Estonia has blocked the export of bearings to Russia for military purposes
The Tax and Customs Board prevented the shipment of ball bearings that could be used in the military industry from being exported to Russia.
According to ERR.ee, the truck carrying the goods was detained at the Koidula border crossing in Virumaa at the end of May. The driver provided the necessary documents for crossing the border, but customs officials noticed some inaccuracies and suspected that the goods being transported might be subject to sanctions. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the truck was attempting to transport 7,841 ball bearings, 215 ball bearing cases, and 2,106 other bearings across the border. The export of these items to the Russian Federation is prohibited due to sanctions.
Bearings are widely used in engineering, metallurgy, automation, as well as in the military industry. According to Ants Kutt, the head of the external border activity sector, attempts to declare ball bearings have not been registered at the border since the imposition of sanctions. This incident is the first of its kind on the Estonian-Russian border, and the truck driver was turned back from the border.
The Tax and Customs Board reminds individuals and companies to carefully comply with trade restrictions and international rules to ensure smooth border crossings.
Despite the ten packages of sanctions, Estonia's exports to Russia increased by 17 million euros in March compared to the same period last year. The increase is attributed to inflation, with the quantity of goods remaining roughly the same while prices have risen. Additionally, a significant portion of the exported products are re-exports, meaning they are not of Estonian origin. In March, 77% of exports to Russia consisted of foreign products imported into Estonia and subsequently re-exported to Russia. Only 23% of all goods sent to Russia were made in Estonia.
The European Union has currently implemented ten packages of sanctions against Russia due to its aggression towards Ukraine. The G7 countries considered a complete ban on exports to Russia but decided to refrain from this idea. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is urging Estonian businessmen to refrain from trading with the aggressor country.