Travelling

CITES products are endangered animals and plants, their parts and products made of them. The import these products may is prohibited or requires a permit. Further information: Environment.fi

  • Pets (e.g. parrots, tortoises and many reptiles) and plants (e.g. orchids)
  • Cosmetics and medicines containing parts of CITES species
  • Clothes and accessories (e.g. wolf fur coat or a crocodile skin bag)
  • Hunting requisites and fishing tackle (e.g. bear hair fly)
  • Fish and fishery products (e.g. sturgeon, caviar, eel).

No, you’re not. Travellers must carry their own medicines in their own luggage. Medicinal products dispensed on prescription are always personal and must be in the possession of the person to whom they have been prescribed.

Read more: Medicines


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.

The Tobacco Products Directive requires that all tobacco products meant for smoking must have a health warning label with a warning text and colour photograph. The requirements on warning labels apply also to retail packages of nicotine fluids in electronic cigarettes or refill containers, and herbal products meant for smoking.

The passenger import quantities of the said products are restricted through the regulation of the Finnish Tobacco Act based on warning labels. Private individuals are allowed to import only a specific quantity of products lacking warning labels in Finnish and Swedish on the health hazards caused by such products, and only a specific quantity of tobacco products lacking health warning images.

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Health issues more detailed regulations on label texts, images, font type and size, colour, framing, area, placement, rotation, fastening, intactness and other specifications. The main rule is that health warning labels must be done in permanent print, and they must be completely visible and must not break when the retail package is opened. Furthermore, health warning labels must in no way obscure the tax labels or markings concerning price, location, tracking and security, and must hinder their legibility. It is almost impossible to fulfil these requirements by, for example, personally gluing health warning labels on products.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


According to the Tobacco Act, waterpipe tobacco means a tobacco product which can be used exclusively for smoking via a waterpipe. Passenger imports of water pipe tobacco are not restricted by the Tobacco Act, except when the product is brought to Finland from outside the European Economic Area. In such circumstances, the time limits for passenger imports as provided for by section 66 of the Tobacco Act must be noted.

To bring in tobacco products you must be aged 18 or over.

Read more: Bringing back obacco


According to the Tobacco Act, snus is a smokeless tobacco product. Private individuals can import a maximum of 1,000 grams of smokeless tobacco products per calendar day for personal use. Bringing in smokeless tobacco products as gifts is not allowed

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


Scented tobacco products and nicotine liquids can be brought to Finland as passenger imports, as their importation is not separately prohibited by the Tobacco Act. However, you should note the quantity and time limits concerning passenger imports as provided for by the Tobacco Act.

Persons under 18 years of age are not allowed to import tobacco products or nicotine fluids.

Read more: Import restrictions and prohibitions in the Tobacco Act

 


 


If retail packages of tobacco products do not bear the required health warning images in Finnish and Swedish, you are not allowed to bring more than 200 cigarettes to Finland even by paying taxes.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


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.


A private person is allowed to bring to 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. 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.

To bring in tobacco products you must be aged 18 or over.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


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. 


Section 66 of the Tobacco Act provides for time limits on passenger imports of tobacco products and nicotine fluids from non-EEA countries. Similar time limits are implemented through alcohol legislation for restricting imports of alcoholic beverages by passenger on trips of short duration.

According to the government proposal for a Tobacco Act, time limits are implemented for preventing illegal trade in tobacco products, and for preventing the entry into the Finnish market of tobacco products that are in violation of the Tobacco Products Directive.

Customs supervises and controls arriving and departing goods and passenger traffic. Customs supervises compliance with time limits concerning imports of tobacco products and nicotine liquids in connection with other customs enforcement through passenger and goods control measures aimed at different forms of traffic.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


  • 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.

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

 


In Finland, filming and photography in public places is allowed. In authorities’ facilities to which the public does not have free access, filming and photography is not allowed. This means that it is allowed in a passenger terminal but not in Customs’ inspection facilities. When filming or taking photographs, do remember the privacy protection of people.


No, they won’t.

The radiation from Customs’ x-ray scanners has no effect on either foodstuffs or film materials.

Read more: Customs control


No. Before the vehicle is scanned, the driver assures Customs in writing that there is no one in the vehicle. Nevertheless, the radiation dose received during a scan is so small as not to pose any danger to humans. A normal medical x-ray examination gives a higher radiation dose to a patient.

Customs does not under any circumstances scan people. Customs can order a person to undergo a bodily search that is performed in the form of an x-ray examination. The x-ray examination of a person is a medical procedure and is always undertaken under the supervision of a doctor.

Read more: Customs control

 


To carry out a customs inspection of a person does not require any evidence or suspicion of any offence. The selection is based on a risk assessment or other observation made by Customs.

According to a decision by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, stopping a person and discussing with him or her does not yet constitute a customs inspection.

Read more: Customs control

 


Customs controls alcohol brought in by travellers from within the EU and can inspect such alcohol. Even when you can take the alcohol products with you after the inspection, the inspection may lead to tax consideration. As of 1 January 2017, the tax consideration will be performed by the Tax Administration. When necessary, the Tax Administration may contact you, and you have the responsibility to account for the purpose of use of the alcohol products even after the import.

According to section 103 of the Act on Excise Duty, Customs has the right to detain excise products if there is any ambiguity about for example the liability to pay taxes, taxability, application of excise regulations or the purpose of import, or if there is some other justified reason for detaining the goods.

