Finnish Customs investigated 50 cases of violations of EU sanctions on the border with Russia

Since the Russian-Finnish border has been open for tourism since July 15, the Finnish Customs Service has registered about 50 cases of violations of the sanctions regime by citizens, 10 of which are still being investigated, said Mikko Grönberg, director of customs control at the Finnish Customs Service.
Because of Russia’s February 24 attack on Ukraine, numerous restrictions have been imposed on the import and export of goods, luxury goods, cash currency, petroleum products, alcohol and other goods from the European Union to Russia and vice versa. These restrictions are perplexing for Russians coming to Finland for the purpose of tourism.
“These sanctions are part of the common foreign and security policy of the European Union and are implemented by the customs services of all member states. The same sanctions apply to tourists,” Grönberg told Ilta-Lehti.
By controlling tourists, the customs service seeks to ensure that sanctions are not circumvented in passenger traffic. The list of products and materials subject to export bans is very long, the publication specifies.
Export from the EU luxury items that may be of great interest for tourists (including due to the Tax Free), is much limited: it is expensive delicacies, wine, perfumes, clothing, carpets, jewelry, precious metals and a huge list of household appliances.
There are value limits for different types of appliances.
“Under the general rule (total purchases) the value limit is 300 euros, but, for example, as I recall, the value limit was 1,500 euros for musical instruments, 750 euros for electrical appliances for home use, and 1,000 euros for electronic reproduction devices,” Grönberg said.
If sanctioned goods are detected, customs seizes them from the passenger.
“We have about 50 cases (of sanctions violations) since the lifting of restrictions on the coronavirus in Russia. About a dozen of them are still being investigated either by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a preliminary (criminal) investigation has been initiated, if it is deemed that it could have been a crime,” the Finnish customs representative stressed.