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Russian customs service suggests criminal liability for importing sanctioned goods

August 20, 2015, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Administrative liability for committing such offenses is insufficient, the customs service said

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Customs Service (FCS) suggests to impose criminal liability for illegally importing sanctioned food and agricultural products to Russia, a document published on the official portal of legislative acts said on Thursday.

"The aim of the draft law is to classify sanctioned products as strategically important… which will allow to introduce criminal liability for illegal import of sanctioned goods to the Russian Federation," the document said.

FCS said that customs authorities still uncover cases of illegal transportation of sanctioned goods despite the restrictions that Russia imposed on importing agricultural products, food and raw materials from several countries. However, administrative liability for committing such offenses is insufficient, the customs service said. Most cases on violating restrictions on importing food from some countries is only punished by a fine of 100,000-300,000 rubles (from $1,484 to $4,452 at the current exchange rate) for legal entities.

If the draft law is adopted, the document may enter into force in May 2016.

On July 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordered the Federal Customs Service, agriculture watchdog and consumer rights watchdog to destroy all products on its sanctions list the moment they enter Russian territory.

Russia’s counter-sanctions cover the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway and 28 member states of the European Union. Last week, Moscow added Albania, Montenegro, Liechtenstein and Iceland to the list of countries from which it has banned food imports.

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