Estonian Tax, Customs Board: Regular passengers also subject to new EU sanctions package

  • 2022-06-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – From July 10, goods originating in or exported from Russia, the sale of which will bring significant income to Russia and enable it to continue its armed aggression and war of conquest in Ukraine, may no longer be imported or transferred to Estonia, while the Estonian Tax and Customs Board emphasizes that these restrictions also apply to ordinary passengers.

The full list of product codes and names can be found on the Tax and Customs Board's website. According to the authority, special attention must be paid to alcohol with an alcohol content of less than 80 percent, such as vodka, gin, liqueurs, wine, beer and other light alcohol. In addition to alcohol, the import of furniture, timber, timber products, fertilizers and other goods that private individuals bring from the Russian Federation on a daily basis is prohibited.

"It is very important to emphasize here that these restrictions and sanctions also apply to ordinary passengers. In other words, if previously a private individual had the opportunity to bring one liter of spirits and the permitted amount of 125 grams of caviar to Estonia tax-free once a month from the Russian Federation, then it will no longer be possible to do so from July 10. It is also not possible to bring back, for example, wooden doors purchased from a DIY store in Pskov," Eerik Heldna, head of the customs department at the Tax and Customs Board, said.

Heldna stressed that the violation of sanctions is a criminal offense, the procedural competence of which is held by the Internal Security Service and, with the decision of the prosecutor's office, also by the Tax and Customs Board, and the court will administer justice. "Depending on the nature of the violation, no criminal proceedings will be launched in the case of a first and unintentional violation," he added.

"Currently, there are also restrictions on the export of goods, and if, for example, a person tries to deliver consumer electronics, categorized as luxury goods, worth more than 750 euros to Russia, this activity will be stopped and the person will be sent back from the border. However, it depends on the specific circumstances of each individual case -- what kind of goods they were, what their value was and how aware of the details of the application of the sanctions the person was or should have been. I would definitely like to stress the need for people to take this issue seriously and to carefully check what they are buying from the Russian Federation in order to avoid problems in the future," Heldna said.