Sanctions updates / 15 Aug 2014

SANCTIONS UPDATE – Recent Developments in Russia Regarding the Sanctions and Russia’s Actions to Deal with the Shortage of Food Products

On 8 August the Federal Customs Service of Russia stated that the customs authorities had been instructed to check carefully whether imported goods comply with the Russian sanctions. Several trucks have already been detained following such checks. The sanctions do not apply to individuals transferring goods for private consumption.

On 10 August Russia identified new suppliers of products that will replace those included on the “black list”. Following this decision, Chinese company Baozhun has stated that it plans to open the site for direct supplies of fruits and vegetables to Russia.

 China and Russia have officially introduced a regime of reciprocal recognition regarding customs control results. Therefore certain types of goods may easily be transported from China to Russia and vice versa. Such goods now include Chinese fruits and vegetables and Russian timber. The Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service is negotiating with potential product suppliers. It has also held meetings and telephone conversations with representatives from both Latin America and Turkey. Russia also plans to increase the amount of imported fruits and vegetables from Egypt. In his speech to the media, Vladimir Putin stated that the member states of the Customs Union are considering the possibility of the creation of a free trade area with Egypt.

 The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, has stated in the media that Belarus will support the sanctions introduced by Russia. He mentioned that Belarus will stop the transit of “banned” goods from the EU. Russia intends to strengthen control on the border between Belarus and Russia to prevent illegal transit. Two additional customs points on the border with Belarus have been organized and are now fully operational.

 It appears that the Russian customs authorities will not issue the previously planned act explaining how the import ban will work in practice. Importing companies may address the Russian customs authorities with particular questions on implementation of the ban.

 Seed potato, food supplements and fish juveniles are expected to be allowed for import. Such exceptions may be made due to constant addresses to the authorities by agricultural manufacturers and due to Russia’s dependence on such products.


Additional information

Andrei Gusev (Russia)
Ulla von Weissenberg (Finland)
Jarno Vanto
(New York)

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