The gift season is here – Customs reminds customers of the customs clearance of gifts
The busiest parcel season of the year is here. Customs is expecting a significant increase in the volume of import clearances by private individuals for the remainder of the year. Many people will receive gifts from abroad from relatives and friends, and for some it may come as a surprise that some gifts must be declared and that import taxes and duties may have to be paid for them. Customs has compiled a checklist to help customers declare gift parcels.
This year, both the removal of the VAT exemption for consignments worth no more than 22 euros that entered into force in the summer and Brexit affect the volume of parcels that have to be declared. Now all purchases delivered from outside the EU have to be declared and VAT as well as possible other import taxes and duties have to be paid for them. Customs estimates that the Christmas season will increase the volume of customs clearances significantly this year.Gifts sent to Finland from outside the EU must always be declared – for some gifts, taxes also have to be paid
When a gift has to be declared, the gift recipient is always responsible for declaring it, and for the customs declaration, they need to know the content of the gift parcel and the value of the gift.
– We wish to remind our customers in advance that gifts sent from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU must always be declared. To declare a gift, the recipient will have to ask the sender what the parcel contains, which will of course reveal the content of the consignment. We understand that this is unfortunate, but if the recipient wants to keep the gift secret, they can authorise someone else to declare the gift on their behalf, says Nadja Painokallio, Senior Customs Officer at Customs.
When all of the following five conditions are met, no taxes need to be paid for the gift. However, the gift must be declared if it arrives from outside the EU.
- The gift has been sent by a private individual.
- The gift is intended for the use of the recipient or their family, not for sale.
- The gift consignment is occasional.
- The value of the gift is no more than 45 euros.
- The gift does not contain any tobacco products, alcohol, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, coffee or tea.
– According to Customs, “gift” only refers to something sent by a private individual to another private individual. For example, a parcel ordered from an online store to be delivered to a relative is not a gift, but a purchase, says Nadja Painokallio.
Within the EU, gifts move freely. They do not need to be declared and taxes do not need to be paid for them.
Checklist for gift recipients
- When the gift arrives from outside the EU. The gift must be always be declared.
- If the gift is worth no more than 45 euros, you usually do not need to pay any import taxes or duties for them.
- If the gift is worth more than 45 euros but no more than 150 euros, you must pay VAT but no customs duty for it.
- If the gift is worth more than 150 euros, you must pay VAT and possible customs duty for it.
- If the gift contains alcohol products or tobacco products, you must pay excise duty and VAT for it regardless of the value of the gift and possible customs duty.
- When the gift arrives from mainland Finland or from another EU country to Åland. Åland is part of the customs territory but not of the fiscal territory of the EU.
- If the gift is worth no more than 45 euros, you usually do not need to declare it.
- If the gift is worth more than 45 euros, you must pay VAT for it.
- If the gift contains alcohol products or tobacco products, you must declare the gift and you must always pay excise duty and VAT for it, regardless of the value of the gift.
More detailed information about gift consignments and customs clearance: https://tulli.fi/en/private-persons/receiving-gifts