Ministry for Foreign Affairs granted an authorisation for Russian fertiliser cargo stopped at Port of Kotka
On 9 March, the National Enforcement Authority Finland imposed interim measures to freeze a shipment of fertilisers, loaded on board at the Port of Kotka. The fertilizers were suspected of being under control of a person listed in the EU sanctions against Russia. An investigation, carried out in cooperation among authorities, confirmed the link between the shipment of fertilisers and a sanctioned individual.
EU sanctions do not prevent the import or transit of fertilisers from Russia into or through the European Union. In other words, there are no restrictions on the import or transit of fertilisers (with the exception of potash import). However, Member States must freeze the funds and economic resources owned or controlled by sanctioned individuals in accordance with the EU individual sanctions on Russia. If such assets are frozen fertilisers, they may be released by granting an authorisation allowing the fertilizers transit through the EU territory. The authorisation may be granted if the fertilisers are exported to a third country to address food security. On this basis, the fertiliser shipment stopped at the Port of Kotka may continue under the authorisation granted by the Foreign Ministry.
It is important for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that fertiliser exports especially to developing countries may continue as freely as possible to safeguard food security. Exports of fertilisers owned by sanctioned individuals will be allowed for this purpose by granting an authorisation quickly and flexibly.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs received a request for authorisation from the purchaser of the fertilisers on 19 March. The Ministry granted the authorisation on 22 March. The authorisation is granted under the condition that the fertilisers are exported to a third country to promote food security. The Ministry has endeavoured to ensure that this condition is met by including in its authorisation special conditions that relate to the confirmation of the fertilizers destination.
When processing the request for authorisation, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs consulted the European Commission as required by EU sanctions regulations.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs estimates that the ship loaded with the fertilisers may leave the Port of Kotka within the next few days and no later than within a week. The time of departure depends on the purchaser of the fertilisers performing the measures required in the authorisation.
- Pia Sarivaara, Head of the Sanctions Team, Unit for Public International Law, Legal Service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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