EU bans luxury motorcycle exports to Russia with immediate effect

On March 15, 2022, the European Union formally enacted additional trade restrictions on exports to Russia, in light of the latter country’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This includes a ban on the export of motorcycles and/or European parts with a value of more than 5,000 euros. The measure is part of a list of prohibitions and additional restrictions imposed on Russia as it continues this war.

The pronouncement of the motorcycle, as well as all the other decisions rendered at the same time, were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 15 March 2022. According to EU governance rules, this posting means that these rules entered into force immediately as of this date of posting.

The new rules address concerns in the energy sector, the import of steel products originating in or exported from Russia, and issues regarding European luxury goods and their export to Russia. Credit rating activities and services relating to Russia are also affected.

Back to motorcycles, though. As you might have already guessed, motorcycles are specifically on the “luxury goods” list. Other luxury items listed include caviar, horses, truffles, wines, cigars, perfumes, clothing, jewelry, precious metals and stones, electronics, and yachts.

Motorcycles aren’t the only vehicles banned from export, of course. The title of the list of prohibited products in this category specifies a prohibition for EU countries to export “vehicles, with the exception of ambulances, for the transport of persons by land, air or sea from a value exceeding EUR 50,000 each, cable cars, chair lifts, drag lifts, traction mechanisms for funiculars, motorbikes with a value exceeding EUR 5,000 each, as well as their accessories and spare parts.

It then lists the equipment subsystems related to these vehicles, as well as the vehicles themselves. The entry for motorcycles states the official definition as follows: “Motorcycles (including mopeds) and cycles fitted with an auxiliary engine, with or without sidecars; sidecars.

Also, some subsystems, such as transmissions, are listed in their own entries in great detail. Since there are so many parts to cover, there is also an extremely broad and unspecific entry that simply reads “Parts”, presumably to cover anything not listed in detail in another entry.

Some individual companies have already taken steps to stop exports to Russia on their own, including Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha and Polaris. BMW also officially halted exports in all segments of its business, including motorcycles and cars, ahead of this EU export ban. Tire maker Bridgestone has also halted export and production in Russia.

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