top of page

Border control has been strengthened

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

Customs officers of European countries have started rejecting trucks carrying goods destined for Belarus and Russia

According to experts from the risk assessment company Corisk, approximately 10 billion euros' worth of goods transited through Belarus to Russia alone between 2022 and 2023. However, it will now be more challenging to do so.

Since July 3, 2023, Lithuania has tightened border controls on the movement of sanctioned goods. Lithuanian customs officers now require carriers to present a special document issued by the manufacturer for the export and re-export of goods. This means that manufacturers will be required to have knowledge of and control over the movement of the goods they produce.

On July 4, 2023, we sent a separate letter to the Ministries of Foreign and Internal Affairs of Poland, proposing the adoption of similar measures. These proposals were subsequently forwarded to the Polish Ministry of Finance. We also reiterated these proposals in various meetings with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Furthermore, on December 11 last year, we met with the EU Special Envoy for Sanctions in Brussels to discuss the sanctions pressure on the Lukashenko regime, including the issues related to circumventing the imposed restrictions and measures to address them.

Meanwhile, such measures have been introduced and harmonized at the individual country level. On January 26, 2024, the heads of customs of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia approved the agreement of the Baltic region on the implementation of common control measures.

What do these measures entail? Now, when cargo travels from Europe through Belarus and Russia, it is subject to additional controls, and additional documents are required:

  1. Cargo at the border with Belarus must have a "manufacturer's declaration." This means that European customs officers will require an additional document issued by the manufacturer of the sanctioned product.

  2. Carriers must demonstrate that the cargo will not remain in Belarus and Russia. Violating this rule will result in liability for both the manufacturer and the carrier, including potential criminal liability.

On February 15, 2024, we discussed Poland's participation in the sanctions control mechanism with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland. During a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 22, we received confirmation that Poland has joined this mechanism.

As a result, Poland has joined the sanctions control measures in which the Baltic countries are participating. This development signifies the formation of a unified mechanism for customs control over sanctions at the EU-Belarus border.




bottom of page