International Sanctions and Sending Goods Overseas
Can I send a parcel to Belarus?
Wey Group International prides itself on flexibility and being able to overcome logistical barriers that some of the larger courier providers are unable to do.
Due to WGI’s customer focus business model, extensive knowledge, and contacts in the international courier community, they market themselves on their adaptability. In fact, a large proportion of WGI’s customers emanate from a single or group of shipments that they are struggling to get sent with their current provider so they shop around and discover WGI’s capabilities. Need a mechanical piece taken to Spain today? sure we can do that; a document to a remote Vietnamese territory island? no problem. However sometimes despite best efforts, there is just nothing that can be done due to International sanctions.
What are International Sanctions?
International sanctions are political and economic actions that are part of diplomatic efforts by individual countries or multilateral/regional organisations against states, institutions or individuals either to protect national security interests, or to protect international law, and to defend against threats on international peace and security. The actions primarily include the temporary imposition of restriction measures which target economic, diplomatic, cultural or trade functions.
International sanctions are something the majority of us are familiar with from the news but not something we ever have to think about in our working life. However, what happens when you get a customer in Belarus wanting to buy your Etsy goods or your manager asks you to send a contract to Iran? All of a sudden you can be faced with a minefield of complex information and red tape and it can be so difficult to find a solid answer and information. Political situations are ever-changing and the UK not only imposes its own sanctions on specific companies/persons but it also collaborates with organisations like the UN and allied countries such as France or the USA.
To put you out of your misery, yes, right now on the day of writing this article, (3rd June 2021) you can send most items to Belarus however this is a situation that could change at any point and there are currently specific restrictions in place for certain goods;
On 23 May 2021 a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was diverted while in Belarusian airspace following a reported security alert on board. The aircraft was escorted into Minsk International Airport by the Belarusian Air Force. After a number of hours on the ground in Minsk, the aircraft was allowed to leave and continue to Vilnius.
On 24 May 2021 the UK government issued an advisory notice to strongly advise all UK airlines to cease overflights of Belarusian airspace. The operating permit of the Belarusian airline Belavia to fly between the UK and Belarus has been suspended. This means there will no longer be any direct flights from Belarus to the UK. All Belarusian airlines have been banned from entering UK airspace without prior authorisation. On 25 May the European Union agreed to ban the overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines. The Ukrainian Government has also banned overflight of its airspace by Belarusian airlines.
Currently there is permitted travel via land borders and freight is able to move into the country but with the UN and neighbouring countries threatening tougher restrictions this will certainly be one to watch and we would always advise checking with your courier provider before making any assertions to your consignee.
For countries subject to sanctions, which currently includes belarus, there are specific restrictions in place on sending certain types of goods. These are often goods that can be used for military or dual-use purposes. If you are sending goods to any sanctioned country you must make sure you are allowed to send the item. More information can be found via the UK Gov page; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-sanctions
Please note that none of the above is intended as legal advice and is not to be seen as an exhaustive description of the sanctions rules that may apply to your company or any items you may be sending.