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Exit of goods from the EU

Goods that exit the EU must be presented to Customs. The goods must exit the EU within 150 days after the goods have been released for the export procedure.

Presentation of goods to Customs

Goods exiting the EU customs territory must be presented to Customs at the customs office of exit in the EU in the same condition they were in when the export declaration was accepted.

  • When transporting goods by road, the export accompanying document or fallback procedure document must be presented in addition to the goods.
  • Goods exiting Finland by sea, air or rail are to be presented with an electronic Arrival at Exit notification in the Export Declaration Service or via message exchange.

Goods exiting Finland by sea, air or rail are to be presented electronically by submitting an Arrival at Exit notification in the Export Declaration Service or via message exchange.

You will need an authorisation 

To provide Arrival at Exit notifications, you must have an authorisation. The authorisation can be applied for by an operator directly or indirectly involved in export operations. The authorisation is business ID specific and the applicant must be a registered export customer of Customs. The Arrival at Exit notification is used to obtain permission from Customs to load the goods onto the means of transport.

Exporters or their representatives can also provide, if they have the required authorisation, the additional code FIXEP in the export declaration. This allows them to present the goods and ask for loading permission at the same time without a separate Arrival at Exit notification. In this case, the export goods must be present at the place of exit, when the export declaration is submitted.

Apply for authorisation:

Goods must exit within 150 days

Export goods must exit the EU customs territory within 150 days after the goods have been released for export. Customs will invalidate the export declaration if the customs office of exit does not confirm the exit within this time limit.

Note: if the goods have not exited the customs territory of the EU within 90 days of the release for export, Customs will ask the declarant for additional information in the form of alternative proof.

If the goods have not exited the EU customs territory within 90 days after they have been released for export, Customs requests additional information from the declarant where alternative proof of the exit of the goods is presented. The declarant can also present the proof on their own initiative to the customs authorities of the exporting country.

Acceptable proof is

  • a document certifying the import clearance of the goods in the destination country
  • a certificate signed by a custom authority in an EU country, proving that the goods have exited
  • a transport document signed by the transport operator or other proof to certify that they have transported the goods out of the EU customs territory.

Accepting alternative proof requires that the goods have been specified clearly in the document, so that they easily and reliably can be identified as being the same goods as in the export declaration.

In the case of re-exportation from a customs warehouse, it must be possible to match the alternative proof against the information in the warehouse records and in the decision on release for the procedure.

The alternative proof must be signed and the name printed. Copies of the documents are also accepted.

If more than 150 days have passed since the date of export and the exit has not been confirmed, the declaration is invalidated.

Place of exit 

The place of exit is the last customs office through which the goods physically exit the customs territory of the EU. The place of exit for goods exiting by sea is the customs office in the area where the goods are loaded onto a vessel that is not assigned to a regular shipping service, provided that the vessel operates outside Finland’s territorial waters.

A non-regular shipping service means that the vessel operates between different locations in the customs territory using a route that has not been granted a regular shipping service authorisation as referred to in customs legislation.

If goods exit by rail, post, air or sea outside the EU under a single transport contract, the place of exit is the place where the carrier takes over the goods and undertakes to transport them from the customs territory of the EU.

Confirmation of exit is requested by entering the additional statement code FIXBS in the export declaration.

The transport operation must fulfil the following conditions:

  1. The transport contract has been drafted with a railway company, a postal company, airline or shipping company.
    • A copy of the contract must be presented to Customs upon request, if the contract is not mentioned in the consignment note, for example.
  2. The transport contract has been concluded with only one transport operator for carriage to a third country.
    • It must be possible to monitor the movement of the goods up until they have exited the customs territory permanently, since the customs office of exit supervises that the goods physically leave the EU territory.
    • Subcontractors can be used along the transport route, but the company responsible to the customs authorities remains the same during the transport.
  3. The goods must leave the EU by air, sea, post or rail transport.
    • The rules on the single transport contract do not apply to supplies for ships and aircraft in international traffic.

The export declaration for goods that exit by air must include the following information:

  • the code, number and date of the air waybill
    • either air waybill (AWB), code N740
    • or master air waybill (MAWB), code N741, and house air waybill (HAWB), code 1743
  • the code of the office of exit, FI015300 Helsinki Airport, or the code of another customs office supervising an airport when the goods exit via some other airport than Helsinki Airport.

For example, if the goods are transported as air freight from Helsinki by road to Frankfurt and from there by air to the USA, the place of exit of the export goods can be Helsinki, if all the conditions for the transport are met.  A single transport contract also brings forward the place of exit to the place of departure when more than one mode of transport is used. On the other hand, transports by air or sea to Germany and from there by road over the customs border do not meet this condition; instead, the place of exit of the export goods is at the external border of the EU.