Restrictions on import of vehicles registered in Russia

Finland will implement the European Commission’s guidance (FAQ) on prohibiting the import of vehicles registered in Russia.

More recent information on the topic is available in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs press release of 18.12.2023: 12th package of sanctions tightens foreign trade restrictions and introduces new measures to combat sanctions circumvention

From now on, passenger cars registered in Russia may be imported to Finland only by EU citizens who are permanently resident in Russia or their family members, by diplomats or those with comparable diplomatic status, or for humanitarian reasons. These restrictions will enter into force the night between Friday 15 September and Saturday 16 September at 00.00.

Finland implements in full all sanctions imposed by the EU as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland pays particular attention to the effective implementation of sanctions and to the prevention of circumvention of sanctions. Circumvention of sanctions is a particular challenge on EU border states and they must all implement effective and joint efforts to prevent any circumvention.  Finland stresses the importance of having a common interpretation among the EU Member States, and especially among the EU border states, of the sanctions regulations.

On 8 September, the European Commission issued a guidance on the interpretation of prohibiting imports of passenger cars into the European Union. According to the Commission’s guidance, it is prohibited under Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 to import any vehicles registered in Russia and having a Russian license plate into the European Union even temporarily for touristic travels. The Commission updated its interpretation on 12 September. It emphasises that vehicles are especially prone to circumvention  and that the national competent authorities should pay particular attention to them.  

Finland will implement the Commission’s new guidance on the night between Friday 15 September and Saturday 16 September at 00.00 as outlined in the national interpretation (see appendix). Enforcing the import ban means that all entry into Finland of passenger cars having a Russian license plate will be prohibited. According to Finland’s interpretation, the import ban does not apply to EU/EEA citizens permanently resident in Russia (including dual citizens) or to their family members. Similarly, the ban does not apply to diplomatic vehicles and vehicles used to enter the country for humanitarian reasons.

Vehicles having a Russian license plate that are already in Finland must be removed from the country by 16 March 2024.

The interpretation does not change the conditions for individuals entering into Finland. The implementation of the import ban on vehicles and its impacts will be monitored. The interpretation will be revised as necessary.


Ministry for Foreign Affairs interpretation concerning the import into Finland of passenger cars registered in Russia (pdf)

Questions and answers (Q&A) on the import prohibition (pdf)


Press release in Russian: Вводятся ограничения на ввоз автомобилей, зарегистрированных в России (pdf)

Attachment 1 in Russian: Трактовка Министерства иностранных дел Финляндии относительно статьи 3i Регламента Совета (ЕС) № 833/2014: Ввоз легковых автомобилей с российскими регистрационными знаками на территорию Европейского союза (pdf)

Attachment 2 in Russian: Вопросы и ответы (pdf)

The press release has been edited on 20.5.2024, a link has been added to a more recent press release.



  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs:
  • Eemil Nuuttila, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 066
  • Juha Rainne, Director of Unit for Public International Law, tel. +358 295 350 639
  • Pia Sarivaara, Counsellor, Head of the Sanctions Team, tel. +358 295 350 660
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format
  • Finnish Customs:
  • Sami Rakshit, Director of the Enforcement Department, tel. +358 40 332 2506,