Customs probes into export of tugboat from Russia evading sections

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The Finnish Customs is investigating into an incident of selling a tugboat in Finland after importing it from Russia amidst the ongoing sanctions.

The Customs preliminary investigation regarding sanctions circumvention in the case continues and the case is being investigated as an aggravated regulation offence, said an official press release on Friday.

On 14 August 2023, Finnish Customs initiated a preliminary investigation regarding a tugboat sold in Finland, which ended up in Russia. The EU sanctions prohibit all exports of watercraft to Russia.

Thus far, several persons have been questioned in the preliminary investigation, and Customs has cooperated closely with both national and international parties.

Preliminary investigations regarding sanctions circumventions often require multidisciplinary cooperation with other countries, which also affects the duration of the investigation.

Based on the preliminary investigation, there is reason to suspect attempted sanctions circumvention.

Finnish Customs is responsible for the control of circumventions of sanctions on goods and for the related criminal investigations in Finland

The role of Customs as a preliminary investigation authority is connected to the investigation of cross border customs offences, and most of the suspected sanctions offences are such offences.

The number of suspected regulation offences has multiplied because of the EU sanctions on Russia due to the attack on Ukraine.

Since February 2022, Customs has initiated over 600 preliminary investigations, of which more than 60 are investigated as aggravated regulation offences. Before this, only a few suspected regulation offences were investigated yearly.

  •  Customs
  •  Russia
  •  Tugboat
  •  Sanctions


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