Export fallback procedure

During an interruption in the use of Customs’ or the customer’s data systems, goods can be placed under an export procedure through a fallback procedure based on forms.

The use of the fallback procedure is always subject to authorisation by Customs. The authorisation has been granted if the message declarant for export receives an email from Customs stating that the use of the fallback procedure is permitted until the declarant is notified that the interruption in use has ended, or if a notice concerning the interruption is published in the Export Declaration Service of Customs.

If there is no notification concerning the interruption been published, but the message declarant does not receive any reply messages to declarations, they should primarily contact their own operator and find out if the connection with Customs is operational.

After the measures described above, the message declarant can apply for an authorisation to use the fallback procedure by sending  Customs form 954s (in Finnish) by email to the Electronic Service Centre of Customs. The reason for initiating the fallback procedure and the estimated end time must be stated in the application.

For message declarants it is also possible to use online declarations as the fallback procedure without any separate authorisations.

Customers using the Export Declaration Service can also, in exceptional circumstances, apply for authorisation to use the fallback procedure. The application,  Customs form 954s (in Finnish), is sent to the Electronic Service Centre. If the online service is unavailable, but the Customs export system is available, Customs stores the fallback procedure declarations into the system and gives the exporter a print-out of the decision on release and the export accompanying document (EAD).

Points to consider

Finnish Customs accepts the following two alternative ways of providing an export declaration in the fallback procedure:

  • The ESS form  Customs form No 892, (in Finnish), Export/Security Single Administrative Document (Export/Security SAD) which can also be referred to as “ESS, SAD export/security”). When declaring more than one item of goods, a list of items – Customs form No 895 (in Finnish) –is used as an additional document.


  • A combination of the SAD form (Single Administrative Document) and the SSD form (Customs form No 890, in Finnish), Security and Safety Document, which can also be referred to as “SSD, AREX, Security and Safety”). When several items of goods are declared, Customs form No 891 (AREX, list of items) (in Finnish) is used as an additional document.

Export declaration forms submitted in fallback procedures must always be signed.

The exporter (or the exporter’s representative) presents the export declaration for the fallback procedure and its enclosures at the customs office of export.

Box 31 of the declaration must include the text “ECS Fallback Procedure, no data available in the system, initiated on…”, indicating the date of initiation of the fallback procedure in question. Box 44 should include the entries “FIXEV” and ”EDI declaration” or “Fallback procedure for Export Declaration Service”. The date of departure of the shipment is also provided with the additional statement code FIXXX.

The customs office of export accepts and confirms the declaration by providing a stamp that indicates the use of the fallback procedure in box A:

Instructions for completing forms used in the fallback procedure are available on the Customs website (in Finnish).

Customs keeps one copy of the fallback procedure form (copy 1 of the ESS). After Customs makes its entries in the other copy (copy 3 of the ESS), it is given to the exporter (or their representative). This copy must accompany the goods to the customs office of exit from the EU, where Customs confirms the exit of the export goods by adding a stamp on the overleaf of the declaration.

If the customs office of export is closed, the fallback procedure document with enclosures can be presented at another customs office in Finland during the transport of the export goods or at the Finnish border.

Copies 1 and 3 of the fallback procedure document with enclosures can also be scanned and sent to the Electronic Service Centre of Customs by email. Write “Export fallback procedure” in the subject line of the email and “export declaration” as message body. After accepting the fallback procedure document, Customs scans the confirmed copy 3 and sends it back to the sender for presentation at the customs office of exit.

The fallback procedure document cannot be sent by email, if the export goods require that the export licence is presented and that Customs makes an entry in it, unless there is a separate agreement that the entries are made by the Electronic Service Centre. In urgent matters concerning entry in the export licence, please contact Customs' appointment service. You should reserve your appointment 2 hours before you need customer service. If you need an appointment at 8 am the following day, you should reserve it no later than at 2.15 pm the previous day.

Unidentified online declarants cannot send fallback procedure documents by email. Instead, the goods must be placed under the procedure at a customs office or the appointment service must be contacted.

If the goods exit Finland by sea, air or rail and the customs office of exit in Finland is closed and the confirmation of exit doesn’t require any entries made in the export licence by Customs, the confirmed copy 3 of the fallback procedure document as well as the transport documents related to the export goods are to scanned and sent to the Electronic Service Centre for loading permit in good time before the exit of the goods so that it is still possible to inspect the goods. Write “Export fallback procedure” in the subject line of the email and “presentation of goods at the place of exit” as message body. Customs will reply by email either that the goods can be loaded (Saa lastata) or that the goods must not be loaded (Ei saa lastata).

Once the goods have exited the EU, copy 3 of the fallback procedure document and the transport documents (e.g. airway bill) are scanned and sent by email to the Electronic Service Centre for confirmation of exit. Write “Export fallback procedure” in the subject line of the email and “confirmation of exit” as message body. The fallback procedure document with confirmation of exit will be returned to the sender by email.

Instructions on using the fallback procedure when the export procedure is succeeded by a T or TIR transit procedure are available in bulletin No. 165/010/11 of the National Board of Customs (in Finnish).

When the system or network of Customs or the exporter (or their representative) is operational again, the customs declarations provided through the fallback procedure must be provided subsequently to Customs. The export declaration message must include the additional statement code FIXEV (= fallback procedure), and the actual export date must be entered in the field for exceptional export date (exportPointDate). Exporters will not be provided with decisions on release or accompanying documents.

In order to ensure the alignment of declarations, the reference of the exporter (or their representative) provided in the fallback procedure declaration must also be provided in the subsequent electronic export declaration to be sent to Customs in message format.

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Export fallback procedure