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Finnish Customs is looking into whether there are grounds to suspect that offences have been committed regarding transports subject to EU sanctions

Publication date 21.3.2022 12.30 | Published in English on 30.3.2022 at 13.22
Press release

Finnish Customs has started preliminary surveys due to the extensive export and import sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia and Belarus. The preliminary surveys concern 15 cases related to transports of products subject to sanctions. The prerequisites for initiating preliminary investigations of the cases are being reviewed.

The EU has imposed extensive sanctions on Russia due to the attack on Ukraine. As the implementing authority, Finnish Customs’ task is to monitor the export and import sanctions agreed at EU level.

As part of this monitoring, Finnish Customs will, if needed, request a statement from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on whether a certain product is subject to EU sanctions. Finnish Customs has so far sent more than a hundred requests for statement to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. To date, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has replied to around fifty of these requests.

“After receiving a statement from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, we conduct a preliminary survey of the case with regard to a possible criminal investigation and consider whether there are grounds to suspect that a regulation offence has been committed. If so, Finnish Customs will initiate a preliminary investigation of the case. At the moment, Finnish Customs Investigation has 15 ongoing preliminary surveys related to export sanctions”, says Hannu Sinkkonen, Director of Enforcement.

Before this, Finnish Customs has investigated regulation offences related to sanctions e.g. regarding Crimea and Syria. The monitoring of the sanctions as well as the related preliminary investigations are part of the normal work of Finnish Customs as an authority that monitors bans and restrictions in goods and passenger traffic.

On the Finnish Customs website, there is information about the export and import sanctions.

Media release ukraina