Ordering goods online
The change is related to the comprehensive reform of the Tobacco act aimed at implementing the new Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).
The legislation was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health which is entrusted with the general administration and steering related to the Tobacco Act. The Tobacco Act (549/2016) enacted by the Parliament of Finland entered into force on 15 August 2016. The Tobacco Act provides that Customs is the executive authority responsible for supervising compliance with import prohibitions and restrictions enacted in the Tobacco Act. Customs is also responsible for carrying out inspections and performing controls on intra-EU movements, as well as on imports from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland.
The recipient of a consignment is always responsible for clearing the goods through Customs.
If you have a Finnish personal ID number and Finnish online banking IDs, we recommend that you use our Import Declaration Service, free of charge 24 hours a day. You save time and effort when you do not have to visit a customs office.
Apart from online banking IDs for online customs clearance, you will need the order confirmation or the invoice for your purchase, as well as the data on the notification of arrival, which is also available at Posti’s item tracking service.
You can clear your postal consignment as soon as the item tracking service displays a notification saying that the delivery has arrived at the customs warehouse. You have to carry out customs clearance within 20 days of the arrival date. You can also wait for the notification of arrival from Posti.
If the combined value of the goods in a consignment does not exceed 22 euros or the consignment is a gift from a private individual and not worth more than 45 euros, you do not (with some exceptions) have to fill in a customs declaration or pay any taxes. The recipient does have to send an order confirmation or a report regarding the gift and its worth, as well as the arrival ID and contact information, by e-mail to lentoposti(at)tulli.fi for the consignment to be released.
Observe that if you have ordered something from a private person, this does not constitute a gift, but trade.
- When the total value of the goods in a consignment without the transport costs is no more than 22 euros, the consignment is free of VAT. However, this value limit is not applied to tobacco products, alcohol, alcoholic beverages or perfumes.
- The minimum amount of VAT levied is 5 euros. For imports of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products sent to private persons, this limit is not applied. The VAT is levied also when it amounts to less than 5 euros.
- The minimum levy of 5 euros is also not applied to imports of these products by travellers or to imports of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products by crew members of a vehicle in professional traffic between Finland and a country or region outside the EU.
If the total value of the goods in a consignment is no more than 150 euros, the consignment is free of customs duty. However, this value limit is not applied to alcoholic products, tobacco, tobacco products, perfumes or eau de toilette products.
Read more: More on customs clearance
If you don’t wish to receive the consignment, you should not clear it. If the consignment is not cleared within 20 days, the consignment will be returned to the sender. In the case of ordered goods, inform the seller that you have cancelled your purchase.
Before the expiration of the storage time you may notify Posti that you refuse to receive the consignment and that you wish for it to be returned to the sender.
Ask the sender for an order confirmation, an invoice, a receipt or some other credible proof of the value of the goods. Please note! A bank statement or bank receipt is not sufficient proof of the value of the goods.
For the purposes of the Tobacco Act,
- tobacco product means products made wholly or partly of tobacco (nicotiana) and suitable for consumption. The nicotine-containing liquid used in electronic cigarettes is not regulated as a tobacco product, but as a nicotine liquid through a special provision.
- smokeless tobacco product means a tobacco product not involving a combustion process, including chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco and tobacco for oral use.
- tobacco products for smoking means tobacco products other than a smokeless tobacco product. These include cigarettes, cigars and roll-your-own tobacco. In accordance with the Tobacco Products Directive, waterpipe tobacco is also deemed to be a tobacco product for smoking when applying the Tobacco Act.
- smoking accessories refers to an accessory or implement used for smoking or for the preparation of smoking. For example, cigarette paper and pipes are regarded as smoking accessories.
- cigarette means a roll of tobacco as defined in section 4(1) of the Act on Excise Duty on Tobacco (1470/1994).
- cigar means a roll of tobacco as defined in section 3(1) of the Act on Excise Duty on Tobacco.
- cigarillo means a cigar that weighs no more than three grams.
- roll-your-own tobacco means tobacco which can be used for making cigarettes by consumers or retail outlets. Tobacco which can be used both as roll-your-own tobacco and via waterpipes shall be deemed to be roll-your-own tobacco.
- pipe tobacco means tobacco that can be consumed via a combustion process and is exclusively intended for use in a pipe.
- waterpipe tobacco means a tobacco product which can be used exclusively for smoking via a waterpipe.
- chewing tobacco means a smokeless tobacco product exclusively intended for the purpose of chewing.
- nasal tobacco means a smokeless tobacco product that can be consumed via the nose.
- tobacco for oral use means a tobacco products for oral use, except those intended to be inhaled or chewed, made wholly or partly of tobacco, in powder or in particulate form or in any combination of those forms.
- herbal product for smoking means a tobacco substitute made of plants and intended for smoking. Instead of tobacco, the product contains other plants, such as herbs and fruits, and can be consumed via a combustion process. Herbal products for smoking include so-called herbal cigarettes as well as tobacco-free herbal mixtures intended for smoking via a waterpipe.
- electronic cigarette means a product used for inhaling nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece, and any component of that product.
- nicotine liquid means a liquid containing nicotine which is intended to be vaporised using an electronic cigarette and which has a nicotine concentration of no more than 20 milligrams per millilitre and which is not to be used for a purpose defined in section 3(1) of the Medicines Act (395/1987).
