Frequently asked questions

This is our FAQ page.
You can browse the most popular topics or write your question in the field below.

Import

Send the application for a revised decision to the Customs registry office by e-mail to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi or by post to Finnish Customs, Applications for a revised import decision, P.O. Box 512, 00100 Helsinki.

You can apply using the following customs forms:

  • customs form 643s or 643r (application for repayment/remission of customs duty, in Finnish or Swedish)
  • 99s or 99r (Amendment notification leading to post-clearance recovery, in Finnish or Swedish. You can also apply for repayment using this form)

or

  • a free-form application containing the required or similar details as well as any other necessary information.

Read more:

 


You can make a new (replacement) customs clearance for the right customer. Use the same tax determination date in the replacement clearance as in the original customs clearance. Send an invalidation request of the incorrect customs clearance to the Customs Registry Office

You can lodge an express claim if the customs invoice relating to the incorrect customs clearance decision has not yet been paid and there is at least seven days until the invoice is due. If the due date has already passed, both invoices have to be paid and a repayment can be applied for retrospectively.

Read more: Express claims

 


You can enquire about the matter by contacting the Customs registry office by email to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi, or by phoning 0295 527 000. The registry office will tell you the date when Customs received your claim for a revised decision, that is, the date when the application became pending.

Please note that the processing of your application takes about three months.


If the customs clearance was done by an agent on your behalf, ask the agent for the customs clearance decision. If you did the customs clearance yourself using our Import Declaration Service, log in to the service using the same online banking ID.
As soon as you have agreed to the terms of use, the Front page opens and you can print out the customs clearance decision.

According to the terms of use of the Import Declaration Service, a private person is responsible for keeping a file of the customs clearance documents for the current year + for 3 years following the customs clearance, and businesses, in turn, for the current year + for 6 years following the customs clearance. You may be asked to show the documents to Customs.


The refund may not yet show on your bank account when you receive the decision, as it may take a few days for the funds to be transferred to your account.


You can apply for repayment of the import duties and taxes if, for example, you have cancelled the purchase and sent the goods back to the seller outside the EU or if the value of the goods was incorrectly declared.

Read more: Returns, repairs and replacements

 


Applications are processed in order of receipt. Applications for a revised decision that are sent in by private persons take about two months to process from the date when they become pending.
The processing time for applications sent by businesses is slightly longer: about four months from registering the case as pending.
If you haven’t received a decision within the average processing times, you can enquire about your case from the Customs registry office at kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi or 0295 527 000. Please try to avoid unnecessary queries, as they cause delays to the processing of the applications.


You can lodge an express claim if the customs invoice relating to the customs clearance decision has not yet been paid and there is at least seven days until the invoice is due. Only applications for lowering of the taxes can be processed as express claims. Applications involving requests for subsequent recovery and changes to the commodity code cannot be processed as express claims.

Read more: Express claims

 


Export

An indirect representative has the responsibility of a goods holder. This means that the representative (usually a forwarding agency) is responsible for the information in the export declaration to the same extent as the exporter is responsible for its own export declarations when independently seeing to export clearance.

A direct representative has the responsibility of an agent. This means that the agent is responsible for the correctness of information to the best of its (expected) knowledge.


An export cargo that exits the EU territory loses its Union status. Therefore, an advance declaration on arrival must be provided for the returned cargo and it must undergo customs clearance.

If the goods are returned in the same condition as they were in when they were exported, they can be cleared for import as returned goods at the customer’s request, in which case it is not necessary to pay any possible EU import duties for them. However, the goods are subject to value added tax if they are sold free of VAT.

In connection with import clearance, Customs must be presented with form No. 348 concerning the returned goods, as well as a certification of exit.

If a product taken outside the EU is returned to Finland temporarily, for example for reparation, the company responsible for the reparation can clear the goods for import under the inward processing procedure.


The location of the goods is to be stated as an official address, for example, “Rahtikuja 3 B, Vaasa, Finland”.


The goods must be cleared for export in Germany if they do not physically exit Finland for export. The exporter can be a Finnish company, but the German authorities may require that the exporter is registered in Germany.


Statistics

Customs has occasionally published a review of Finland’s international trade indicating the shares of Finnish regions in the total export volume. You can download the latest review (only in Finnish) here.


Finnish Customs’ international trade statistics are published on the “International trade statistics” page. The page contains the latest statistical publications and reviews. The page also contains information on statistics compilation practices, the publication schedule for statistics, and complete statistical graphs. The chart page contains complete Excel charts on Finland’s imports and exports according to, for example, commodity group and country.

The detailed international trade statistics of Finnish Customs can be obtained from Uljas, the distribution system for international trade statistics. The database can be used free of charge and it does not require registration.


You can make a normal Intrastat declaration on such a consignment for the month from where the consignment is missing. Additional declarations do not substitute previously sent declarations, which means that a company can submit several declarations per month. Additional declarations can be made until mid-August of the year following the statistical reference year.


Companies do not need to register as Intrastat declarants themselves. If the threshold of the obligation to declare statistical data for imports is met, Customs notifies the company of this obligation. Similarly, Customs notifies companies of the obligation to provide data for exports.


Customs keeps track of the Community trade of companies obliged to provide information through VAT and statistics information. If the company’s total annual exports stay below the threshold value, Customs regards the company’s obligation to provide information as expired, and informs the company of this with a letter. In practice, this takes place in the spring based on the information of the entire preceding year.


Corrections of declarations can be made until mid-August of the year following the statistical reference year.


