LTG Cargo suspends luxury cars re-export amid fear of sanction violation
Lithuania’s national rail freight company LTG Cargo will stop re-exporting luxury cars to third countries from 1 December. From now until then, these services will be subject to enhanced checks. The decision was taken among worries that these vehicles might be shipped to Russia, which is a violation of the current EU sanctions on Moscow.
LTG Cargo’s suspicions led to an internal investigation into 447 shipments of luxury cars, as Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT mentioned. Out of these, it turned out that 75 were registered in Russia, 55 entered Russia through third countries, and no data was available for the remaining vehicles. The third countries mentioned by LTG Cargo that might be involved in this scheme include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan.
LTG’s quest to comply with EU sanctions
According to LRT, LTG said it would reject all applications for shipments of cars valued over 50,000 euros. The company said that re-exports of luxury cars through the countries mentioned above rose in 2022, which is when the EU imposed sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Concerns about the possible involvement of Belarus in sanction-circumventing schemes were brought to light by LTG Cargo already in February.
A month after, the company introduced new regulations asking customers to provide additional documentation for cargo moved along broad gauge infrastructure. During the first month of implementing this new rule, LTG Cargo rejected over 500 rail transport applications, most of which came from Belarus. However, it now seems that more countries and companies (LRT mentioned four) may be involved in such initiatives.