International review

Russian authorities developed a new effective mechanism of public control

In the beginning of 2017 chief of Federal Office of Alcohol Market Regulation Igor Chuyan announced that his office is ready for cooperation with civil institutions and introduced a new app for smartphones – “Anti-Counterfeit Alco”.

This app enables one to check the authenticity of alcohol beverages in a split second and also report an offense online.

The algorithm is quite simple: users scan the barcode or excise stamp by applying their smartphone onto bottles and receive full info about the selected produce. On their screens users see where and by whom these beverages were manufactured. If there is no data about selected bottles in the system, that means these are counterfeit products.

Public representatives were ready to engage and soon more than 300 activists went to several establishments that lack alcohol licenses, but still somehow sell adult beverages. Equipped with the “Anti-Counterfeit Alco” app users quickly checked several bottles in each store and reported back to the Chuyan’s office online. The public highly praised this new technology.

The coordinator of one civil organisation “Safe Capital (as in capital city)” Anton Akishin had this to say about “Anti-Counterfeit Alco”: “This app is very handy and does not require any special skills from the user. Before we had to work really hard to distinguish a counterfeit alcohol beverage from authentic, but now with the help of “Anti-Counterfeit Alco” it took us just one day to detect over 70 stores that sold illegal produce.”

Spokesperson of Federal Office of Alcohol Market Regulation Alexander Kulikov told International Anticorruption Media that this “innovation was possible because Unified State Automated Information System (USAIS) was implemented earlier. This system accounts for every imported bottle as well as for every bottle manufactured in Russia. It was during the implementation of USAIS that we have created”Anti-Counterfeit Alco”, and with it every citizen can check the authenticity of any alcoholic beverage s/he is about to purchase. In case of counterfeit, one can use the app to send an online report to the Russian state regulator “Rosalkogolregulirovanie” and they will certainly respond to it.”

Advisor to the chief of Russian state regulator”Rosalkogolregulirovanie”Anatolii Golubev praises the new technology: “Anti-Counterfeit Alco” app is a unique design, unparalleled to any other apps in the world. Now public has real leverage and an effective mechanism of control. I would like to remind you that one billion rubles was spent on the development of USAIS, but the resulting system was worth every penny, because already in 2016 the budget proceeds from sales of excises increased by 56 billion rubles.”

Russian Unified State Automated Information System was awarded the best software during the 4th International Forum on Excise Stamps, which is the most important event in this industry. Back then USAIS surpassed designs from Canada and USA, so the Russian innovation was recognized as the best in the world.