Export restrictions

The export of some goods is restricted or it has been fully prohibited by either Community or national regulations. Restrictions apply for example to exports of weapons, weapon supplies, dual use products, defence materiel, cultural objects and ozone-depleting materials.

In Finland, Customs is the supervising authority in matters concerning export restrictions. However, other authorities administer restrictions and grant export permits. For example, the Police Board is responsible for weapons and weapon supplies, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs sees to dual use products, and the National Board of Antiquities handles cultural objects.

The Customs restrictions manual (in Finnish) will give you more information on valid export restrictions. The Customs restriction manual features all of the statutory import, export and transit restrictions in which Customs is designated as the supervising authority. The restriction manual consists of separate sections that are grouped according to goods that are subject to restrictions. In each section, the restrictions involved with particular goods are clarified with regard to different customs procedures.

Declaring export restrictions in the customs declaration

Export restrictions are declared in the export declarations using codes. The codes can be

  • negation codes (i.e. the export goods are not goods covered by a particular restriction even though they are classified under the same commodity code)
  • procedure codes (for goods subject to export restrictions), or
  • authorisation codes (for declaring export permits).

If the export of a certain goods item is restricted, the exporter must apply for an export authorisation for the goods with the authority that administers the restrictions involved. The number of the authorisation must be declared on the export declaration. Furthermore, the authorisation must be presented upon placing the goods under a customs procedure if this is required by the authority who granted the authorisation, or by the customs office. When necessary, entries on e.g. export quantities are entered in the authorisation in accordance with the authorisation terms.

Export restrictions and international sanctions

The UN and the EU have decided on certain regional export bans and economic sanctions that are valid until further notice on a case by case basis. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is in charge of the execution, implementation and reporting of these decisions.