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Finnish companies have begun to restrict the sale of sanctioned goods to Russian tourists, writes Yle. In particular, Gigantti and Power stores, which sell smartphones, computers and household appliances, say they have stopped duty-free sales of goods going to Russia. In turn, the Kymen seudun osuuskauppa network stated that it had limited the sale of goods for which Tax Free is issued to products that are not included in the sanctions list.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry responded to Yle’s request that the sale of sanctioned goods is prohibited if the goods are intended to be used in Russia. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry noted that in practice it is difficult for a trader to determine whether the goods are sent to Russia or remain in Finland, unless the client purchases the goods as a duty-free purchase. Therefore, when selling products in each case, it is necessary to make a decision individually, the Foreign Ministry said.
The sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia prohibit the export of so-called luxury goods, that is, goods worth more than 300 euros, to Russia, writes Yle. As an exception, it is allowed to export, for example, an electronic device or smartphone with a maximum value of 750 euros or a car with a maximum value of 50,000 euros.
Power and Gigantti noted that a tourist can buy the desired product if he does not ask for a tax refund. In such situations, the store does not require a passport. However, the buyer should be aware that the goods may be confiscated by customs if they fall under EU sanctions.
Several cases are known when drones and sonars were confiscated from Russians leaving Finland at the border, deciding that these were dual-use products. Representatives of the Finnish customs refused to reportexactly how many sanctioned goods were seized. According to the statistics provided, in total, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, about 2.5 thousand checks were carried out, about a hundred of them “ended in the adoption of measures related to sanctions.”
Since July 15, the Russian authorities have lifted restrictions on leaving the country, introduced in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Finland canceled all coronavirus entry restrictions two weeks early.