Changes to import declarations

Import declarations for release for free circulation

Current procedure

Import declarations for release for free circulation (e.g. customs procedure codes 07, 40, 42, 45, 49, 61, 63 and 68) are lodged, with new data content, in the Customs Clearance Service or via message exchange, with the exception of simplified declarations (e.g. periodic clearance).

When requesting preferential tariff treatment within a tariff quota, the customs declaration is lodged using a standard declaration. The two-phase declaration procedure, i.e. the so-called simplified declaration procedure, can’t be used in customs clearance involving quotas before the new procedure is introduced in autumn 2022.

The processing and procedures concerning declarations lodged in the service Import declarations for businesses – special procedures (ITU) (e.g. declarations for periodic clearance and simplified declarations) remain unchanged.

New procedure from autumn 2022

All import declarations, with new data content, will be lodged in the Customs Clearance Service or through message exchange.

The goods can be declared non-electronically only exceptionally, e.g. in the case of travellers who bring goods with them.

New import procedure codes will be introduced:

  • 95 – Placing of Union goods under a warehousing procedure other than a customs warehousing procedure where neither VAT nor, when applicable, excise duties have been paid (placement under the tax warehousing procedure)
  • 96 – Placing of Union goods under a warehousing procedure other than a customs warehousing procedure where either VAT or, when applicable, excise duties have been paid and the payment of the other tax is suspended.

Import declarations on goods traffic between Åland and mainland Finland

Current procedure

When the consignee (importer) receives goods, the importer or their agent lodges a customs declaration (a national tax border declaration) in the Customs Clearance Service. Declarations can also be lodged through message exchange.

A declaration can be lodged in advance, no more than 30 days before the arrival of goods. At the latest, the declaration must be lodged when the goods arrive across the tax border. The customs declaration must include an entry on the number of the additional document relating to the goods. If the importer is registered for VAT, the additional document does not need to be an invoice, and precise value details are not required for the declaration if they are not known. As the additional document, you can provide any document that exists when the goods are transported across the tax border, and whose reference number has been entered in the importer company’s records. It must also be possible to connect the additional document to the declaration submitted to Customs.

A VAT-registered importer can lodge the customs declaration in two stages. When the goods cross the tax border, the importer or their agent can first send a simplified declaration, such as a consignment note, to Customs by email. Within ten days, the importer shall submit an electronic customs declaration in the Customs Clearance Service.Regarding two-stage declarations for postal consignments, Posti will send Customs a simplified document, that is, a list of the goods that have arrived as postal consignments.

If a private individual receives goods from a consignor who has a tax border number and who has included VAT in the selling price of the goods, the consignor shall complete a recapitulative statement in the Customs ALA online service, and pay the VAT. The consignee is not required to declare the goods.

New procedure from autumn 2022

The value details must always be provided in the customs declaration (national tax border declaration). A VAT-registered importer can’t lodge the customs declaration in two stages any longer. The declaration must be lodged in the Customs Clearance Service or through message exchange before the goods are released to the consignee. The value details can be provided in two stages: first, an estimate according to the available information is provided in the declaration, and when the exact details are available, a request for amendment of the declaration is submitted with the final value details.

Customs is planning to change the declaration procedure in cases where  a private individual receives goods from a consignor who has a tax border number and who has included VAT in the selling price of the goods.

Import of Union goods to Åland from another Member State

Current procedure

When Union goods are imported Åland from another EU country, an import declaration is lodged in the Customs Clearance Service no later than when the goods arrive in Åland. At the earliest, the declaration can be submitted on the same day when the goods arrive in Åland.

A company with regular imports can lodge a simplified customs declaration using a consignment note or a similar document and then a supplementary declaration in the Customs Clearance Service within ten days.

As for electricity imported through an electrical grid, a declaration that starts the period is lodged at the start of the calendar month. A supplementary declaration is lodged at the end of the period.

New procedure from autumn 2022

Import declarations can be pre-lodged before the arrival of the goods. A separate electronic presentation notification must then be lodged for the goods upon their arrival. If the exact quantity or value details are not available when the declaration is lodged, these details will be provided according to the available information, and when the exact details are available, a request for amendment of the declaration is submitted with the final quantity and value details.

As for electricity imports, Customs will specify later how the declaration procedure will change in autumn 2022.

Periodic clearance and clearance using EIDR for release for free circulation

Current procedure

In periodic clearance, a consignment note may be used as a simplified customs declaration for one consignment when releasing goods for the customs procedure.

When the goods are placed under the customs procedure using EIDR according to the EIR authorisation, the presentation notification is only required if requested separately by Customs.

New procedure from autumn 2022

In periodic clearance, a simplified customs declaration must be lodged electronically for each consignment in advance or, at the latest, when the goods are released for the customs procedure. The consignment note will no longer be accepted as a customs declaration upon release.

Holders of the EIR authorisation must submit a presentation notification for each consignment placed under the customs procedure using EIDR. Customs can, under certain conditions, exempt AEOCs from submitting the presentation notification. The exemption must be applied for separately from Customs.

Centralised clearance

Current procedure

The importer can have a SASP for centralised clearance, i.e. an authorisation to lodge an import declaration to a Member State other than the one where the import goods are located when the declaration is lodged. An AEOC can apply for a centralised clearance authorisation. New operational models are yet to be determined for the application of the authorisation.

New procedure after the changes introduced in 2022–2023

An AEOC can apply for a centralised customs clearance authorisation when their activities are based on the new operational models, such as on electronic exchange of information between Member States, new declarations and declaration formats. The new procedures will be deployed in Member States in stages. The deployment of the first phase is planned for 2022–2023.

                            

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