When you return from your trip
Please read our instructions before returning to Finland. On these pages, you’ll find information about goods brought in by travellers and about import restrictions.
If you can’t find the answer or if you’re unsure, please contact us for advice.
Points to consider
- The powers of Finnish Customs are provided for in various laws.
- The actions taken by Customs are always based on the legislation.
- Customs has the right to inspect travellers, luggage and vehicles. Customs has the right to question travellers also in intra-EU traffic.
- Customs can use detector dogs, X-ray or other technical equipment when carrying out inspections.
- Travellers taken in for inspection must personally unpack their luggage for inspection and repack it after the inspection.
- Travellers must give their personal details to Customs.
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
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
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.
Goods that have been forgotten in hotel rooms, airports etc. must be cleared by Customs in the normal way.
When you can provide reliable proof that you have taken the goods out of the EU and that the goods are your personal belongings, you can clear them in accordance with the regulations on return goods.
A natural person resident in the customs territory of the EU may temporarily bring in, for commercial or private use, a means of transport registered outside the customs territory of the EU with total relief from import duty under the following conditions:
- The person has a contract of employment with the owner, hirer or lessee of the means of transport, and the employer is established outside the EU.
- The person can present a copy of the contract of employment upon request.
- Private use is limited only to journeys between the place of work and the place of residence of the employee or to performing a professional task of the employee as stipulated in the contract of employment.
Commercial use means the use of means of transport for the transport of persons for remuneration or the industrial or commercial transport of goods, whether or not for remuneration.
Private use means the use of a means of transport for other than commercial purposes.
Proving the employment
If the driver of the means of transport is unable to verify their employment relationship with the owner, hirer or lessee of the means of transport by presenting a copy of their contract of employment upon request, the means of transport in question cannot be brought into the customs territory of the EU without paying import duties.
Using the means of transport in the customs territory of the EU
The person bringing the means of transport into the customs territory of the EU
- is responsible for making sure that the means of transport, while in private use, is used only for journeys between the place of work and the place of residence of the employee or with the purpose of performing a professional task of the employee as stipulated in the contract of employment
- is also responsible for making sure that the means of transport is not handed over to a person who does not meet all the above conditions.
Not complying with these conditions will result in the incurrence and collection of a customs debt and value added tax on import.
- Delegated Regulation, art. 215
- UCC, Art. 250 (2)(d)
- In certain cases involving private use, the regulations and application procedures of the Car Tax Act (1994/1482) concerning temporary tax-free use are to be noted.
Customs Information Service, Private customers
The cost of a call from a landline or mobile phone subscription is 0 cents/min + local network charge/ standard mobile rate.
In car tax matters, kindly contact the Tax Administration (vero.fi)