Parallel Imports Law and Legal Definition

Parallel import is a non-counterfeit product imported from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner. Parallel imports are goods that are not authorized for importation into the U.S. Such goods were legitimately sold outside the U.S. with the approval of the manufacturer. However, they cannot be resold back into the U.S. Parallel imports are also called grey market goods. The importers of gray market goods attempting to benefit from the higher prices of such goods, command within the U.S. as compared to the country into which they were originally sold.

When an importer finds a cheaper price of a good or equivalent good on the world market the importer would import that good instead of paying higher local prices. These imports tend to be outside authorized importer channels. Mostly such goods are carried by ordinary tourists. Goods that do not incur heavy transportation costs are most at risk from parallel imports. Authorized retailers, who are not allowed to source goods from parallel importers, generally oppose this practice since it makes them non-competitive against unauthorized retailers who can source these relatively cheap goods.