Berlin will push for the action to be a key part of an 11th EU sanctions package targeting Moscow following a 10th round to be announced Friday, the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Export data has shown that embargoed goods are still arriving in Russia through third-party states despite the sanctions, the ministry said.
Under its proposal, companies would have to submit declaration forms detailing the end use of exports to third-party nations of goods that are key for the “Russian war machine”.
“We are working together with our partners to ensure that deliberate violations of the obligation to submit truthful end-use declarations would in future be a criminal offence throughout Europe,” according to the proposal seen by AFP.
Discussions are ongoing within the bloc to prevent certain companies in third countries from receiving sanctioned goods.
Further, Berlin wants companies or individuals to themselves land on a sanctions list if they aid Moscow in circumventing embargoes.
“Foreign trade data available to us indicate that a considerable amount of EU sanctioned goods are exported from the EU, and therefore also from Germany to certain third countries, and then from there further exported to Russia,” the ministry said in the proposal.
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“Even if we don’t have all the data, we must together counter these circumventing activities in a more effective way than before — on the national and EU levels.”
Economy Minister Robert Habeck noted that in some countries, the number of items like trucks or pickups imported from Europe has been stable for years, but “all of a sudden it goes steeply upwards with the start of the war”.
He told the broadcasters RTL and NTV that a declaration on the final destination of such goods could help EU nations check if the products remained in the third countries or if they were later moved on to other sites.