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Parallel imports not illegal say channel

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DQW Bureau
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Zia Askari New Delhi, Oct 27

While Korean electronics major Samsung is moving ahead full

steam with its campaign to counter parallel imports, the channel community in

the region feel that the practice of parallel imports is not illegal in any way.

"This is an age of globalization. If dealers buy Samsung

products from other markets like Singapore, Hong Kong or Taiwan, it is not

wrong. Dealers pay duty to the government, so where is the question of

illegality here? We too are against resellers and dealers who are importing

counterfeit products. I think that Samsung should concentrate its efforts on

addressing the issue of counterfeiting instead," explained Jaideep Poddar,

from Chandigarh-based Independent Business Machines.

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The channel community

has reaffirmed its stand on parallel import, but Samsung will be moving

ahead with its campaign to counter parallel imports in India

Speaking about the issue, Puneet Singhal, President of New

Delhi-based CMDA (Computer Media Dealers Association) said that there is no

question of parallel imports as channel players pay the required duty to the

government. "I agree that channel players should provide proper MRP

stickers and information about the products that they sell. Associations across

the country are here to promote ethical practices, but the concept of parallel

import is not illegal," he added.

Dismayed by the company's move, there are channel players who

are looking at discontinuing their business with Samsung. "If I am getting

legal notices from Samsung, why would I sell the company's products? I am sure

that other vendors will be closely watching this issue as well," added a

channel player from Kolkata on conditions of anonymity.

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Meanwhile, Samsung has moved ahead to withdraw cases against

those channel players, who have acknowledged the fact and given an undertaking

that they will henceforth not indulge in parallel imports of Samsung branded

products.

"The matter has been amicably resolved with a majority of

those named in the case. For those who have given the undertaking, we will be

withdrawing the cases against them," informed Sanjay Sharma, VP- IT

Division, Samsung India.

"Samsung has withdrawn their case against Kolkata-based

Saboo Computers and we are now looking at educating our channel players in terms

of ethical best practices in association with Samsung," informed, VK

Bhandari, CEO of Kolkata-based Supertron Electronics.

As a part of its broader strategy to counter parallel imports,

sources close to the company say it is working on 'internal alarms' being

put into service when there is a big sale in geographies like Hong Kong,

Singapore or Taiwan.

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