MOL's Duna Refinery receiving Russian crude through the Druzhba pipeline on May 5th 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

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The EU has imposed new sanctions on Russia with regard to crude oil and oil products. The sixth sanctions package imposes export sanctions also on the chemicals industry. Customs estimates that the sanctions on exports of chemicals industry products affect about 70 Finnish companies.

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 new sanctions prohibit imports of crude oil and oil products from Russia to the EU with the exception of crude oil delivered by pipeline. As for Finland, the sanctions will be implemented in their full extent, as crude oil and oil products arrive in Finland by sea and rail. The sanctions on crude oil will enter into force after a transition period of six months. Sanctions on oil products will take effect after an eight-month transition period.

– The quantity of crude oil and oil products imported from Russia to Finland has dropped. However, in terms of import value, the sanctions are significant and their total value is almost 1.2 billion euros in the first quarter of the year. We will enforce also the new import sanctions as an element of our normal customs enforcement work, says Mr Sami Rakshit, Director of the Enforcement Department.

Export sanctions on the chemicals industry aimed at reduced opportunities of developing military technology

The sixth sanctions package covers even more products that could be potentially used by Russia to enhance its military capability and technology. These include certain chemicals industry products that are under prohibitions of export and all forms of delivery to Russia.

Last year, such products under sanctions were exported for a value of more than 18 million euros. The products include raw materials of the chemicals industry needed for manufacturing for example explosives, plastics, pesticides and metals. They also include various solvents, as well as materials used in the medical industry and the rubber industry. In January-March this years, exports of these products amounted to about five million euros.

– We estimate that the sanctions on exports of chemicals industry products affect about 70 Finnish companies. At the annual level, we are talking about exports with a value of about 20 million euros, maybe even more as, for some products, their purpose of use will determine whether they belong under sanctions or not. In cases requiring interpretation, we will contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a statement, as we strongly emphasise the swiftest and most pragmatic implementation of the sanctions agreed jointly at EU level, says Sami Rakshit.

The new sanctions package also extended the lists of sanctions concerning persons and operators both in Russia and Belarus.

The sixth sanctions package has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union 3.6.2022.

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