Moving to Finland from elsewhere in the EU

Moving to Finland from the customs and tax territory of the EU Moving to Finland from inside the EU customs territory, but from outside the EU fiscal territory Åland Islands

Moving from the customs and tax territory of the EU

If you are moving to Finland from another location in the customs and tax territory of the EU, you do not need to lodge any declarations with Finnish Customs.

However, you should note any possible import restrictions.

Customs declarations need to be lodged on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Choose your place of residence prior to your move:

Permanent residence in the EU for at least 12 months Permanent residence in the EU for less than 12 months

Permanent residence inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory for at least 12 months

When you bring removal goods to Finland from outside the EU customs territory but from outside the EU fiscal territory, your removal goods are exempt from value added tax in the same way as they would be exempt from customs duty upon import from outside the EU customs and fiscal territories.

When you move to Finland from inside the EU customs territory, but from outside the EU fiscal territory, for example the Channel Islands, you must clear your removal goods through Customs.

You can bring your removal goods to Finland free of value added tax, given that your permanent place of residence has been inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory, for a continuous period of at least 12 months, and you have owned and used your removal goods for at least six months.

You can bring your personal property to Finland free of tax from outside the EU fiscal territory when all of these prerequisites are met:

  • Your permanent place of residence has been inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory, for an uninterrupted period of at least 12 months.
  • You have held your personal property in your said permanent place of residence for at least six months prior to your departure to Finland. In addition, durable consumer goods such as your vehicle, computer, television and furniture have been in your use, or in the use of your household, for at least six months in your said previous place of permanent residence. The required use of six months does not apply to consumer goods of small value.
  • Your personal property is intended to be used in the same way in your permanent residence in Finland as it was used in your previous place of residence.
  • Exemption from tax is granted only for removal goods that are cleared through Customs within 12 months of the removal date.

Exemption of removal goods from tax does not apply for example to alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. If your removal goods include alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, read the instructions here:

Based on proof presented at the time of customs clearance, Customs will assess if the prerequisites for exemption from tax are met. Customs may for special reasons grant exceptions to time limits. Such permits must be applied for in advance in writing. In situations open to interpretation, you should contact the Customs Information Service well in advance prior to bringing your removal goods to Finland.

You can apply for a written advance ruling on VAT payable on import.

Removal goods must be cleared through Customs

Once the goods arrive in Finland, a customs declaration on removal goods and vehicles imported as removal goods must be lodged. You can clear your removal goods personally through Customs or use a representative, usually a forwarding agency. Please note that you cannot clear your removal goods through the Import Declaration Service.

You can bring goods in several consignments. Please note that removal goods can be exempted from tax if they are cleared through Customs within one year of your move to Finland. In special cases, you can apply for an exception to the above-mentioned time limit of one year.

How to clear goods through Customs?

In connection with customs clearance, the following are to be lodged for removal goods:

  • customs declaration (SAD form, in Finnish)
  • form 45s (in Finnish, declaration on the conditions for exemption from customs duties and taxes on goods imported as removal goods)
  • A general list of the removal goods (for example 20 kg of clothes, one bed, tableware etc.)
  • Documents based on which the prerequisites for exemption from tax can be verified. A certificate of employment or some other proof of your residence abroad is often sufficient.
  • Any possible permits; for example, an advance import licence for removal goods or a licence for any weapons among your removal goods.
  • If you are carrying goods under import restrictions or other removal goods that are not exempt from customs duty or tax, for example alcoholic beverages, they must be declared under their own commodity codes.
  • Customs may also request you to provide other documents and information.

Advance import of removal goods as exempt from tax

If you wish to bring removal goods to Finland prior to your move here, you must apply for an advance import licence with Customs. For more information: Bringing your removal goods to Finland before your move

Permanent residence inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory for less than 12 months

Permanent residence inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory for less than 12 months

When you move to Finland from inside the EU customs territory, but from outside the EU fiscal territory, for example the Channel Islands, you must clear your removal goods through Customs. 

You can clear your removal goods personally through Customs or use a representative, usually a forwarding agency. You should clear your goods at the customs office in Finland in the area where your removal goods will arrive.

When you bring removal goods to Finland from outside the EU customs territory but from outside the EU fiscal territory, your removal goods are exempt from value added tax in the same way as they would be exempt from customs duty upon import from outside the EU customs and fiscal territories.

You can bring in removal goods you have purchased inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory, as exempt from tax only in these circumstances:

  • you have resided permanently in the said territory for a minimum period of 12 months, and
  • the removal goods have been in your possession, and as concerns other consumer goods, they should have been in your possession for at least six months in your place of residence prior to the date when your permanent residence ceased there.
  • It is also required that the goods are to be used in the same way in Finland as they were used in your permanent place of residence.

Exemption of removal goods from tax does not apply for example to alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. Read more:

You can apply for a special permit for importing your removal goods as exempt from VAT

If you have intended to reside outside the EU customs and tax territory for a minimum continuous period of 12 months, but your move to Finland is to happen earlier than originally intended due to unforeseen reasons beyond your control, you can apply in writing for a special authorisation with the Customs Authorisation Centre for importing your removal goods as exempt from customs duty and value added tax.

  • If Customs has granted you special authorisation, you need to present it to Customs upon the customs clearance of your goods in order to qualify for tax exemption.
  • If the said authorisation is not granted, that is, if the removal goods you acquired in your previous place of permanent residence cannot be treated as tax-exempt goods, you can still possibly bring the goods to Finland as passenger import if the limits and prerequisites for tax exemption are met.

