Finnish Customs has started about 20 preliminary surveys concerning transports under EU sanctions
Finnish Customs has started preliminary surveys due to the extensive export and import sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia and Belarus. Currently, two cases have been forwarded for preliminary investigation. Preliminary surveys have focused especially on dual-use products that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
The EU has imposed extensive sanctions against Russia and Belarus due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. As the implementing authority, Finnish Customs’ tasks include enforcing the sanctions on goods agreed at EU level.
Most of the cases taken under preliminary surveys involve dual-use products, that is, goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. Such products include numerous electronics and electricity items, such as computer parts. The list of sanctions also covers deference materiel, boats, phones and various electronic components. Importation of so-called luxury products to Russia is also prohibited.
“In ten cases, we have concluded that there is no reason start a preliminary investigation. In these cases, transports of products subject to sanctions left for their destinations before sanctions took effect. However, in terms of contents, the transports included products subject to enforcement of sanctions, but due to the time when the transports occurred the actions cannot be deemed deliberate”, says Mr Hannu Sinkkonen, Director of Enforcement.
Finnish Customs is currently conducting preliminary investigations of two cases that are considered regulation offences of varying degrees. On average, Customs carries out 4 to 20 preliminary investigations each year.
Before this, Finnish Customs has investigated regulation offences related to sanctions, for example, regarding Crimea and Syria. The monitoring of the sanctions as well as the related preliminary investigations are part of the normal daily work of Finnish Customs as an authority that supervises bans and restrictions in goods and passenger traffic.