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Russian attack on Ukraine – export sanctions and their effects on businesses and private individuals

Russian attack on Ukraine text on blue and yellow background.

The EU has decided to implement extensive economic sanctions against Russia due to its attack on Ukraine in blatant violation of international law. 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.

Information on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website: Russian attack on Ukraine


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

Information on the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) website:

Information on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website:


Asylum seekers 

Personal belongings

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.

Pets

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 in their own cars can use their cars free of customs duty and tax in Finland for 6 months. No customs duty or VAT has to be paid for the car during this time. This is called temporary admission. The car is also free from car tax for 6 months.

The time limit for the temporary admission begins on the day when the car was brought into the EU territory, for example via Poland, Slovakia, Hungary or Romania.

Example: The car was brought in by driving it to Poland on 1 April 2022 and to Finland on 5 April 2022. The six-month time limit runs out on 30 September 2022.

You can apply for an extension of the time limit of 6 months. The extension must be applied for from Customs and the Tax Administration before the time limit of 6 months has run out.

The customs duty and VAT is paid to Customs, which means that the extension of the period of duty free and tax-free use must be applied for from Customs. Request the extension from Customs with the customs form ‘Extension of procedure time limits (975e).’ Submit the form to the customs office through which you arrived in Finland. If Finland is now your permanent place of residence, you can also declare the car as removal goods. No customs duty or VAT has to be paid for a car brought in as removal goods.

The car tax is paid to the Tax Administration; this means that the time limit extension on the car tax must be applied for from the Tax Administration. Read more on how to apply for an extension of the period of use free from car tax on the Tax Administration’s website (in Ukrainian). Check also the other instructions from the Tax Administration concerning people who have arrived from the Ukraine.

Other information:


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.

Applicable legislation:


What are travellers allowed to export from Finland to Russia? 

Please note that the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia also apply to private individuals.

For example, paints or vehicle lubricants, such as synthetic motor oils, are currently not allowed to be exported to Russia.

Currently, you cannot bring pleasure boats or personal watercraft from Finland to Russia.

It is prohibited to export luxury goods (i.e. items worth more than EUR 300)  

Luxury goods include smart devices, jewellery and sports equipment.  See further examples: 

The export of so-called luxury goods to Russia is prohibited.  Luxury goods are products with a value exceeding EUR 300 per item. Higher value limits have also been specified for some goods.

Luxury goods are for example

  • Vehicle parts and accessories; and wires, cables and light bulbs
  • Clothes, shoes, accessories and cosmetics
  • Foods, detergents and nappies/diapers
  • Recreational and sports equipment
  • Jewellery
  • Toys, games, books and records
  • Furnishings, kitchen equipment
  • cameras and binoculars
  • Sports equipment

Exceptions to the EUR 300 value limit:

However, you can export the following to Russia

  • an electrical appliance and a household appliance with a maximum value of EUR 750
  • a computer and a smartphone with a maximum value of EUR 750
  • sound reproducing apparatus or a photographic camera with a maximum value of EUR 1 000 
  • a musical instrument with a maximum value of EUR 1 500
  • vehicles with a maximum value of EUR 50 000.

List of luxury goods may change

The list of products classified as luxury goods is broad and subject to constant changes. The products may also be subject to other export restrictions or prohibitions.

Check the list of luxury goods in Annex XVIII of Council Regulation (EU) 2014/833 


The ban on luxury goods is not applied to products that 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.
  • Goods covered by CN codes 71130000 (jewellery) and 71140000 (goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares), intended for the personal use of natural persons travelling out from the EU or their family members accompanying them, that are owned by such persons and that are not intended for sale.

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.

The ban is also not applied to the means of transport that carry travellers from EU countries or non-EU countries. Such means of transport include travellers’ passenger cars, travellers’ pleasure boats or buses carrying passengers across the border. 


Cash 

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.


What are you allowed to bring in from Russia? 

There are restrictions on travellers’ imports of goods such as fuel and alcohol from Russia.  Read more:

Due to the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia there are also some restrictions on imports. Examples:

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.

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.

The regulations may change

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


Current topics

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.

Frequently asked questions

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)