The EU has decided to implement extensive economic sanctions against Russia due to its attack on Ukraine in blatant violation of international law. As the implementing authority in its own sector of operations, Finnish Customs enforces export sanctions.
This page contains information on the impact of sanctions against Russia as regards import and export by businesses, as well as information for private persons, charities and aid organisations.
Businesses will benefit from actively monitoring the situation regarding export sanctions imposed by the EU. Businesses are responsible for ensuring overall compliance with legislation in their activities. The website of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs contains information in Finnish and Swedish on regulations (in Finnish) that businesses should note carefully. Customs will instruct businesses with regard to customs formalities in the usual way. For questions on interpreting sanctions, businesses can contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs by email: KPO-40(at)formin.fi
- EU sanctions against Russia in the Official Journal of the European Union: Council Regulation (EU) 2022/328, Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/327
- EU’s sanctions against Belarus in the official Journal of the European Union: Council decision (CFSP) 2022/356, Council Regulation (EU) 2022/355
- Information on export restrictions
- Information on import restrictions
- Prohibitions concerning goods: FINTARIC, TARIC
- Instructions for businesses
Information on the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) website:
- Useful information for businesses on sanctions against Russia (in Finnish)
- Sanctions against Russia: Questions and answers for businesses (in Finnish)
- Instructions on implementing sanctions against Russia, 3 March 2022 (EK web seminar, in Finnish)
- Instructions on implementing sanctions against Russia, 1 March 2022 (EK web seminar, in Finnish)
- Information to businesses on EU sanctions against Russia and export restrictions, 28 February 2022 (EK web seminar, in Finnish)
Information on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website:
- Sanctions checklist for exporters
- News on export controls (in Finnish)
- Sanctions against Russia (in Finnish). Customs will instruct businesses with regard to customs formalities in the usual way. For questions on interpreting sanctions, businesses can contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs by email: KPO-40(at)formin.fi
Persons fleeing from the war in Ukraine can bring their personal belongings to Finland free of customs duty and tax. Please note that goods are subject to the same restrictions as in traveller imports. For example, alcohol and tobacco products can be imported only in limited quantities. Read more about restrictions on passenger imports.
Persons arriving from Ukraine can bring their pets to Finland without a specific permit. Persons arriving from Russia can do the same if they reside in Russia under the status of a foreigner and are leaving Russia for compelling reasons. It is also possible to import a CITES pet (in Finnish) , i.e. an exotic pet, from Ukraine without a specific permit. Pets must be presented to Customs upon arrival in Finland. Information on pets; Finnish Food Authority website.
Using your own car in Finland
Persons fleeing from the war in Ukraine can use their own cars free of customs duty and tax for six months in Finland. This practice is called temporary admission. The time limit for temporary admission is calculated as starting from the date when a car is imported to EU territory for example via Poland, Slovakia, Hungary or Romania. Customers must contact Customs for further instructions when the time limit of six months is about to expire. Customs will update these instructions later.
Example: A car was driven to Poland on 1 April 2022 and to Finland on 5 April 2022. The time limit of six months expires on 30 September 2022.
Cash exports to Russia
Exporting banknotes of official EU Member State currencies to Russia is prohibited.
Exceptions in practice:
- The personal use of natural persons travelling to Russia or members of their immediate families travelling with them
- Currency in the form of banknotes for the official purposes of diplomatic missions, consular posts or international organisations.
Read more about declaring cash to Customs.
- Customs information at the eastern border
- Information on Finnish Immigration Service
- The Finnish Motor Insurer's Centre: When a vehicle is imported from outside the EEA
Government bodies and charities approved by Customs can import certain goods from outside the EU without having to pay customs duty or tax on them. For importation, organisations will need a licence from the Customs Authorisation Centre.
What goods can be imported?
Government bodies and organisations can import the following goods free of customs duty and tax:
- basic supplies distributed without compensation in the customs territory of the EU for the needs of people in distress (for example foodstuffs, medicines, clothes and duvets)
- all types of goods which organisations receive at random charity events without compensation, and which are used for collecting funds for people in distress
- equipment and office supplies which organisations receive without compensation and for use in their work for helping people in distress.
Please note that alcohol and tobacco products, coffee, tea or motor vehicles (with the exception of ambulances) cannot be imported as exempt from customs duty and tax.
What organisations are eligible for a licence?
Charities and aid organisations will need a licence from Customs for importing certain goods free of customs duty and tax. Licences can be issued for organisations that do not engage in commercial or public sector activity.
Government bodies do not need a licence from Customs.
