Russian attack on Ukraine – the effects of the sanctions on private individuals

Please observe also the sanctions applying to businesses



Exporting banknotes of official EU Member State currencies to Russia is prohibited. Export is allowed only in the following circumstances:

  • Currency in the form of banknotes can be exported for official purposes of diplomatic missions, consular posts or international organisations.
  • Private persons and their family members travelling with them to Russia can carry banknotes for personal use. Personal use refers to the use of funds for overnight stays, meals, travel or shopping.

However, for example the following cannot be regarded as personal use:

  • taking cash funds to a relative or a friend in Russia
  • purchase of a real estate or some other form of fixed property
  • funds meant for salary costs or other business activity expenses
  • funds meant for capital investments or bank accounts
  • funds meant for payment of loans
  • transfer of the personal assets of a person moving to Russia in the form of banknotes comprising the official currency of any EU Member State
  • transfer to Russia of unspent funds carried by a traveller residing in Russia and returning to their home there.

There is no minimum threshold for the restriction. Therefore, note that any amount of cash may be subject to sanctions, even if Customs does not require a declaration on that cash.

Read more about declaring cash to Customs.

When travelling from Russia to Finland 

Currently, the import of many very common goods from Russia is prohibited. 

Currently, the import of many very common goods from Russia is prohibited. 

For example,

  • cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos
  • various cosmetics and hygiene products
  • toilet paper and other household papers
  • many household appliances
  • telephones
  • cars or
  • cameras

may not be imported from Russia. The ban also concerns products bought from tax-free shops. You can view the full list of products in Annex XXI to the Russian Sanctions Regulation 833/2014. The Annex is available in The Official Journal of the European Union No L259I 2022, pages 32-41.


Travellers are for the time being only allowed to bring in fuel from Russia in the regular tank of a motor vehicle. You are not allowed to bring in extra fuel in a portable container or a separate can carried in the vehicle.


You are currently not allowed to bring in strong alcoholic beverages (over 22%) such as whisky, rum, gin, vodka or liqueurs, from Russia to Finland.

You are also not allowed to bring in light alcoholic beverages to which alcohol has been added during production. These are, for example, some long drinks and hard seltzer drinks. The ban concerns also alcoholic beverages bought from tax-free shops.

However, you can bring in other light alcoholic beverages, for example beer as well as fermented wines and ciders. You can only bring in a restricted quantity of these for personal use or as a gift. Check the import restrictions on alcohol.

Boats, personal watercraft and pleasure boats

Travellers on vacation should not bring boats or personal watercraft from Russia to Finland, because they cannot be returned to Russia.

Arriving in Finland via ports and through canal locks from Russia is prohibited. This includes arriving from Russia through Saimaa Canal.

The regulations may change

Please note that the import and export regulations may change quickly due to the sanctions.

The entry from outside the EU of passenger cars registered in Russia is prohibited as of 16 September 2023.

The ban does not concern citizens (including dual citizens) of an EU country or an EEA country who live permanently in Russia, nor their family members. If a family member who resides permanently in the territory of the EU imports a car, the vehicle must still be occupied upon entry by a person residing permanently in Russia.

The ban does not apply to diplomatic vehicles or to humanitarian entries.

The entry ban on passenger cars does not affect travel restrictions or the entry of persons.

Can a car registered in Russia that is already in Finland be declared in Finland?

No that is not possible. This also applies to cars of immigrants or students. The date when the car was brought to Finland is irrelevant. 

I am moving to Finland. Can I declare the car as removal goods?

A car that is registered in Russia or imported from Russia can no longer be declared as removal goods.

My car is already in Finland. When must it be returned to Russia?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided that cars registered in Russia must be removed from Finland by 16 March 2024. Authorities are preparing detailed instructions and will release information on the matter later.

Who can bring to Finland a car registered in Russia?

A car can only be brought in temporarily to Finland by a citizen of an EU or an EEA country, who lives permanently in Russia.

A family member of an EU citizen or an EEA citizen can also bring in the car if they live permanently in Russia. If that family member resides permanently in Russia, they can bring the car to Finland personally. If a family member, practically speaking a person’s spouse, resides permanently in the territory of the EU, the car must also be occupied by the vehicle registration holder who resides permanently in Russia and is an EU or EEA citizen.

Who is a family member?

The family member must live in Russia in the same household as the person with EU or EEA citizenship. Spouses do not need to live in the same household. The car must be in the personal use of an adult, i.e. it cannot be in the personal use of a child or minor.

What is humanitarian entry?

In these guidelines humanitarian entry means, among other things, applying for asylum or temporary protection. For example taking care of a family member in Finland is not considered humanitarian entry.

Can Customs grant me an exemption for importing a car?

Customs cannot grant an exemption for importing cars registered in Russia.