The euro is prohibited

Recently, the District Court of Frankfurt am Main considered a case of illegal import of cash euros into Russia [1].

A citizen of Kyrgyzstan flew from Frankfurt am Main via Istanbul and Moscow to Kaliningrad for medical treatment. To this end, he was carrying 11,000 euros in cash. During customs control at the airport almost all the money was confiscated, leaving only 500 euros for personal needs of the accused.

The court confirmed the lawfulness of the customs' actions and explained that the exception allowing cash to be brought into Russia for personal needs should be interpreted narrowly and covers only transportation and food expenses during the trip according to the average standard, so an amount of 500 euros is quite sufficient. Money for medical treatment does not belong to personal needs. In addition to the confiscation of the money, the offender was also fined 4,500 euro.

As a reminder, it is currently prohibited to export cash in euros from the European Union to the territory of the Russian Federation. The exception is money for personal use of citizens travelling to Russia or members of their families travelling with them [2].

At the same time, the EU legislation does not regulate the amount of currency allowed for export. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, in case of doubt, travellers must convincingly justify (for example, on the basis of hotel reservations) the need to export a specific amount of cash at the EU external border. Polish and Lithuanian border guards check very careful, though not systematically, the validity of euro currency exports when crossing the border with Kaliningrad. Thus, some time ago Lithuanian border guards limited export of euro to Russia to 60 euro per person.

[1] District court of Frankfurt am Main, judgment of 31.01.2023, file number 943 Ds 7140 Js 235012/22; Keine Ausnahme vom Bargeld-Ausfuhrverbot nach Russland für geplante medizinische Behandlungen | Ordentliche Gerichtsbarkeit Hessen

[2] Art. 5i of Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 of 31 July 2014