Goods that have not been cleared within the prescribed time limit

Undeclared goods in temporary storage must be placed under a customs procedure or re-exported within 90 days of their presentation of goods to customs. The time limit cannot be extended. The temporary storage operator

When does the time limit start to run?

The time limit for temporary storage starts to run when a summary declaration has been lodged for the goods and they have been presented to customs.

  • If the goods arrive by sea, air or rail and an entry summary declaration or a summary declaration has been lodged for them upon arrival: the time limit starts to run when a manifest presentation has been lodged for the goods or they have been presented to customs on the land border.
  • If the goods arrive under transit: the time limit starts to run when Customs has issued an unloading permit for the goods.

Example 1: The goods arrive by sea from Norway at the port of Oulu on 15 February. The representative of the shipping company submitted the entry summary declaration to Customs’ system on 14 February. When the vessel arrives at the port of Oulu on 15 February, its representative lodges a manifest presentation for the goods. A manifest presentation accepted by Customs is also a permit to unload the vessel. The operator unloads the goods into the temporary storage facility whose warehouse ID is indicated in the manifest presentation. The goods can wait for placing under a customs procedure or re-export for 90 days under temporary storage, in this case until 15 May.

Example 2: The goods arrive under T1 transit from the Netherlands. The car arrives at the temporary storage facility of the authorised consignee on 15 February. The temporary storage sends an arrival message to Customs’ transit system. The same day Customs replies by sending an unloading permission message. The temporary storage operator unloads the goods into their temporary storage facility and makes the entries in the storage records. The authorised consignee has three days to send an unloading report message to Customs. However, the time limit for customs clearance, 90 days, already starts to run on 15 February, and the goods must be placed under a customs procedure or re-exported by 15 May.

Customs may impose a customs duty surcharge or penalty fee on the party that clears the goods through customs late.

Points to consider

Goods in temporary storage must be cleared through customs in one of the following ways:

  • placing under a customs procedure
  • re-export from the Union
  • destruction under customs supervision
  • abandonment.

Where possible, the temporary storage operator must notify the consignee of the goods early enough of the arrival of the goods, so that the consignee can clear the goods through customs within the given time limit.


The temporary storage operator must keep a list of all the goods declared with a summary declaration that haven’t been placed under a customs procedure or re-exported within the given time limit. The list must be submitted for every calendar month, by the 10th day of the following month to the customs office that supervises the operative activity of the temporary storage facility. Customs may impose a penalty fee if the temporary storage operator doesn’t keep such a list or doesn’t submit it to Customs.

The list must contain the following information:

  • name and Business ID of the temporary storage operator as well as the warehouse ID
  • contact information of the temporary storage operator
  • date
  • consignor and consignee of the goods, if known
  • goods description
  • MRN and goods item number of the summary declaration
  • separate warehouse deposit number, if used
  • reference and date of the document ending temporary storage, if the time limit for customs clearance has been exceeded during the period the list covers and if the goods have then been cleared.

If the goods haven’t been cleared through customs within the given time limit, Customs must take measures to regularise the situation, including sale of the goods. The temporary storage operator stores the goods in their own facilities and delivers the goods to be sold at a customs auction to Customs, when a date has been agreed on.

If the goods can’t be sold at a customs auction e.g. because of import restrictions, the condition of the goods, missing documents or some other reason, they must be destroyed under customs supervision. The holder of the goods, i.e. the party that has declared the goods for destruction, is responsible for the costs of destroying and moving the goods. The temporary storage operator is ultimately responsible for the costs of destroying and moving the goods.  As the holder of the goods, the temporary storage operator is responsible for the goods during the transport.


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