Luxury cars pile up at Zeebrugge

Because one of the EU sanctions imposed on Russia from mid-March was a ban on the supply of luxury cars (those valued at more than €50,000), the port of Zeebrugge, one of the most important ro-ro ports, through which a lot of luxury cars make their way to Russia, has experienced an accumulation of luxury cars with nowhere to go.

Since the imposition of the ban, Zebrugge has received around 8,000 luxury cars for transshipment to Russia. Even though these cars were not made in the EU, the vehicles are currently in Europe. The local ports were therefore not sure how to correctly interpret and enforce the EU “luxury car export ban” sanctions.

Marc Adriansens, Director of the port’s International Car operators terminal, said that they received instructions from customs officials stating that the cars could not leave the area.

The problem was likely to be temporary, because the market for luxury cars in Russia was modest, and elsewhere in the world there was a shortage. The manufacturers were likely to reroute the cars, eventually, but in the interim, Zeebrugge port is something of a giant luxury car showroom.