How to apply for a licence
Licences can be applied for in writing from the Customs Authorisation Centre. An application can be written in free format, and it must bear the signature of a person with signatory rights granted by their organisation. A description of the organisation’s activity must be included. Be sure to attach documentation supporting your application, such as your organisation’s rules, annual report and a report of its activities.
Send your application by email to lupakeskus(at)tulli.fi or by mail to Tullin lupakeskus, PL 56, 90401 Oulu. If you are sending documents containing personal details to Customs, we recommend that you use secure email. See our instructions for sending secure email.
You should apply for a licence in good time, as you will need to present it for the customs clearance of your goods.
What information must be entered in the customs declaration?
Provide the following details in the customs declaration:
- commodity code
- the code 9919 00 00 50, can be used if the conditions for relief from customs duties are met
- an authorisation granted by Customs Authorisation Centre with additional document code ‘1ZZZ – Other document,’ if the recipient is other than a State organisation
- goods manifest with an explanation on how the goods will be used, with additional document code ‘1ZZZ – Other document’
- furthermore, one of the following additional procedure codes:
- additional procedure code ‘C20 – Goods for charitable or philanthropic organisations — basic necessities imported by State organisations or other approved organisations (Duty free based on the Duty Relief Regulation Article 61(a), VAT-exempt based on the VAT Act section 94.1 paragraph 12),’ if you are declaring basic supplies distributed without compensation in the customs territory of the EU for the needs of people in distress
- additional procedure code ‘C49 – Goods for charitable or philanthropic organisations - goods of every description sent free of charge and to be used for fund-raising at occasional charity events for the benefit of needy persons (Duty free based on the Duty Relief Regulation Article 61(a), VAT-exempt based on the VAT Act section 94.1 paragraph 12),’ if you are declaring goods sent free of charge and to be used for fund-raising at occasional charity events for the benefit of needy persons
- additional procedure code ‘C50 – Goods for charitable or philanthropic organisations — equipment and office materials sent free of charge (Duty free based on the Duty Relief Regulation Article 61(a), VAT-exempt based on the VAT Act section 94.1 paragraph 12),’ if you are declaring an ambulance or equipment and office materials sent free of charge to be used in normal operation.
Exporting aid goods
You can orally declare any aid consignments from Finland to Ukraine without any limitations to the value or weight of the goods. You are not required to submit an electronic export declaration in such cases.
The oral declaration can only be given at the last customs office before the goods exit the EU. You must support your oral declaration with a list of the goods in your aid consignment. Please note that it is not possible to orally declare goods that are subject to export restrictions or suspension of excise duty.
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty, Articles 61-65
- Finnish Value Added Tax Act (1993/1501), section 94.1(12)
The export of certain luxury goods to Russia is prohibited. The prohibition applies to the luxury goods listed in Annex XVIII of Council Regulation (EU) 2022/428 insofar as their value exceeds EUR 300 per item unless otherwise specified in the Annex.
The list of products classified as luxury goods is extensive. It includes, among others,
- various electronic items and household appliances
- vehicles and vehicle parts
- clothes and shoes
- sports equipment
- musical instruments
- alcoholic beverages.
Later additions to the list of luxury goods subject to the export prohibition, laid down in Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576, include
- various parts and raw materials of jewellery
- certain optical equipment.
The goods may also be subject to other export restrictions or prohibitions.
What goods are not subject to the export prohibition?
The prohibition does not apply to goods which are
- necessary for the official purposes of diplomatic or consular missions of EU member states in Russia or personal effects of their staff
- necessary for the official purposes of international organisations enjoying immunities in accordance with international law or personal effects of their staff.
In addition, the competent authorities may authorise the transfer or export to Russia of cultural goods which are on loan in the context of formal cultural cooperation with Russia.
Furthermore, the prohibition does not apply in the case of re-export of a temporarily imported means of transport for which a separate export declaration need not be lodged under the EU customs legislation. Such means of transport are, for example, passenger cars of travellers, pleasure boats of travellers or buses transporting passengers across the border.
Backlog in the processing of export declarations
You can speed up the processing of your declaration by checking in advance if your goods are under export restrictions. Be sure to add any necessary attachments before sending your declaration.
The EU sanctions prohibit the sale, delivery, movement or export either direct or indirect, of goods under restrictions to natural or legal persons, organisations and bodies in Russia. The restrictions are comprehensively formulated and they concern, among other things, all kinds of movement and delivery of goods from Finland to Russia. Exporting these kinds of goods onward to Russia is therefore prohibited as a rule (unless a limited exception in the regulation is applicable to the export).
It is possible to obtain a licence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enable a delivery for which a binding agreement was made before the restrictions came into force. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reviews such licence applications on a case-by-case basis.
(Source: The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK)