Russian footwear manufacturers and retailers are asking the federal government to postpone the introduction of compulsory tagging of all shoes on the domestic market with RFID chips. The new regulations, which are slated to come into force on July 1, were partly meant to crack down on sales of fake shoes, including imitations of major athletic footwear brands.

In a formal petition, Russia's National Footwear Union said that the industry was not ready to implement the new regulations. The petition has also been backed by the Russian Association of Retailing Companies and the government Center for Advanced Technologies Development, the agency that is designed to run the tagging system.

They are all now proposing that shoe manufacturers and importers should register in the new system by Oct. 1 and start tagging shoes with RFID chips from Feb. 1, 2020. The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry acknowledged receipt of the petition without commenting on the timeframe.

The Russian Gazette, an official publication of the Russian government, earlier reported that the new labeling system could negatively impact shoe importers. It is unlikely that big foreign manufacturers would put RFID chips on the shoes at their own production facilities, so the importers would have to join forces and create transfer points where shoes from different suppliers could be tagged with RFID chips. It is still under discussion whether those points would be located inside or outside Russia, the Russian Gazette said.