Changes to import declarations

Import declarations for release for free circulation

The current procedure

Import declarations (e.g. customs procedure codes 07, 40, 42, 45, 49, 61 and 63) can be submitted

  • electronically in Customs’ online service or via message exchange or
  • by presenting the required document, usually the SAD, at a customs office.

Message exchange can be direct or operator-based.

A customs value declaration (D.V.1) must be lodged for consignments worth more than 20 000 euros if the customs declaration has been lodged manually with a SAD.

When requesting preferential tariff treatment within a tariff quota, the customs declaration is submitted in two phases.

No import declaration needs to be submitted for the goods if the amount of VAT to be levied for them is less than five euros.

Customs will issue a transaction identifier to the import declaration.

The customs clearance decision is also an invoice.

A customs declaration can be amended before the receipt of the decision on release, when Customs has sent a notification of the error. It is advisable to send any attachment via the Liitu system. Amendment to the customs declaration or invalidation of the declaration after the release decision is requested with a separate form sent to Customs by email or by post.

The future procedure

The data contents of all customs declarations for release for free circulation will change The declarations must be submitted electronically to the new customs clearance system of Finnish Customs (UTU) by the end of 2020 at the latest, with the exception of simplified import declarations (e.g. periodic declarations and EIDR).

Direct message exchange will be the only service channel for message exchange. The goods can be declared non-electronically only exceptionally, e.g. in the case of travellers who bring goods with them.

The use of a separate customs value declaration will end. The customs value declaration details shall be submitted with an electronic declaration.

When requesting preferential tariff treatment within a tariff quota, the customs declaration will, temporarily in 2021, be submitted only with a standard declaration. The two-phase declaration procedure, i.e. the so-called simplified declaration procedure, cannot be used in quota clearances in 2021.

An import declaration must be submitted regardless of the value of the goods, when the minimum levy of five euros for VAT will no longer be applied as of 1 January 2021. A declaration must also be submitted in cases where the buyer of the goods pays the VAT in connection with the purchase to a seller established outside the EU. Customs declarations for low-value consignments (no more than 150 euros) require fewer details than a standard import declaration.

Customs issues a reference number, an MRN, to the import declaration.

The customs clearance decision and the customs invoice will be separated from each other, when the new customs declarations are introduced at the end of 2020. Regarding customers who have the authorisation for deferment of payment, the invoicing will be directed either to an e-invoicing address provided in the customs declaration or to an address in accordance with the customer’s trader office identifier indicated in the customs declaration.

The company previously called declarant will be importer in the new declarations, and the importer company must have the EORI number used in customs transactions in the EU.

The customs declaration can also be amended before the decision on release on the customer’s initiative, without an error notification sent by Customs. The aim is that any attachments can be sent in the online service in connection with the declaration. After the release decision, amendment to the customs declaration or invalidation of the declaration is requested electronically.

Periodic clearance and clearance using EIDR for release for free circulation

The current procedure

A consignment note may be used in periodic clearance as a simplified consignment-specific customs declaration when releasing goods for the customs procedure.

When the goods are placed under the customs procedure through an entry of data in the declarant’s records according to the EIR authorisation, the presentation notification is only required if requested separately by Customs.

The future procedure

In periodic clearance, a simplified customs declaration must be submitted 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 through an entry of data in the declarant’s records. Customs can, under certain conditions, exempt AEOCs from submitting the presentation notification. The exemption must be applied for separately from Customs.

Both changes will be introduced at the end of 2021, when the declarations are submitted to the new customs clearance system.

Centralised clearance

The current procedure

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

The future procedure

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 operational models will be introduced in the Member States in phases.  The deployment of the first phase is planned for 2022–2023.

                            

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