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Harrods is complying with sanctions designed by the UK government to limit sales of luxury items, such as watches, to Russian customers.
The move has been prompted by sanctions advice issued after the invasion of Ukraine that was designed to impact wealthy Russians with links to Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.
Luxury watches are seen as a way for oligarchs to protect their wealth.
They hold or even increase in value and are comparatively easy to transport.
A Daily Telegraph report says that Harrods has contacted Russian customers warning that it will no longer sell them “luxury goods” worth more than £300.
None of the watch brands presented in Harrods’ Fine Watch Room has collections with prices even close to that £300 cap.
Harrods Watch Brands
Current brands are Rolex, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Bremont, Buben & Zorweg, Bulgari, Cartier, CHANEL, Chopard, Girard-Perregaux, Grand Seiko, H. Moser & Cie, Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Omega, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, SwissKubiK, TAG Heuer, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith
Harrods is reportedly informing Russian customers that sanctions prohibit the supply of many categories of luxury goods to individuals who are either currently or ordinarily in Russia.
The company clarifies that it is not imposing its own sanctions on Russians, but complying with sanctions imposed by the UK government.
Harrods says it is legally obliged to comply with these sanctions, as are other luxury brands and retailers in the UK.
A statement from Harrods confirmed: “In order to ensure we are complying with these restrictions, we reviewed our database to identify potentially impacted customers, and asked them to notify Harrods if the information we hold is not accurate and current. This was not based on nationality, but address/contact details or previous transaction delivery data.
“Our priority is to comply with regulations, informing potentially impacted customers on how it may limit their ability to shop at Harrods, and ensuring wider customers are not unduly affected. We are happy that we have been able to take this action and support customers in making them aware of recent government regulations.”