For what purpose are goods exported?

The purpose of export is declared by entering a four-digit customs procedure code in the export declaration. Declaring the correct customs procedure code is especially important when the intention is to bring the export goods back to Finland at some stage. If the customer should happen to enter an incorrect customs procedure code in the declaration, it will not be possible to apply a lower rate of customs duties and taxes.

Permanent export

Goods are usually exported permanently, which means that they are not intended to be imported back into the EU. In permanent export, a customs procedure code starting with “10” is to be entered in the customs declaration.

Temporary export

Goods can be exported temporarily to a location outside the EU, for example for a fair, an exhibition, or for test purposes. Goods that have been exported temporarily must be returned to the EU in an unchanged state within the prescribed time limit. If a customs declaration concerning temporary export has been lodged for the goods that are to be brought back, customs duties and value added tax are not collected on them. You can either lodge an electronic export declaration (a customs procedure code starting with “23”)for temporary export goods or use an international ATA Carnet customs document issued by a chamber of commerce.

Export for repair or other processing

Goods can be exported to countries outside the EU for repair, processing, testing or other operations and re-imported duty-free if the goods that are re-imported are duty-free on one of the following grounds:

  • no customs duty is levied on the goods according to the customs tariff
  • preferential treatment can be applied to the goods
  • the goods are cleared for import duty-free based on their specific end-use purpose                                                                                   

Applying preferential treatment requires that an invoice declaration, a EUR.1 certificate or some other proof entitling to treatment as originating products is presented upon import.

The following information is to be entered on an export declaration:

  • A customs procedure code starting with “22”, other temporary export than under code 21 (outward processing)
  • National procedure code 999, no national procedure
  • Nature of transaction:
    • 41 Operations relating to processing under contract (paid labour)
    • 60 Business transactions that do not involve change in ownership (repair, renting, lending, leasing, other)

The time limit for re-import does not need to be entered. The use of the procedure code 22 does not require authorisation by the customs authority.

Goods to be exported for testing

Temporary exportation under procedure code 23xx:

  • Use this code when, for example, you are exporting products to an exhibition or fair, and when the products return in the same condition.
  • Use this code also when you are exporting products for the purpose of facilitating trade, and the products are returned to the Union.
    • Enter national procedure code 7VQ, temporary export for testing, returned after testing.

Temporary exportation under procedure code 22xx:

  • Use code 22xx for products under a 0 % import duty due to their origin, tariff classification or some other reason.
  • Use the code when you are exporting a duty-exempt product for testing for the purpose of establishing whether it can be repaired or not.  
    • Enter national procedure code 7VQ.
    • Enter the type of testing (subject to charge or free of charge) with the new additional statement code FIXFV.

Temporary exportation under procedure code 21xx (outward processing):

  • Use code 21xx when the import duty on goods placed under outward processing and re-imported into the Union is higher than 0 %.  
  • Use the code when you are exporting a product subject to customs duty for testing for the purpose of establishing whether it can be repaired or not. 
    • Enter one of these two national procedure codes: 7UA (regular procedure) or 7UB (simplified procedure).
    • Enter the type of testing (subject to charge or free of charge) with the new additional statement code FIXFV.

Outward processing

Outward processing is a special procedure subject to authorisation which enables the temporary importation of Union goods from the customs territory of the EU for processing. Also, when the process is used, products manufactured through processing can be released for free circulation as totally or partly exempt from import duties. Authorisation for outward processing is applied for when the processed goods are not exempt from customs duty on any other grounds.


Goods that are non-Union goods can be re-exported. It is a procedure for goods that have not been customs cleared into the EU and that have not been granted the status of Union goods. The goods are under customs supervision at all times. A customs procedure code starting with “31” is used on the re-export declaration.

Points to consider

A customs procedure code starting with “23” is to be entered in the export declaration, for example:

  • Code 2300 if no other customs procedure has been applied to the goods prior to export
  • Code 2340 if the goods being exported are goods that have imported from outside the eu earlier and that have been released for free circulation

The data on the item to be cleared must include one of the following as the nature of the transaction:

  • Rent, loan or lease lasting under than 2 years, code 60
  • Rent, loan or lease lasting for more than 2 years, code 91
  • Other (uncategorised) business transaction, code 99.

Additionally, the additional statement FIXBV must be declared, and the date of the re-import must be entered in the text field of the additional statement code in the form (date by which the goods are re-imported).

The national procedure code is 999 if no national procedure is applied. In special situations, one of the following codes is used:

  • 7VB Non-commercial goods, e.g. advertising goods
  • 7VD Legal methods of payment and securities
  • 7VE Monetary gold
  • 7VF Goods intended for diplomatic or comparable use.

An exporter, as needed, apply for an extension to the re-import time limit from the Electronic Service Centre of Customs with a free-form application. Extending the time limit to more than two years will also change the code for nature of transaction.

Temporary export can be corrected to permanent export if the goods stay permanently in the country of destination and are not returned to the EU. The correction request has to be accompanied with the invoice if the goods have been sold or with some other document that proves that the goods are free of charge.


The goods are exported temporarily for an exhibition and the export declaration states code 60 as nature of transaction, code 2300 as customs procedure, and code 999 as national procedure.

If the goods are sold at the exhibition, a correction request will declare code 11 as nature of transaction, code 1000 as customs procedure, and code 999 as national procedure.

If the goods remain outside the Union free of charge (free delivery), the correction request will declare code 30 as nature of transaction, 1000 as customs procedure, and 7VB as national procedure.

If goods that are temporarily exported using the ATA Carnet remain permanently in the country of destination, the holder of the ATA Carnet, i.e. the exporter, must afterwards submit an export declaration for the goods to Customs.

The following information must be given for the consignment to be cleared:

  • The date of the trade invoice as the exceptional date of export
  • In message declarations, the field name is “exportpointdate”
  • As the location of the goods, tornio customs
  • As the additional statement code, fixeu (document submitted afterwards)
  • As the other additional statement code, fixew (as it is a matter of submitting statistical data to customs).                                                                                                                 

The ATA Carnet (code 955) as well as its number and date must be declared as the previous document in the export declaration in in the goods item data. After processing at Customs, a decision on release with confirmation of exit will be issued to the exporter as proof of export.

In accordance with the general ATA Carnet instructions, entries by the Finnish customs authority are required on the Carnet`s re-import voucher. The entries can be requested from a customs office, or the ATA Carnet and the trade invoice can be sent to Tornio Customs.

ATA Carnet is an international document, which can be used when goods for exhibitions and equipment used by professionals as well as commercial goods samples, are temporarily exported to countries that are contracting parties of the customs convention. The ATA Carnet also provides an internationally accepted guarantee for possible customs duty and import taxes levied on the imported goods.

The ATA Carnet does not replace other documents or authorisations that might be needed regarding restrictions on import or export, for example import licences for firearms or health certificates. ATA Carnets are granted upon application by chambers of commerce in each of the contracting countries. In Finland, ATA Carnets are issued by the Central Chamber of Commerce.

Transit with the ATA Carnet

If the aim is to transit the goods under the ATA Carnet, for example to an exhibition or fair, via a country or territory (e.g. the EU) without importing them temporarily, then the ATA Carnet can be used as a transit document. No separate transit guarantee has to be provided to customs. Neither will any safety and security data have to be provide for goods transported under the ATA Carnet.

Read more