Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary was prepared by DG COMP and the OECD for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin. (© European Union - © OECD)

Parallel trade (parallel imports)

Trade in products which takes place outside the official distribution system set up by a particular firm. Through their own distribution system, firms may cause differences in prices for different countries, exploiting national differences in the behaviour of consumers. Parallel traders buy products in countries where they are sold at lower prices and sell them in high-price countries. The flow of products thereby created is called parallel trade.

© European Commission