Who is an exporter?
The exporter is responsible for submitting the export declaration.
The term “exporter” refers to the following:
- A person based in the customs territory of the Union who, at the time when the declaration is approved, has an agreement with a consignee in a third country, and the competence for deciding on the export of goods to a location outside the customs territory of the Union
- A private individual who carries the goods to be imported as personal luggage
- In other cases, a person based in the customs territory of the Union who has the competence to decide that the goods are to be exported outside the customs territory of the Union.
“To be based outside the customs territory of the Union” means that an operator who has a regular domicile or an administrative head office outside the Union maintains, in the territory of the Union, permanent staff and a fixed office where business operations are conducted. VAT registration or an EORI number obtained in Finland for a foreign business does not alone constitute sufficient criteria for the operator to be considered as based in the customs territory of the Union.
An agreement party established in the EU is regarded as the exporter, even when the right of ownership of the goods has been transferred to a buyer established outside the EU in accordance with a term of sale or other agreement.
Exporters can use representatives
Exporters can use representatives in lodging customs declarations when they so wish. The exporter and the representative choose the type of representation to be used in the export declaration. Either direct representation or indirect representation can be used.
A direct representative lodges customs declarations in the name and on behalf of an exporter.
- Code 2 is to be entered in the customs declaration as the type of representation.
The exporter or the representative can request the correction of the declaration after the goods are released for the export procedure. If the declaration gives cause to any sanctions, for example a penalty fee, Customs imposes the sanction directly on the exporter.
Indirect representatives lodge customs declarations in their own name and on behalf of the exporter.
- Code 3 is to be entered in the customs declaration as the type of representation.
A representative can use indirect representation only when Customs has been notified about it in the details on registered customer status. A representative entitled to indirect representation can also act as a direct representative.
Indirect representation cannot be used in export declarations for discharging inward processing or starting outward processing, or in exports involving subsidies or intervention goods.
Only the representative who lodged the declaration can request for it to be corrected after the release of goods for the export procedure. If the declaration gives cause to any sanctions, for example a penalty fee, Customs imposes the sanction primarily on the representative who lodged the declaration.
Exporters based outside the Union
Companies based outside the Union can act as exporters through an indirect representative based in the Union. Indirect representatives lodge customs declarations in their own name and assume the responsibility of the exporter at the same time.
- The name of the indirect representative is to be given under “Representative/Declarant” in the export declaration. The type of representation is indicated with code 3.
- Under “Exporter”, you should enter the name of the exporter based outside the Union who is factually acting as the exporter.
Points to consider
The export declaration must be lodged in the Member State where the goods are packaged or loaded for export. However, in certain circumstances the goods may be placed under the export procedure in the country of exit. A Special Mentions/Additional Information code on an export declaration lodged on behalf of an exporter established in another EU country is used to justify reasons for why the export declaration is lodged in Finland.
Special Mentions/Additional Information codes for export declarations by exporters in other EU Member States
- FIXFD For goods not exceeding EUR 3 000 in value per consignment, the goods can be placed under the export procedure in the country of exit. The goods may be placed under the export procedure at the place of exit, provided that they are not subject to prohibitions or restrictions..
- FIXFE The value of the export consignment exceeds EUR 3 000 and the goods are placed under the export procedure in Finland. This is allowed provided that the goods have been purchased in Finland and are placed under the export procedure in Finland on behalf of an exporter established in another Member State.
- FIXFF The value of the export consignment exceeds EUR 3 000 and the goods are placed under the export procedure in Finland (goods in a consignment stock in Finland).
- FIXFG The value of the export consignment exceeds EUR 3 000 and the goods are placed under the export procedure in the country of exit. The export movement started in another Member State. The goods should have been placed under the export procedure in the country of departure.
However, when the code FIXFF is used, the approval of the customs authorities of the country of export or the lodging of a new declaration in country of export might be required for placing the goods under the export procedure in Finland. In the latter case, the declaration lodged in Finland must be cancelled.
When the code FIXFG is used, a new declaration in the country of export or the approval of the customs authorities of the country of export is required. In the first case, the declaration lodged in Finland must be cancelled.
Exports subject to restrictions
Export movements from another EU country cannot be placed under the export procedure in Finland, if an authorisation is required for export of the goods and the authorisation has been granted in the country of export. In these cases, the export declaration must be lodged with the customs authority of the country of export, unless it is exceptionally allowed in the authorisation to lodge declarations also in certain other countries.
The use of an EORI number is compulsory in export declarations. Businesses registered as export customers of Finnish Customs automatically hold an EORI number. In Finland, a business ID in the format FI1234567-8 is used as the EORI number. Declarants who lodge export declarations sporadically need not apply for an EORI number in advance with Customs.
If the exporter and/or agent is established in an EU country other than Finland, the declaration must always contain that country’s EORI number. It must be given in the ‘exporter’/‘agent’ field.
According to EU legislation, each Member State provides their own businesses with EORI numbers. Finnish Customs can, however, still grant occasional declarants established in other EU countries case-specific EORI numbers if they file fewer than five declarations a year (sporadic declarants). If a declarant lodges more than five declarations per year, the declarations are classified as regular, in which case a separate EORI registration is required.
If goods are physically moved from another EU country to Finland prior to the goods being declared for the export procedure, the exporter must apply for a Finnish VAT number in advance. The Finnish VAT number may not be entered in the field for ‘exporter’; instead, it must be declared using the additional statement code FIXFH.