Oral export declaration

An export declaration can be given orally instead of electronically for instance concerning:

  • an export consignment worth a maximum of 1,000 euros and with a net weight of no more than 1,000 kilograms
  • an export consignment worth a maximum of 1,000 euros exported permanently by post and which export is not restricted
  • a tax-free export consignment worth a maximum of 1,000 euros and with a net weight of no more than 1,000 kilograms transported to a vessel in international traffic (ship supplies)
  • non-commercial goods brought in by a traveller
  • a means of transport registered within the Union customs territory and intended for re-importation; including its spare parts and accessories
  • pallets and containers intended for re-importation; including spare parts and accessories.

The oral declaration can only be given at the last customs office before exiting the EU. Regarding an export consignment worth a maximum of 1,000 euros and weighing no more than 1,000 kilograms, a trade invoice must be presented to Finnish Customs at the last customs office as a supporting document to the oral export declaration. Observe that the last customs office is not always the same as the customs office of exit; for example, when goods are transported out of the Union with one transport agreement, then the customs office of exit can, upon request, be the departure point, but the oral declaration procedure cannot be used there.

If the same transport contains more than four consignments worth a maximum of 1,000 euros, then normal electronic declarations have to be submitted for each consignment.

When can a declaration not be submitted orally?

An oral declaration cannot be submitted for:

  • a goods consignment, where an export refund for agricultural products has been applied for
  • a goods consignment for which an authorisation or licence must be presented upon export
  • goods for which export is prohibited or restricted
  • an export consignment under the excise duty exemption system
  • goods declared under a special procedure, for example when goods are exported to be repaired
  • re-exportation of goods declared under a special procedure (exceptions for goods re-exported after temporary admission, when the goods have been declared orally upon import).

Electronic export declarations must always be submitted in the aforementioned cases.

Customs does not make any entries into the presented documents, nor does it provide a certification of exit for goods exported based on an oral declaration.

  • The exporter must submit an electronic export declaration if a certification of exit, which shows tax-free sales is required for their accounts.
  • As subsequent proof, the exporter can e.g. use a report from the transport company. This report should clearly show that the goods have exited the EU territory.

More information from the Tax Administration’s instruction “Value added tax on export trade”  (in Finnish). An export declaration can always be submitted electronically instead of orally.

The oral declaration procedure is not implemented on tax-free sales to travellers.

Points to consider

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