs, it-smuggling with tens of thousands of iPhones and iPads was found.

According to Fontanka, on the night of November 30 of this year, operatives of the 7th department of the Directorate "K" of the FSB of Russia, involved in the credit and financial sphere, and employees of the Pulkovo customs met the cargo that arrived on a flight from Beijing to the address of the St. Petersburg company LLC "Palmyra". In two customs declarations, cheap photo frames and plastic figurines were declared. However, when opening the cargo at the Pulkovo temporary storage warehouse, employees found 15,000 Lenovo A560 mobile phones and about 35,000 iPhones and iPads.

At this time, the cargo has been detained, the material of the check has been formed, as a result of which a criminal case on smuggling may be initiated.

Let's start the debriefing with the fact that the title of the article does not quite correctly reflect the essence of the issue, it is difficult to call the iPhone / iPad Chinese phones, despite the fact that they are produced in this country. Let me remind you that Apple does not have wholesale sales of iPhone / iPad to third-party partners, with the exception of operators and those who have signed a direct contract within a particular country.You can’t come to China and buy a batch of iPhone officially, already at this stage all the goods that you find will not be official from the manufacturer’s point of view, it will not have a direct relation to it and bear any legal responsibility. You buy it at your own risk, and the prices for Apple products cannot be called low, they allow the supplier to earn 3-6% of the strength, but the risks of such operations are much higher. How is it that the same wholesale price for different countries of the world allows you to make money on the iPhone? After all, the cost is scrupulously set at plus or minus the same levels in order to exclude the possibility of a gray market and the flow of goods from one market to another. And here we come to explaining the first reason for smuggling - tax savings.

Any state has customs duties on certain groups of goods, for example, in Russia, until recently, phones and tablets were subject to a 5% fee, but then it was canceled, considering it inappropriate. It turns out that the importer only needs to pay VAT, which is 18%. And the same Apple Rus, supplying goods to the Russian market, pays VAT, which increases the wholesale cost of all goods by 18%. With official deliveries, you cannot save here, you indicate the cost of delivery, and then VAT is calculated from it.

We talked about customs and goods checks in detail in Sofa Analytics No. 8.

Understating the customs value of goods, that is, indicating an incorrect, reduced wholesale price, allows you to reduce VAT payments, that is, achieve savings of 10-12 percent compared to paying all taxes "on the forehead". But for any category of goods there is a certain range of prices, and, for example, a smartphone cannot cost less than 3,000 rubles, such a price should raise questions at customs, and then your product will be closely examined for underestimation of its value.

Many companies decide on smuggling, as in this case it is possible to drastically reduce the cost of goods, not to pay VAT in full. In our example, phones and tablets were imported under the guise of plastic figurines and cheap photo frames. That is, they deliberately changed one category of goods to another, and consequently, reduced the cost of a unit of goods. In this case, customs payments were calculated by weight characteristics, let's give an approximate calculation to show the order of numbers and their differences. I did not set the task of calculating exactly the weight characteristics of phones, their cost, so do not judge strictly, my task is to show the principle of how it works.

One package of iPhone 6s weighs half a kilogram, that is, two phones fit in a kilogram. With a wholesale price in China of $600, we get the cost of two devices at $1200. That is, the minimum amount of VAT should be $216. When smuggling, payment per kilogram of cargo ranges from 6 to 10 dollars. You can easily see the difference in price, which allows you to achieve the minimum cost of goods and win compared to official supplies, at the same initial wholesale price or at least very close cost.

But with smuggling, another unpleasant moment arises. If, during a customs check, they discover that phones are in your container instead of figurines, then in the future this turns into a criminal case. The cost of solving the problem in this case is at least equal to the price of the goods that ran into the check, and often exceeds its price, that is, the risks of smuggling are extremely high. But the profits are so noticeable that many companies and people continue to play this game year after year. In Russian realities, the almost complete absence of post-customs control of goods makes the fate of smugglers easier, although progress in this direction periodically occurs and the state tries to introduce a through VAT check from the supplier to the store shelf. But for some reason, only big business touches, and this happens from time to time, purposeful work is not being carried out. As a result, smuggling remains a very popular way to save money on the cost of goods. And this game involves hundreds of companies of different levels, from the smallest to the largest.

The name of Palmira LLC will not say anything to any of the market players, it is a layer, a one-day company that was created for smuggling. The reason why these shipments failed in this particular case is simple - because of the situation with Turkey, they introduced total checks of goods at customs. I don’t know how true this is, but market players claim that the reason for checking the cargo of Palmira LLC was that they supplied some goods from Turkey, these were previous cargoes.

An important digression about the work of customs in any country in the world. Nowhere is 100% control of imported goods carried out, this is impossible from the point of view of the resources of the customs services, and the speed of the passage of goods will then be minimal, the same products will begin to deteriorate before they hit the shelves of stores. Control is selective, for smugglers it is roulette, and in this game you can maximize your chances if you know what rules and how goods are checked, which raises questions from customs. You need to be able to present your goods according to the documents in such a way that it gets lost among others and no questions arise. This is an art and should not be underestimated.