Transactions with Customs

The guarantee categories for comprehensive guarantee require a guarantee for the customs liability as follows:

  • In guarantee category BA (100 %), BB (50 %), BC (30 %) and BD (0 %).

The guarantee category for customs liability is determined when the customer uses transit, warehousing or other special import procedures.

Things that affect the guarantee category are: the customer’s equity ratio, payment behaviour and special requirements regarding the guarantee category, such as requirements regarding sufficient funds, records and internal audit.


The guarantee category of the customs debt regarding comprehensive guarantee is AB for AEO operators and AA for other operators.

In guarantee category AA the amount of guarantee required for customs debt is 100 % and for value added tax it is 0 % (guarantee valid only in Finland) or 100 % for both customs and value added tax debt (EU-wide guarantee).

An authorised economic operator (AEO) is entitled to a reduction of the guarantee. The guarantee required for customs debt is 30 % and for value added tax it is 0 % (guarantee valid only in Finland) or 30 % for both customs and value added tax debt (EU-wide guarantee).


Customers, registered before 1 May 2016, do not have to do anything regarding the renewal of authorisations or guarantees. Customs will contact customers for the renewal of authorisations during the transitional period (estimated until 30 April 2019).

Read more: Guarantees

 


Registration as an export customer is worthwhile, as Customs can process electronic declarations as smoothly as possible.

Upon registration, Customs enters the name and address details of the company in its customer register along with any possible information on authorisations. When a company submits an electronic export declaration into Customs’ export system, the system processes the declaration faster, as the information is already in the customer register.

Registration is obligatory if the company lodges more than four export declarations per year.

EORI registration can also be done in connection with registration as an export customer. An EORI number is obligatory if the exporter lodges more than four export declarations per year.


Åland

You are allowed to bring in two litres of beer free of tax from or to the Åland Islands. Otherwise, the same quantity limitations that apply to imports from outside the EU also apply to imports from Åland, as well as from the Canary Islands.

Read more: Bringing back alcohol

 


There are no quantitative restrictions on alcohol released for consumption (i.e. taxes have been paid).

Tax-free import allowances on alcohol bought from a tax-free shop are 1 litre of strong alcoholic beverages (over 22%) or 2 litres of other alcoholic beverages (max 22 %), 4 litres of still wine and 2 litres of beer.

Read more: Bringing alcohol from your trip


Authorisations

Customers, registered before 1 May 2016, do not have to do anything regarding the renewal of authorisations or guarantees. Customs will contact customers for the renewal of authorisations during the transitional period (estimated until 30 April 2019).

Read more: Guarantees

 


Guarantees

If the guarantee provided is less than the amount of customs duty to be levied, the company’s own credit number cannot be used to clear the goods through customs. You can request that the forwarding agency uses their own credit number to handle the customs clearance transaction, thus the guarantee reservations are aimed at the representatives guarantee. You can also increase the amount of guarantee yourself by delivering an additional guarantee (see accepted types of guarantees).

Read more: Guarantees

 


The reference amount for the transit procedure is the maximum amount of unpaid customs duty and tax liability (customs duty, Value added tax and excise duty).


The reference amount of the end-use procedure is the maximum amount of unlevied import duties for goods simultaneously under the procedure. Unlevied customs duties upon import means the difference between the uncollected general customs duty and the reduced rate of duty for end-use.


The reference amount for inward processing or temporary admission is the maximum amount of customs debt (customs liability) to be collected for goods simultaneously under a procedure.


The warehouse reference amount, i.e. the amount of liability regarding customs duties and taxes, is generally determined based on the maximum value of the stored goods. In the reference amount, the default liability for value added tax is 24 % and for customs duties it is 6 %. If the warehouse contains only one type of product or a few types of products, the reference amount can be determined according to actual tax and customs duty rates. The reference amount will also include any possible excise duties. As concerns excise duties, 30 % of their average value will be taken into account in the reference amount.


Transport and warehousing

The warehouse reference amount, i.e. the amount of liability regarding customs duties and taxes, is generally determined based on the maximum value of the stored goods. In the reference amount, the default liability for value added tax is 24 % and for customs duties it is 6 %. If the warehouse contains only one type of product or a few types of products, the reference amount can be determined according to actual tax and customs duty rates. The reference amount will also include any possible excise duties. As concerns excise duties, 30 % of their average value will be taken into account in the reference amount.


All goods brought into the country must be presented to Customs. Transports arriving by road are presented to Customs, or else the transport operator submits an electronic manifest presentation to Customs. If the undeclared goods are subsequently unloaded into a temporary storage facility, you have 90 days from the date of the manifest presentation, i.e. about three months, to decide what you aim to do with the goods. You can for instance re-export the goods out of the EU or clear them through Customs into Finland.

Please note that 90 days is the maximum time provided by law, and some of the temporary storage keepers apply a shorter time limit.


Import Declaration Service

The consignment must be cleared through Customs. Read more about Customs clearance of a postal parcel after delivery

Customers in Åland are requested to contact Customs in Mariehamn for further information on how to clear undeclared postal parcels through customs.

Please note that you cannot use the Import Declaration Service to clear an undeclared postal parcel, which has been delivered directly to your company. A request for post-clearance must be made for the consignment in accordance with the instructions mentioned above.


The EU has a customs union agreement with Turkey which involves the import and trade in most so-called industrial products. Industrial products imported from Turkey are entitled to duty-free treatment if the goods have been in free circulation in Turkey. The country of origin of the products is irrelevant. Justification for duty-free treatment of customs union products upon import, is proven with an A.TR. goods certificate.

Read more on preferential treatment
Instructions on completing the customs declaration


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