Russian citizens and Finnish border guard (front left) and customs official ('Tulli') at the Vaalimaa border check point between Finland and Russia in Virolahti, Finland on Friday, 30th Sep., 2022. LEHTIKUVA


The ban on the import of cars registered in Russia, which began on Saturday night, has significantly slowed border traffic. During the weekend, a total of 81 cars arrived, of which Customs turned away 37.

Starting from 00:00 on September 16, 2023, Customs began implementing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' directive on the import ban for cars registered in Russia.

By Monday morning at 9:00, a total of 81 cars registered in Russia had arrived at border customs checkpoints, with 37 of them being turned away and 44 meeting the import requirements.

"Border traffic has slowed even further over the weekend for cars registered in Russia, both on the eastern border and the border with Norway. It seems that information about the import ban has been effectively disseminated, although we have received individual inquiries, and if necessary, we will clarify the directive in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," stated Sami Rakshit, the director of the Enforcement Department.

The highest traffic was observed in Vaalimaa and Nuijamaa, where approximately 30 cars with Russian plates were turned away. Only a few Russian-registered cars arrived at the Norwegian border.

Russian-registered cars that have arrived at the border after the start of the import ban, as of September 18, 2023, at 9:00:

Customs Checkpoint Arrived, Russian-Registered Cars Turned Away Allowed Entry
Vaalimaa 46 15 31
Nuijamaa 19 12 7
Imatra 4 2 2
Niirala 3 2 1
Vartius 2 2 0
Kuusamo 0 0 0
Salla 0 0 0
Raja-Jooseppi 1 1 0
Norwegian Border 6 3 3
Total 81 37 44

The import ban applies primarily to all cars registered in Russia, whether used for private or commercial purposes. Taxis are also included in the ban. Russian-registered vehicles are not allowed to cross the border, even if the driver intends to switch to a car with Finnish plates immediately at the border.

Exceptions to the ban include, among others, cars belonging to EU citizens permanently residing in Russia and diplomatic vehicles.