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Finnish Customs at Helsinki-Vantaa airport uncovered an illegal dual-use product consignment

Publication date 13.5.2019 8.50
Press release

Customs uncovered a regulation offence related to exported goods at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the consignment sent from Finland to Iraq contained a mass spectrometer classified as a dual-use product. A person in charge of a Finnish limited company is suspected of the offence.

In December 2017 at Helsinki-Vantaa airport, Customs inspected a goods consignment placed under export procedure by the Finnish company; with Iraq as the country of destination. Based on the consignment documents, Customs suspected that it contained goods subject to export restrictions and asked for a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to a statement by the Ministry, the consignment contained, among other things, a mass spectrometer classified as a dual-use product. A dual-use product is a device that can be used for civil and military purposes.

Mass spectrometer from the United States to Finland

The consignment stopped by Customs was imported to Finland from the United States. The company selling the goods in the United States was informed that the country of destination of the goods was Finland. The consignment was to be transported from Finland onward to Iraq. Exporting dual-use products from the United States to Finland does not require an official license, but their export from the EU to a territory outside the EU requires a license, in this case, either from authorities in the United States or Finland. In this case under investigation by Customs, no export license issued by the United States was presented, nor was a license applied for from Finland.

Customs began a preliminary investigation of the suspected regulation offence after receiving the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The penal provision regarding a regulation offence can be found in chapter 46 of the Penal Code and concerns offences connected to the import and export of goods. The export of dual-use products is regulated by the Act on the Control of Exports of Dual-Use Goods.

The investigation by Customs is in the final stages and in summer 2019, the matter will be assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office of Itä-Uusimaa for consideration of charges. During the preliminary investigation, Finnish Customs cooperated with national and international authorities. Suspected of an offence is, due to their position, the CEO and Member of the Board of the Finnish Limited Company that placed the goods item under the export procedure.

Media release