Russia to make every consumer good traceable
Russian customers will soon have the opportunity to trace the life cycle of every product they find in a shop. A government-supported initiative aimed to authenticate and track any merchandise from the point of manufacture to the buyer is expected to reach full coverage by 2024.
Russian authorities are planning to make every single consumer good digitally traceable, according to The World Economic Forum. The country aims to join the list of most digitally advanced countries such as the US, Singapore, the UK, South Korea and Japan. Each of these countries has a comprehensive digital strategy of its own, and Russia is also moving in this direction, as its citizens are becoming more tech-savvy and exposed to massive state and privately-operated digital ecosystems.
After performing a nationwide transition to online fiscal cash registers in the retail sector, Russia launched its first nationwide digital track and trace system Chestny ZNAK designed to authenticate and track any merchandise as it makes its way down the supply chain, from the point of manufacture to the final consumer. Similar systems exist in China, Brazil, Turkey, the US and the EU helping to reduce the shadow market in many industries, improve tax collection and decrease losses from counterfeit products and illegal trade. Countries that use these market management tools traditionally rank the highest in the Digital Society Index by Oxford Economics.
While in some countries tracking systems monitor only excise goods like tobacco and alcohol or pharmaceuticals, the Russian project intends to cover all product groups. Currently, the system is tracing over 6 billion codes under several projects for mandatory marking of goods. It is covering eleven product categories, including drugs and medical goods, milk and tobacco products, clothes and footwear. By 2024, the system is expected to cover most of the commodity and consumer goods traded throughout Russia.
In case of success, Russia will be able to analyse its retail trading in real time. At the moment, only South Korea and Singapore, which are among the world’s most digitally advanced countries, have similar capabilities. Combined with the nationwide introduction of online fiscal cash registers, the new track and trace system can also drive the implementation of the Internet of Things in various industry spheres.
The new initiative is also aimed to serve customers allowing them to scan each product’s unique code at the point of sale via a special smartphone application. The app serves to prove that the merchandise is genuine and has been legally produced or imported and retailed. It also allows filing a complaint if the code is not genuine.