Sunday August 14, 2022

Customs probes 20 cases of carrying luxury goods thru Russian borders

Published : 03 Aug 2022, 23:26

Updated : 03 Aug 2022, 23:29

  DF Report

Photo: Finnish Customs.

Finnish Customs is examining about 20 cases related to carrying luxury products by passengers travelling to Russia through Finland-Russia border crossing points during intensified controls recently.

Customs intensified the controls of individuals travelling to Russia from 22 July to 27 July at the border crossing points of Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala, said Customs in a press release on Wednesday.

More than 2 500 controls were carried out and of them, around 100 cases led to consideration of further measures due to sanctions.

During the intensified control period different kinds of luxury products were carried by the travellers as well as goods that can facilitate Russia’s industrial and military capabilities, such as tools used in maritime traffic.

“Currently, approximately twenty cases related to passenger traffic are under preliminary examination by Customs or waiting for a statement from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,” said Mikko Grönberg, Enforcement Director of Finnish Customs.

The preliminary examination aims to show whether there is reason to suspect a crime and if a preliminary investigation should be initiated.

“When Russia lifted its Covid-19 restrictions on border crossings, we needed to increase the enforcement of sanctions in passenger traffic,” said Grönberg.

The director said, if goods are subject to sanctions they cannot be taken across the border. Depending on the case, the customer can return the goods to the shop where they were bought or Customs will detain them.

The number of travellers at the border between Russia and Finland grew when Russia lifted its Covid-19 restrictions on cross-border travel on 15 July.

However, the traffic volumes are no way near what they were before the restrictions. Last week, around 30 000 passengers travelled to Russia via the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala border crossing points.

During the same week in 2018, there were over 80 000 travellers.

The European Union has imposed extensive sanctions against Russia and Belarus due to the attack on Ukraine. As the implementing authority, Finnish Customs’ tasks include enforcing the sanctions on imports and exports agreed at EU level.

The list of prohibited products is broad and subject to constant changes. For example, travellers are not allowed to bring in to Russia paints or automotive lubricants, such as synthetic motor oils.

The export of luxury products, such as smart devices and sporting goods are significantly restricted.

There are different value limits on different kinds of luxury products. As a rule, the value limit is 300 euros.