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The new package of sanctions prohibits trailers with Russian licence plates within the EU territory

Publication date 23.6.2023 18.33
Press release

The 11th package of European Union sanctions prohibits trailers and semi-trailers with Russian licence plates from operating in the EU territory. The ban will enter into force at midnight on the 24 June 2023, after which Finnish Customs will turn trailers back to Russia. The new sanctions package also enhances the prevention of sanctions circumvention by banning transits of even more products from the EU through Russia to third countries.

The new sanctions package intervenes with commercial road traffic transport to an even greater extent. From now on, trailers and semi-trailers with Russian licence plates may not operate in the EU territory, even when towed by trucks registered outside Russia. The entry into the EU of trucks with Russian licence plates was banned already a year ago in April.

– We start enforcing the ban immediately when it enters into force and we will turn all trailers and semi-trailers with Russian licence plates back to Russia. We estimate that at the moment, roughly 40 % of the trailers and semi-trailers in the commercial road transports crossing the eastern border are registered in Russia, says Mr Sami Rakshit, Director of the Enforcement Department of Finnish Customs.

The ban enters into force immediately at the turn of day on 24 June 2023 at 0.00 a.m.

The ban enters into force on 30 June 2023 for trailers and semi-trailers registered in Russia and currently located in the EU territory.

The new package of EU sanctions focuses on preventing sanctions circumvention – expanded bans on transit through Russia

The new sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU expand the ban on transit from the EU through Russia to third countries. The aim of the transit ban is to prevent goods subject to sanctions from being transported to Russia directly or through a third country.

The transit ban will include all high-technology products in accordance with the sanctions regulation (appendix VII). Also aviation and space industry products and aviation fuels (appendix XI and XX), as listed in the regulation, will be included in the transit ban. Earlier, the transit ban already concerned so called dual use products as well as firearms and ammunition.

– The expansion of the transit ban increases the possibilities of Finnish Customs to intervene in sanctions circumvention. We have detected possible attempts at sanctions circumventions and we have cooperated with customs authorities in the other outer border states of the EU in order to make the sanctions control more efficient. The sanctions are more effective now that new product groups are included, says Rakshit.

The new sanctions ban the export to Russia of passenger cars, camper vans and off-road vehicles with engines over 1,9 litres, with no value limit. Thus far, it has been possible to export cars with a value of less than 50 000 euros. Also hybrid and electric cars are included in the sanction.

From now on, the export sanctions will also concern for example a wider spectrum of different machines, equipment for measuring and observation, cameras and optical equipment and heavy traffic tires. According to the preliminary assessment of Finnish Customs, goods subject to these new sanctions are currently being exported to Russia for an average of 1,5 million euros per month.

The sanctions package also expanded the sanctions concerning sea traffic, a.o. regarding loading and port arrivals and exits.

The new EU sanctions were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23 June 2023

Press release by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (23 June 2023): 11th package of EU sanctions against Russia focuses on preventing sanctions circumvention

The European Union has imposed extensive import and export sanctions against Russia due to the attack on Ukraine. As the implementing authority, Customs enforces sanctions as a part of normal customs enforcement.

Media release ukraina