- nicotine-free liquid for vaporisation means a liquid which is intended to be vaporised using an electronic cigarette or in another similar manner and which is not a nicotine liquid.
- refill container means a receptacle that contains a nicotine liquid, which can be used to refill an electronic cigarette.
- Counterfeit products can pose a risk to health or public safety. Counterfeit medicines, vehicle spare parts and electrical devices involve a particularly significant risk.
- There is no reliable research available on counterfeit products. For example, a clothing item can catch fire or cause an allergic reaction, and children’s toys may contain harmful ingredients and parts that may come loose. Hazardous materials used in counterfeit products can cause cancer. Counterfeit spare parts of vehicles may cause malfunctions and accidents, and counterfeit electronics products may cause short circuits.
- There is no guarantee for counterfeit products, and the people responsible cannot be tracked down when the product breaks down or causes damage.
- Vast amounts of money are involved in the counterfeiting business, and they are used to fund organised crime. Do you want to support that?
- Counterfeits corrode the market for genuine products. As a result, around 100 000 jobs are lost annually in Europe. Your job might be at risk too.
- Counterfeit products do not yield any tax revenue. The money must be levied by society from some other source, for example your salary.
- The selling of pirated copies of music, computer software, films and other similar products is depriving their makers of their income.
The postal consignment can be declared as soon as the following text is displayed in Posti’s item tracking service: “The delivery has arrived at the customs warehouse. You have 20 days from the day of the delivery to take care of the customs declaration.”
If you have queries, contact Posti, since Customs does not send arrival notifications. Nor does Customs transport or store any consignments.
As of 1 November 2016, the Åland Islands have imposed import restrictions and prohibitions on tobacco products and nicotine liquids equivalent to those in mainland Finland. As of 1 November 2016, a private person is allowed to bring from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland no more than a total of 1 000 grams of chewing tobacco, nasal snus and oral tobacco (snus) in one calendar day for personal use. The said products cannot be brought to the mainland as gifts.
Please note also that it is prohibited to acquire and receive chewing tobacco, nasal snus and oral tobacco from outside Finland by mail or in any other corresponding way.
A private person is not allowed to obtain or receive by mail, as a goods shipment or by any other means from a country outside of Finland tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or nicotine-containing liquids purchased from a trader by means of distance communication.
Read more: Ordering tobacco products online
It is prohibited to acquire and receive oral tobacco (snus), chewing tobacco and nasal snus from outside Finland by mail or in any other corresponding way.
Read more: Ordering tobacco products online
The right of private persons to bring in seeds is subject to plant health requirements. Read more in Evira’s instruction Import requirements for plants brought in by travellers (in Finnish)
For personal use you can bring in 200 g of seeds from European countries outside the European Union. Both from EU countries and from non-EU countries you can freely bring in seeds for which a phytosanitary certificate is not required. Note that in accordance with the Seed Trade Act, it is prohibited to bring in any seeds from Russia. It is also prohibited to bring in any pine and Douglas fir seeds.
You can read about the requirements according to the Seed Trade Act in Evira’s instruction for seed importers and marketers (in Finnish)
- A private person doesn’t need to register as importer in case of a single import transaction where the total amount of the imported seeds doesn’t exceed 200 grams.
- A private person doesn’t need to notify Evira’s Seed Certification Unit of the import transaction if the amount of seeds doesn't exceed 200 grams.
- When private persons bring in seeds, they have to make sure that the import country’s seed certification system corresponds to the EU system according to point 2.2 in the instruction. If the amount of seeds exceeds 200 g, the seed varieties must be listed in the EU’s catalogue of varieties, see Annex 2 to the instruction.
You can order or bring in a knife or a sword. According to the Public Order Act, the import of knifes and swords is not prohibited, but the possession of knifes and swords in a public place is subject to restrictions.
The Tobacco Act imposes no restrictions on the import of nicotine-free liquids for use in electronic cigarettes or devices similar to single-use electronic cigarettes prefilled with nicotine-free liquid. It should be noted, however, that the nicotine concentration may not always be appropriately marked on products ordered from abroad. If, upon import, Customs suspects that the nicotine concentration of a product has not been appropriately marked, the product may be examined by the Customs Laboratory.
Read more: Ordering tobacco products online
Consignments cannot be cleared through Customs in advance.
You can clear a postal consignment once you’ve received the notice of arrival. The notice of arrival can also be sent in electronic format.
The postal consignment can be declared once the following text is displayed in Posti’s item tracking service: “The delivery has arrived at the customs warehouse. You have 20 days from the day of the delivery to take care of the customs declaration.”
Nicotine liquid which has a nicotine concentration of no more than 20 milligrams per millilitre and which is not to be used for a purpose defined in section 3(1) of the Medicines Act (395/1987) is subject to the Tobacco Act. A private person is not allowed to obtain or receive by mail, as a goods shipment or by any other means from a country outside of Finland tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or nicotine-containing liquids purchased from a trader by means of distance communication.
According to the Consumer Protection Act, a means of distance communication is defined as telephones, post, televisions, information networks that can be used for the conclusion of contracts without the parties being simultaneously present.
A private person is not allowed to import, obtain or receive by mail or by comparable means from a country outside of Finland a nicotine-containing liquid intended for vaporisation using an electronic cigarette when the liquid contains more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre or when it is to be used for a purpose defined in section 3(1) of the Medicines Act.
Customs Information Service, Private customers
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In car tax matters, kindly contact the Tax Administration (vero.fi)