EU sanction ban on Russian petroleum products enters into force

Tank cars carrying oil.
Tank cars carrying oil. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

New European Union sanctions introduced at the weekend will limit the amount of petroleum products consumers can buy, import, and deliver from Russia. This will not have a big impact on the Estonian economy.

So far, restrictions have only applied to crude oil but these were widened on Sunday.

Products that trade above the price of crude oil, such as diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, are capped at $100 per barrel and those trading below will have a ceiling of $45 per barrel, Politico Europe reported.

A person will only be able to bring a maximum of a car tank's worth of fuel back from Russia, Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.

"From 6 February, it is prohibited to buy, import and deliver petroleum products which originate in Russia, " said Piret Tinkus, head of the prohibitions and restrictions division of the customs security area at the customs department of the Tax and Customs Board.

The Russian border in Ivan-Gorod. Source: Dmitri Fedotkin/ERR

"The list of prohibited goods also includes fuel used for consumption in motor vehicles. It is estimated that today, on the first crossing into Estonia, approximately 80 percent of passenger cars are accompanied by a 10-liter canister of fuel in addition to the fuel in the car's standard fuel tank."

A resident of the European Union has the right to purchase fuel from Russia if it is necessary for completing the trip and returning to the territory of the European Union. 

Tinkus said this means that the driver has the right to import fuel that is in the vehicle's standard fuel tank and intended for use in the same vehicle.

"It is prohibited to bring fuel purchased from Russia in a fuel canister into the European Union, as it is not considered necessary for basic needs, including completion of the trip," she said.

The ban uniformly applies upon entering all Baltic countries and Finland from Russia. Read the guidance from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board here.

Circle K gas station. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Bank of Estonia's Peeter Luikmel said this is the first successful attempt to impose a price cap on Russian oil production, including diesel.

Luikmel believes the cap will be further reduced in the near future, pushing Russian trade negotiators into a difficult situation.

"Most importantly, the reality is that even those countries with which Russia still trades oil know quite clearly that price caps are in place, and are likely to be lowered in the coming months, and Russia is therefore finding it increasingly difficult to conclude long-term agreements with its so-called friendly countries," he told AK.

Estonia's economy will not be directly affected by the new sanctions as a ban on importing Russian oil products has been in effect for domestic companies since December.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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