The Vice President of “Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela” (Fedecámaras, Federation of Chambers and Associations of Commerce and Production of Venezuela), Tiziana Polesel, declared this Thursday that the sectors most affected by merchandise smuggling in the country are cigarettes, liquor and spare parts.
Furthermore, Polesel explained that in the case of the cigarettes and liquor sector, illegal products in the market have caused them to stop generating income by 72%, while the spare parts sector has lost 40%.
She points out that informality and smuggling generate great losses to the national product, in addition it is unfair competition.
The Vice President of Fedecámaras described the figures recorded by Venezuelan national companies as “dramatic”, since they also add the permissiveness in the entry of counterfeit merchandise not the country.
She affirms that this situation strongly affects national production, which does pay taxes on raw materials that go into manufacturing their products, which reflects a large differential in prices.
“When a product enters illegally it is competing with a national company and this is where there is unfair competition, and the price difference between a product that was smuggled in and another made formally is up to 45%.
National companies are affected by counterfeits, because whoever is buying a counterfeit product does not always know that it is counterfeit and if it is of poor quality, it affects the brand. The issue of counterfeits is something serious and the one who is most affected is the end consumer,” explained Polesel.
Likewise, she added that if a person believes that they are purchasing an original product that turns out to be a counterfeit, a product that entered the country without complying with quality regulations, can be a very high-risk or harmful merchandise.
Such is the case of medications and this can have very serious consequences, as well as the purchase of spare parts or auto parts, because this can cause an accident, putting the life of the person who bought and that of third parties at risk.
Another case is the sale of counterfeit contact lenses that are causing irreversible damage to eyes and are very difficult to detect, because the counterfeit packaging is a very good imitation.
That is why they insist on formality and regularization at customs so that merchandise enters the country following the corresponding steps, since it is not only about collecting taxes but also verifying that whatever enters the country meets the quality standards and safety regulations.