Russian cars will be stopped and turned around if attempting to enter Finland after September 15. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Finland bans entry of Russian cars

The ban enters force from midnight. Norway is now the only country allowing Russian vehicles with less than 10 seats to enter.
сентября 15, 2023


Finland follows the Baltic countries that earlier this week decided to ban Russian cars from entry.

The move comes after the European Commission on September 8 published a policy update underlining that sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine include a ban on cars with Russian registration plates from entering the EU.

If vehicles are a taxi, a private vehicle, or a car used for commercial purposes is not relevant, the European Commission underlined.

From now on, only minibusses with more than 10 seats, larger buses, or cargo trucks are allowed to cross the border.

«Exception is also made for diplomatic cars and vehicles in humanitarian transport,» Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen said a press conference in Helsinki Friday afternoon.

She said the ban comes into force from Midnight on September 15.

Russian registered cars already in Finland will have to leave the country within six months.


As reported by the Barents Observer on Thursday, Norway is also considering a ban as the country follows most of the same sanctions imposed on Russia, although is not a member of the European Union.

“We have taken note of the statement by the European Commission, and its interpretation, and are looking more closely at what this will mean for Norwegian regulations,” says spokesperson with the Foreign Ministry in Oslo, Ragnhild I. Simenstad, told the Barents Observer.

With the Norway-Russia border still open for private cars, a question arises on how to control the borders between Norway and Finnish Lapland. There are today six cross-border roads, with only random Customs checks.

This summer has seen an increase in traffic from Russia to Norway and many arriving in cars are using Norway as transit to Finland or other European destinations. 


TRAFFIC CONTINUES: Storskog checkpoint on Norway’s border with Russia in the north. Photo: Thomas Nilsen


The Barents Observer is aware of disagreements within the Norwegian Government on how to react to the European Commission’s recent sanctions policy update telling member states to ban the entry of Russian cars. 

Finland’s decision on Friday doesn’t make the question less urgent for Oslo. The Norway dilemma was also mentioned at the Foreign Ministry press conference in Helsinki.



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