Now let's go back to the original story, which, in addition to the iPhone/iPad, featured some Lenovo A560 phones. Here is how Gleb Mishin, Lenovo vice president responsible for Russia and sales in its territory, commented on the situation on his Facebook page.

The key phrase is "If this came to market, we'd have a sip of hell." Why did such a nice-looking and inexpensive phone cause such a reaction from Gleb Mishin? Look at the phone, it is quite ordinary and does not betray its infernal essence.

The reason is that this model is produced only for the Chinese market and in every sense refers to products that are so often called Chinese. For the home market, Lenovo often releases models with stripped-down features, savings on plastic and its durability in certain conditions. This is a normal approach when you clearly limit the geography of the device, selling it in one country. The main task inside China is to achieve a minimum cost, which Lenovo does.

Outside of China, such phones work, inside - Android, often there is even a choice of other languages, and at first glance these are great deals. For example, Lenovo A560 can be easily found in stores in Ukraine, Belarus.

In Russia, this device is popular in the regions and is on the shelves at an average price of about 5-6 thousand rubles. The purchase price in China is about $40. In the same Ukraine in retail, the device can be found for 60-65 dollars. Such a price is possible only with smuggled supplies, and this is easily determined by monitoring prices on the market.

Why is such supplies harmful for the manufacturer? I'll start with the obvious, this affects sales of the same Lenovo in these countries, the potential audience switches to a cheaper product that bypasses the representative office and is not intended for the market. The first blow was dealt to official sales, and the volume of deliveries of such phones is huge, 15,000 devices went to Russia in this batch alone. It is interesting that about 25,000 such phones are already operating on the Russian networks of operators, that is, 25,000 people have purchased these phones and started using them, which means that the volume of smuggled deliveries amounted to at least 40-45 thousand pieces, since there is also a certain the number of devices on the shelves of sellers.

Why is the Lenovo A560 pure smuggling? The answer lies in the fact that the device was not certified for the Russian market, no notification was submitted to the FSB for cryptoprotection tools, there is no guarantee. This is a phone not intended for Russia, and it is impossible to import it officially, however, just as it is impossible to officially sell it. But in the absence of post-customs control, the sale of such devices in retail, as well as online stores, is possible, no one monitors this.

I would like to note one important point, in the professional environment there is an opinion that if a product is on Yandex.Market, it means that there is a lot of it inside the country and there is a gray market. And this Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T400 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo HDD 128GB, in turn, means that this problem must be dealt with. In fact, many goods that are presented in small shops are sold in the ads of private sellers in volumes of tens of thousands of pieces, but they are not presented at all on Yandex.Market, it's just a different niche in the market. And it seems that none of this simply exists, and the story is contrived. But the example with the delayed phones and their number, as well as the figures I gave of how many Lenovo A560s are already working in Russia, prove exactly the opposite. A parallel official market does not just exist, it is noticeable and eats off sales from large retail chains, as well as manufacturers during this crisis. This is literally a black market, where no taxes are paid either when goods cross the border (smuggling) or when they are sold within the country. Although both are done by completely different people. We have an amazing situation, in parallel there are two worlds with their own principles of work. In other countries, this is often not possible, as the world of smuggled goods hits the economy and washes money out of it.

I want to note one important point, in the professional environment there is an opinion that if a product is on Yandex.Market, it means that there is a lot of it inside the country and there is a gray market. And this Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T400 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo HDD 128GB Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad T400 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo HDD 128GB , in turn, means that this problem must be dealt with. In fact, many goods that are presented in small shops are sold in the ads of private sellers in volumes of tens of thousands of pieces, but they are not presented at all on Yandex.Market, it's just a different niche in the market. And it seems that none of this simply exists, and the story is contrived. But the example with the delayed phones and their number, as well as the figures I gave of how many Lenovo A560s are already working in Russia, prove exactly the opposite. A parallel official market does not just exist, it is noticeable and eats off sales from large retail chains, as well as manufacturers during this crisis. This is literally a black market, where no taxes are paid either when goods cross the border (smuggling) or when they are sold within the country. Although both are done by completely different people. We have an amazing situation, in parallel there are two worlds with their own principles of work. In other countries, this is often not possible, as the world of smuggled goods hits the economy and washes money out of it.

Did a little experiment, spending twenty minutes on it. I looked in online electronics stores, as well as in offers on the market for goods that can be considered pure smuggling, since their cost is obviously lower than theoretically possible. On the move, I found about a dozen models, some of them from well-known companies that obviously should not do anything like that. But I believe in figures that say that with a phone costing $70 in China, the price of an officially imported device in Russia cannot be about $90 on the shelf, this is a utopia. Or philanthropy on the part of the manufacturer. But as long as no one is doing this on the part of the state, the situation with smuggling will not improve. This is a huge parallel market in which billions of rubles are spinning. And for the most part, this is money that is washed out of the economy. And from the consumer's point of view, I repeat the simple truth - buying a product without a guarantee means that you have no rights other than the right to throw this product away when it breaks. But maybe the price is so attractive that you don't care?