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

Please observe also the sanctions applying to businesses

 

Cash 

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.

Fuel

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.

Alcohol

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.


As a rule, the import of Russian-registered passenger cars from outside the EU is prohibited. Exceptions are citizens of EU and EEA countries living permanently in Russia and their family members, who can arrive to Finland in a Russian-registered car that they own, if

  • the car is brought in for personal use only
  • the car is not intended for sale

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 individuals.

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.

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

If you are a tourist, you can use your car in Finland for a maximum of six months from the day when the car was brought to Finland or the EU territory. This is called temporary admission. After six months, the time limit for temporary admission ends, and the car must immediately be removed from Finland to an area outside the EU.

Vehicles registered in Russia, which have arrived to the EU territory before 16 September 2023, must leave the EU territory within the six-month time limit for temporary admission; however, no later than on 16 March 2024. This does not apply to cars owned by students and individuals working temporarily in Finland.

If you are an asylum seeker and you have applied for an extension to temporary admission with Customs, your car can remain in Finland or elsewhere in the EU until the granted extension expires.

Can a car be registered or declared in Finland?

A Russian-registered car under temporary admission cannot be registered or declared in Finland.

Exceptions are citizens of EU and EEA countries living in Russia and their family members. They can bring in and declare their car upon moving to Finland, when the car is not intended for sale; rather it is brought in only for personal use.

What is humanitarian entry?

In these instructions, humanitarian entry means the evacuation of residents immediately due to reasons affecting people's life and health, i.e. because of a war situation, natural disaster or a crisis. For example, taking care of a family member in Finland is not considered a reason for humanitarian entry.

Can Customs grant me an exemption for importing a car?

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