Russia Certification and Regulatory Compliance

Categories of Inquiry
1. GOST-R Certification, Equipment, Consumer Goods
2. Regulatory, Dietary Supplements, Pharmaceutical, Registration
3. Personal Care, Cosmetics, Cosmeceutical
4. Russia, Distribution, Practices
5. Russian Standard, Services
6. Miscellaneous

1. GOST-R Certification, Equipment, Consumer Goods:

Q. How can I find out if my products are subject to certification in Russia?
A. There are huge manuals issed by the Russian State Committee for Standards, which list all products. Whatever is not listed, may be exempt (note: may, not are). Once we receive an inquiry from the client, we advise him on the requirements specific to his product.

Q. Can I ship merchandise and have it certified later?
A. Better not: Russian Customs will apprehend your shipment and impound it until you deliver the certificates. And of course they will charge you ware-house fees.

Q. Do I have to apply for the"voluntary certification"?
A. No you do not. In some cases, however, there may be benefits in doing it, like demonstrating excessive safety compliance to the buyers, or adding additional claims to your label. We shall advise you if such benefits exist, and you will consider gains vs. costs.

2. Regulatory, Dietary Supplements, Pharmaceutical, Registration:

Q. Can we register the same supplement under a different name?
A. No you cannot. The rule is one name/formula - one registration. You will have to introduce something new in the name and formula.

Q. When a supplement stops being a BAS and becomes a medicine, according to Russian regulations?
A. A supplement CANNOT have curative quantities of active ingredients.A dietary supplement is construed only as an additional source of nutrients with some health benefits.

Q. What happens if the registration is denied?
A. So far we have never lost a case. We make sure the project is doable prior to applying. Our constant monitoring of the procedures allows us to find out about issues in advance and fix them prior to official review. Yet, if the product has been denied the registration, it cannot be legally sold in Russia.

Q. Are juices considered BAS or food?
A. It depends on what claims you intend to make. FOr example, Noni Juice is present in the Russian market both as a food, and as a dietary supplement.

3. Personal Care, Cosmetics, Cosmeceutical:

Q. How hard is it to certify a cosmetic product?
A. The procedure for cosmetics differs from GOST-R certification of consumer goods or tools. For example, sanitary experts run very thou rough tests for their Hygienic Report. There are special requirements to the label as well. We have been certifying cosmetic products since 2003, and know how to handle it in the most efficient way..

Q. How do I register a cosmeceutical product?
A. Russia does not recognize this category yet. So we should do our best to qualify your product as cosmetics. Some cannot be passed as cosmetics, like eye drops or creams for body crevices. Those have to go as medicine.

4. Russia, Distribution, Practices:

Q. Can I obtain information about my segment in the Russian market?
A. Yes, we can provide statistics and a market report pertaining to your product or segment.

Q. Can you arrange distribution in Russia?
A. We do not distribute. Yet, we are connected with many Russian distributors, know how it works in Russia, and shall be glad to advise you on this.

Q. Is MLM legal in Russia?
A. MLM is a gray zone. There are regulations banning direct sales of food supplements, yet there is no law against it. Those who seriously study the options find a plausible solution. Those MLM companies who have entered Russia, like Herbalife, Pharmanex, Amway, Mary Kay and many others are very successful.

5. Russian Standard, Services:

Q. How can we employ your services?
A. You can either hire us for a particular certification, or hire us as consultants on the retainer bases. In either case, we start with signing a Confidentiality Agreement.

Q. At what point do you start charging?
A. First we check your product for eligibility; then we give you estimated costs and time. Only after you accept those, we bill you. If you decide not to go for the Russian market at that time, you owe us nothing.

Q. Can you take us on a familiarization trip to Russia?
A. Yes we can. Actually, it is most advisable prior to start a costly campaign, go to Russia, see what, how and where your competitors sell, meet potential distributors of allies, get a feel of the business environment.

Q. We hear a lot about Russian mafia...
A. Crime is definitely there in Russia. Yet it should not concern you: we have helped many companies to the Russian market, and none of them has ever had an encounter with organized crime. Red tape and bureaucracy are by far a more detrimental factor.

Q. Where is Russian Standard located?
A. We are based in New York (Westchester County), we have an office in Europe in Slovakia, and we a team in Moscow.

Q. Can you provide references?
A. Absolutely. Please, visit the web page "Why Us?".

6. Miscellaneous:

Q. Do you think Russia is an interesting market?
A. Russia offers not only a very interesting, but also a very lucrative market. It is one of the last major developing markets on the planet; peoples' living standard and spendings are steadily growing. You have to weigh pros and contras thoroughly. There are risk factors, yet a huge potential for gains. .

Q. Where do I start?
A. Check the prospects for your product, research the market. Make sure you have enough funds for the project. Take a trip to Russia - even it tips the balance against doing business there, you will still have enjoyed the trip. Call us.

Q. Can we invite you to make a presentation?
A. Sure. Call us to work out a mutually convenient time.

Q. Can we buy a store in Moscow?
A. Difficult, expensive, but possible. Contact us.

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