Returned goods

Goods which you have bought in Finland as subject to VAT and taken with you upon moving to a location inside the EU customs, but outside the EU fiscal territory, can be processed by Customs as “returned goods”, meaning that customs duty and import VAT are not levied on them. The goods have to be brought back to Finland within three years of the export. An export declaration must also exist for the time when the goods were taken from Finland.

What do I need for clearing my removal goods through Customs?

  • customs declaration (SAD form, in Finnish)
  • Form 348s (information on return goods, in Finnish)
  • A general list of the removal goods (for example 20 kg of clothes, one bed, tableware etc.)
  • An account concerning the export declaration (usually a certification of exit related to the export declaration lodged for the removal goods)
  • Customs may also request you to provide other documents or information.

Instructions for completing your customs declaration

When an export declaration on the removal goods has been lodged with Customs, use the following codes in your customs declaration: 

  • procedure code 4010
  • national code
    • 7RA return goods, tax-exempt import (Value Added Tax Act, section 94.1 paragraph 18)
  • trade transaction 21
  • customs treatment 100
  • customs system 1011
  • accompanying document N830 (export document), document number and date
  • account on the return goods (customs form 348s).

Information on value

  • total price 0 euros
  • invoicing price 0 euros
  • statistical value xx euros
  • freight xx euros (if needed)
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment xx euros (if needed).

Åland Islands

Upon the importation of removal goods from a location inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU fiscal territory, and upon importation from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands, the EU Regulation on reliefs from customs duty and the Finnish Value Added Tax Act are applied. Based on these statutes, the personal property of the person moving, i.e. the removal goods, is exempted from import customs duty and import VAT when the necessary requirements are met.

The exemption from value added tax on removal goods is tied to the exemption from customs duties, which means that the import of removal goods that are duty-free are also free from value added tax. The prerequisites are the same as in cases of relocation to Finland from outside the EU customs and fiscal territory.

The person moving to Finland has to submit, as an enclosure to the customs declaration, a declaration on the fulfilment of the conditions for exemption from customs duties and taxes on goods imported as removal goods (customs form No. 45e).

When you are moving to the Åland Islands, or from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland, contact the Mariehamn customs office for instructions, when necessary.

Points to consider

A person transferring their permanent place of residence to Finland can be granted exemption from tax if their permanent place of residence has been inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU tax territory, for an uninterrupted minimum period of 12 months.

In justified special cases, Customs may, upon application, grant exemption from customs duties if the time limit of 12 months is not met, even when the intention of the person moving to Finland has been to live inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU tax territory, for at least 12 months. The authorisation has to be presented in connection with the customs clearance of removal goods.


You should ensure that all necessary time limits are complied with so that your removal goods can be exempt from tax.

For example: The time limit of one year is met when the permanent place of residence of the person moving to Finland has been inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU tax territory, continuously between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016. Travel times are not included in this period.

Likewise, the time limit of six months is met when the goods have been in the possession of the person moving to Finland, and when durable consumer goods have been used by that person at a permanent place of residence inside the EU customs territory, but outside the EU tax territory, between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2016.


The following is regarded as personal property:

  • household effects
  • bicycles and motorcycles, motor vehicles and trailers meant for private use, caravans, leisure boats and private aircraft
  • household provisions appropriate to normal requirements
  • household pets and saddle horses, as well as
  • portable instruments required by the person concerned for the practice of the applied or liberal arts.


 


The requirement for removal goods to be exempt from tax is for the person moving to start permanently residing in Finland.

Goods sent to a holiday home or a secondary home in Finland are not exempt from tax if the person moving does not set up permanent residence in Finland.


You can apply for special authorisation concerning your move and your goods from the Customs Authorisation Centre if, for unforeseeable reasons beyond your control, your move is to take place earlier than originally intended. If Customs has granted you special authorisation, you need to present it to Customs upon the customs clearance of your goods in order to qualify for tax exemption.

You can also apply for special authorisation in the following circumstances:

  • the removal goods have in been in the possession and use of the person moving for less than six months
  • the requirements on permanent residence and the possession and use of the removal goods are met, but the removal goods have not been brought to Finland within 12 months of the move.

Send your application to the Customs Authorisation Centre: Contact information

Read more about applying for special authorisation.


Removal goods brought to Finland as exempt from tax cannot be handed over to another party before at least 12 months have passed from their clearance through Customs. During that time, removal goods cannot be for example sold, lent, given as security, hired out or given as presents to another party.

  • Value added tax is collected if the goods are lent, given as security, hired out or otherwise transferred before the expiry of 12-month time limit. This concerns e.g. the transfer of a vehicle that has been in a road accident to an insurance company.
  • If goods that have been brought to Finland as exempt from tax are transferred in less than 12 months of their import, you are obliged to pay import VAT on the goods. Already before the goods are transferred, Customs must be notified about the transfer by e-mail to yritysneuvonta.tuonti(at)tulli.fi.
  • Please note that Customs does not grant exceptions to prohibitions of transfer.

Tax exemption on removal goods is not granted for the following items:

  • Alcohol products
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Commercial means of transport
  • Objects meant for professional use other than tools required for the practice of technical or free professions.

If your removal goods include these objects, they must be cleared through Customs and import VAT must be paid on them. For alcohol and tobacco products, excise duties must also be paid.



                            

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Customs Information Service, Private customers
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In car tax matters, kindly contact the Tax Administration (vero.fi)


Keywords Åland Islands

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