Excise duty is levied on products imported for some other purpose than a private person’s personal use. As of 1 January 2017, the Tax Administration is responsible for the taxation. If Customs has detained excise products you have brought in, wait for the Tax Administration to contact you.

 


When assessing if goods brought to Finland by a private person are meant for personal use or for commercial or other occupational purposes, the assessment focuses on:

  • the commercial status of the person possessing the goods and the reasons for possessing the goods
  • the location of the goods and the method of transport
  • documents relating to the goods, the nature and quantity of the goods and
  • other comparable relevant matters.

 (Act on Excise Duty, section 72)


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.

Read more:


A phytosanitary certificate is required for cones of the species pinus spp. and pseudostuga spp. brought in from outside the EU, if they are brought in for propagation. Other cones don’t require a phytosanitary certificate as long as they’re brought in for private use.


A person residing in Finland who arrives in Finland from outside the European Economic Area by means other than by air and whose journey has continued for no more than 24 hours is not allowed to bring in tobacco products or nicotine-containing liquids. However, an exception to this general rule allows the person to bring in tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids if it is apparent that they were obtained before the person left Finland. For instance, warning labels in Finnish and Swedish can be taken as an indication that the product was bought in Finland.

To bring in tobacco products or nicotine fluids you must be aged 18 or over.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


When, as a traveller, you bring in goods for your own use or as a gift, you can do this free of customs duty and tax within the quantities and value limit laid down in the provisions concerning passenger imports, provided that such import takes place occasionally.

Import which is considered occasional when it takes place once or twice may no longer be considered as such if the same type of goods is also brought back from subsequent trips abroad, since such recurring import may not be regarded as occasional within the meaning of the legislation.

Where necessary, the occasional nature of the import is assessed on a case-by-case basis. When Customs is obliged to establish if a traveller’s imports are to be deemed occasional, Customs sets out to find out, among other criteria, the type and quantity of the import goods and the number of import occasions. Only after this can the customs office assess if the goods can be regarded as occasional passenger imports which are free of customs duty on import.

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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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 must always carry some proof with the medicines based on which they can be identified. Travellers should always bring along the original packaging of the medicine or the enclosed patient information leaflet. This also facilitates controls.

Read more: Medicines


Most countries have restrictions on imports of medicines. The traveller is responsible for finding out the import restrictions of the country of destination. You can get more information about the restrictions e.g. from the destination country’s embassy or authorities. Finnish Customs doesn’t provide information about the import restrictions of other countries.

Take your prescriptions with you. If necessary, with them you can prove that you have the right to have personal medicines with you. If you have an electronic prescription (eResepti), please take one of the following with you when you travel:

  • A patient guide printed by a doctor, listing all the medicines you have been prescribed at the same time.
  • A summary printout of your prescriptions, from the pharmacy.
  • A summary of your prescriptions, which you can print from the National Archive for Health Information (Kanta) using your online banking ID codes.

More information:


If you are taking personal valuables in your luggage to a country outside the EU, you should fill in a luggage certificate at Customs before departure. The form is intended for private persons and it will prove to Customs that you had the items with you on departure.

If you are taking goods abroad with you for commercial purposes, e.g. for sale or temporarily for a fair or for reparation, you’ll have to submit an electronic export declaration for the goods to Customs.


The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for the border controls of people at the border crossing points. If you have any questions about travel documents, please contact the Border Guard. You’ll find the contact information and instructions concerning travel documents at www.raja.fi.

For more information about the travel documents of Finnish citizens, please go to the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


Finnish Customs doesn't give packing instructions. For more information about packing your luggage for your flight and about prohibited goods, go to Finavia's website.

You can find more information on security controls and on the provisions that apply to packing on Trafi's website.


Most countries have their own import restrictions. The traveller is responsible for finding out the import restrictions of the country of destination. You can get more information about the restrictions e.g. from the country’s embassy or authorities. Finnish Customs doesn’t provide information about the provisions concerning goods or gifts taken out of Finland.

 


You don’t need to notify Finnish Customs if you travel with a pet. When travelling with an animal, the legislation of the country of destination is applied. The traveller is responsible for finding out about the provisions effective in that country before travelling. You can get information about these provisions e.g. from the country’s embassy or veterinary authorities. For more information about the export and import provisions concerning pets, go to Evira's website.


You must first check the CITES restrictions on clams. For more information, go to the website of the Finnish Environment Institute.

For personal use you can bring in, without veterinary border control, no more than 20 kg of dead clams intended to be eaten. You can also bring in stones, but corals are subject to CITES restrictions.

Please note that it’s your responsibility to find out what restrictions and provisions apply in your country of destination. Finnish Customs cannot give advice on restrictions that apply in other countries.


Prescriptions must be in Finnish or in Swedish, the official languages of Finland. In some cases, English may be accepted, if the official understands English. It's the customer's responsibility to give an account of the contents of the prescription.

Read more: Medicines


Customs supervises the import of plant-based foodstuffs, but spices brought in by private persons for personal use or as gifts are not subject to supervision. There are, however, risks related to spices, as they may contain e.g. mould toxins or salmonella. Certain spices have been under intensified EU-level supervision particularly because they have given rise to health concerns. Poor quality can only be detected in laboratory tests.

Read more: Foodstuffs


                            

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