Before starting export

What to find out before you start exporting

  1. Find out in advance if the EU has imposed export restrictions on the goods
    • Restrictions apply to, for example, the export and transit of firearms, firearm supplies, dual-use goods, objects of cultural value and ozone-depleting substances. Furthermore, there might be regional export and economic sanctions in place. You can check the up-to-date export restrictions in the Fintaric service by using the commodity code.
    • Make sure that the goods aren’t subject to export control (for instance, high technology or dual-use goods for the war industry).
    • All restrictions have their own national administrative authority and/or licensing authority (e.g. the Ministry for Foreign Affairs). Find out beforehand about the possible need for a licence and get the export licence in advance.
    • The Customs restriction manual features the most important export, import and transit restrictions that Customs supervises.
      Export restrictions
  2. Find out the restrictions imposed by the export country and those that apply to the transport of export goods
    • Good sources of information are e.g. Business Finland, the Shipping Handbook, embassies, and the Market Access database of the EU Commission, your forwarding agency as well as shipping companies and airlines or another transport operator.
  3. Check the commodity code of the goods in advance
    • The commodity code in export is an 8-digit CN-code. It determines the export restrictions, among other things. That’s why it is important to use the right commodity code.
    • The commodity codes can be found in the the Combined Nomenclature (CN) or the Taric database. Customs can also help you in determining the commodity code.
    • Only written binding tariff information (BTI) is a decision on the commodity code applied to goods that binds both Customs and the importer.
  4. Find out if the goods get exemption from customs duty or lowered tariff treatment in the destination country; this lowers the costs for the buyer
    • Countries with which the EU has mutual free trade or other preferential tariff agreements, grant reduced or zero tariff rates on products originating in the EU.
    • Find out if the country of destination is part of the contracting countries and whether the prerequisites for preferential treatment are fulfilled. Also find out which certificate of origin grants you preferential tariff treatment in the country of destination.
    • If you are exporting goods on a regular basis, apply for status as an approved exporter and/or registered exporter. This gives you more extensive authorisation to endorse proofs of origin yourself.
    • Customs certifies EUR.1 and A.TR forms when necessary.
    • Note that the general EC certificate of origin granted by the Chamber of Commerce does not entitle you to preferential treatment.
      Preferential treatment in export

Declare the goods as follows

  1. Obtain the registrations and IDs needed to submit a declaration
  2. Declare your export to Customs in advance – the goods must be placed under the export procedure
    • As an exporter you are responsible for the customs clearance. You can lodge the export declaration online using our Export Declaration Service or by message (requires authorisation from Customs). You can submit the declaration yourself or use an agent.
    • Choose the right customs procedure and nature of transaction according to the purpose of use. You need a different code if the goods e.g. are exported for repairs and returned. The code list contains the codes to be used in the declaration.
    • Submit your export declaration well before sending the export goods, i.e. no later than when loading the goods into the means of transport.
    • In certain cases, you do not have to submit an electronic export declaration.
  3. Loading can begin when Customs has approved the export declaration
    • The goods have to be available for customs inspection at the location mentioned in the export declaration. The transport can begin when Customs has sent the decision on release and the export accompanying document, i.e. the EAD. The EAD is a reference (MRN) which specifies the export. The carrier needs the MRN to finalise the export at the place of exit.
    • When the goods have left the EU territory and the freight carrier has given Customs the required documents, Customs certifies the export. You receive a decision on release with certification of exit confirmed by Customs; this also verifies a sale free from value added tax.
  4. You can request a corrections or invalidation if something goes wrong or if, for instance, the export is cancelled
    •  If you notice that an error has been made when clearing your consignment through customs, you can file a claim for revision. Find out the prerequisites for an appeal.
    • The appeal must be lodged as soon as you notice the error. The request must be made within a year from the date the original declaration was received by Customs. The request for appeal is made electronically with an appeal message or by using an electronic form.
    • You can apply for invalidation in certain circumstances, for example if the goods in the export consignment will not be exported from the EU territory.
      Amendment, correcting and invalidation of export declarations

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