The Russian government has once again pushed back the deadline for retailers to sell stocks of unlabeled footwear. The new date is June 15.

Labeling shoes with special electronic tags became mandatory in Russia on June 1, 2020. As of April this year, 82,000 companies have registered with the new labeling system and nearly 2.3 billion tags have been issued, the government estimated.

However, some companies still have unlabeled shoes in stock, explained Vera Volkova, deputy general director of the project supervisor, CRPT. Thus, the government has decided to give them more time to sell their inventories, she said.

Some market players have criticized the government’s decision to allow selling unlabeled stocks. Vladimir Denisenko, the head of the major Russian footwear producer Unichel, claims that shoes smuggled into Russia are registered as carryover stocks, causing havoc in the footwear market.

Denisenko pointed out that it was extremely difficult to run a business legally when illegally produced or imported shoes can be sold due to the current loophole.