Skip to content

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

Please observe also the sanctions applying to private individuals

Russian attack on Ukraine text on blue and yellow background.

Restrictions on the entry in Finland of Russian citizens and on the import of cars registered in Russia

Read more about the restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens on the website of the Finnish Border Guard.

There are restrictions on the import of cars registered in Russia as of 16 September 2023. Read more on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and in the press release by Finnish Customs.

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

Publications by the Commission

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

From 1 July 2023 dogs, cats and ferrets that arrive in Finland from Ukraine must meet the normal entry conditions laid down in the legislation. Pets that do not meet the conditions for entry, can be returned to the country of origin or be euthanised at the expense of the owner.

The following conditions concern pets travelling from Ukraine with their owner:

  • the animal has been tagged with a microchip before vaccination against rabies
  • the animal has a current vaccination against rabies, which was given no earlier than at the age of 12 weeks
  • at least 30 days after vaccination, a blood sample for a rabies antibody test was taken from the animal, and the testing was done in a laboratory approved by the EU
  • the result of the rabies antibody test is at least 0,5 IU/ml or more
  • the animal has waited in the country of origin for at least 3 months after the test, before arriving in the territory of the EU
  • the dog has received treatment against echinococcosis under veterinary supervision 1−5 days before crossing the Finnish border
  • when crossing the border, the animal is accompanied by the original vaccination documents and the result of the antibody test as well as by a health certificate for non-commercial movement to the territory of the EU issued by the authority in the country of origin.

One owner can have no more than 5 pets in total and the pets must travel with their owner or within five days of the owner’s journey. Such imports of pets to Finland are referred to as a ‘movement.’ Detailed information on the movement of pets is available from the Food Authority’s search engine (in Finnish). Read more in English on the movement or import of pets on the Finnish Food Authority’s website.


This guidance concerns individuals whose permanent domicile was in Ukraine immediately before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and who have fled the war to the EU territory or to Finland after 24 February 2022.

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 October 2022 and to Finland on 5 October 2022. The six-month time limit runs out on 30 March 2023.

The time limit for temporary admission can be extended

You can apply for extension of the time limit for temporary admission before the time limit (6 months) has run out. 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 the extension is granted, you will receive a decision from Customs with the heading “Päätös menettelyn päättämisen määräajan pidentämistä koskevaan hakemukseen” (Decision regarding your application for extension of the time limit for discharging the customs procedure).

You can also apply for extension of a time limit that has already been extended before. Send the new extension request using form 975e to the same customs office that granted you the first extension. The contact details of the customs office can be found in the decision on extension that you received from Customs.

Apply for extension of the period of use exempt from car tax from the Tax Administration

The car tax is paid to the Tax Administration; this means that the extension of the period of use exempt from car tax must be applied for from the Tax Administration. Apply for the extension in good time before the end of the 6-month time limit. Read more on how to apply for an extension of the period of use exempt from car tax on the Tax Administration’s website (in Ukrainian). See also the Tax Administration’s other guidance for individuals who have arrived from Ukraine.

Read more: Tax Administration: Tax-exempt use of a vehicle

Declaring your car as removal goods

You can declare your car as removal goods when you have a residence permit in Finland. No customs duty or VAT has to be paid for a car brought in as removal goods. Proceed in the following way:

Declare the car. You have the following declaration options:

Enclose the following documents with your declaration:

  • copy or photo of your passport
  • copy or photo of your residence permit
  • copy or photo of the vehicle’s documents, such as the registration certificate
  • any decision on extending the time limit for temporary admission that Customs may have granted (“Decision regarding your application for extension of the time limit for discharging the customs procedure”)

Customs may also ask you to submit other documents that prove that your permanent domicile was in Ukraine immediately before Russia’s invasion of 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 261, 65101 Vaasa. 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 ”3HY” or ”C20”, when you are declaring basic necessities for charitable or philanthropic organisations for distribution by State organisations or other approved organisations free of charge to those in need of aid in the customs territory of the EU
      • additional procedure code “3HY – Goods for charitable or philanthropic organisations – basic necessities imported by State organisations or other approved organisations, provided that the goods have been received free of charge. (Customs duty exemption under Article 61(1)(a) Duty Relief Regulation, VAT exemption under section 94(1)(15 a) VAT Act)” if you are declaring basic necessities sent free of charge and distributed free of charge in the customs territory of the EU to meet the immediate needs of human beings in need of aid  
      • additional procedure code “C20 – Goods for charitable or philanthropic organisations — basic necessities imported by State organisations or other approved organisations. (Customs duty exemption under Article 61(1)(a) Duty Relief Regulation, VAT 1(1)(2) VAT Act)” if you are declaring basic necessities that have been subject to payment for the charitable or philanthropic organisation but that are distributed free of charge in the customs territory of the EU to meet the immediate needs of human beings in need of aid
    • 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 you not allowed to bring in to Russia from Finland?

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

Currently, you cannot bring for example the following products from Finland to Russia:

  • pleasure boats and personal watercraft 
  • snow mobiles
  • hybrid and electric cars as well as passenger cars, camper vans and off-road vehicles with engines of more than 1.9 litres
    • The ban is 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.
  • paints
  • synthetic lubricants (commodity code 3403 19)
  • luxury goods, i.e. items worth more than EUR 300, for example smart devices, jewellery and sports equipment.

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
  • 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.

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.


Transit through Russia

Transit of the following products through Russia to third countries is prohibited:

  • high-technology products (sanctions regulation Annex VII)
  • aviation and space industry products and aviation fuels (sanctions regulation Annexes XI and XX)
  • so called dual-use items (goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes)
  • firearms and ammunition
  • goods listed in Annex XXXVII to the sanctions regulation  such as diesel motor parts, portable computers, hydraulic and pneumatic components and crane lorries.

Re-export ban

Exporters of certain products must include an obligation in their trade contracts requiring purchasers to prevent products from ending up in Russia as re-exports, or in Russia’s reach by some other means. Such products include aviation and space industry products and technology, aviation fuels, firearms and related supplies, as well as many types of electronics such as microprocessors, radio navigation devices and radio remote control devices (Annexes XI, XX, XXXV and XL). Weapons and ammunitions listed in Annex I are also included in the products.

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.


Current topics