TALLINN – On Feb. 5, the transitional period of sanctions imposed by the European Union on oil products from the Russian Federation will end, and their purchase and import into the EU will be prohibited from Monday, Feb. 6.
"From February 6, it is forbidden to buy, import and transfer petroleum products if they originate in Russia. The list of prohibited goods also includes fuels used in motor vehicles. It is estimated that today, about 80 percent of passenger cars, in addition to the fuel in the car's standard fuel tank, also carry a 10-liter canister with fuel when a vehicle crosses the border into Estonia for the first time," Piret Tinkus, head of the prohibitions and restrictions service of the social protection field of the customs department of the Tax and Customs Board, said in a press release.
Pursuant to legislation, an EU resident has the right to buy fuel in Russia if it is necessary to complete the trip and return to the territory of the EU. This means that the passenger has the right to import into the EU fuel that is in the vehicle's standard fuel tank and intended for use in the same vehicle.
"It is forbidden to bring into the European Union, in a fuel canister, fuel that has been bought in Russia, as such imports cannot be considered as meeting of basic needs, including the completion of a journey," said Tinkus, pointing out that the ban on importing goods in a canister applies to entry from Russia into all Baltic countries and Finland alike.
To the import of motor fuel in a standard fuel tank the restrictions on the tax-free import of fuel laid down in the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Act and the VAT Act apply, meaning that the fuel in a standard fuel tank is tax-free upon first entry into Estonia. On all subsequent border crossings in the same calendar month the fuel is taxed, unless the passenger, when traveling from Estonia to Russia, has informed the customs that there is fuel in the vehicle's tank that they intend to bring back.
Pumping fuel out of a vehicle after crossing the border and handing it over for a fee or free of charge is considered a violation of the sanction. Pumping out is only allowed for the purpose of repair of the vehicle, if it is later pumped back into the vehicle.