International professional traffic

International professional traffic refers to operating between Finland and another EU country or a third country in such way that the principal purpose of the trip is the transportation of passengers or goods against payment.

In sea traffic, this usually means a call at a port located in another country, during which the passengers can leave the ship, and in air traffic a flight to an airport located in another country. According to the legislation on exceptions concerning Åland, air traffic between the province of Åland and mainland Finland is also regarded as international professional traffic.

Traffic with charter vessels and with planes providing charter flights can also be regarded as international professional traffic.

Ships of authorities in international traffic

Under certain conditions, goods can also be supplied tax-free to ships of authorities.

Ships of authorities are, in the sense referred to in the Finnish Act on Excise Duty and the Finnish Customs Act, foreign ships used by an authority and visiting the Finnish territory, or Finnish ships used by and authority and departing, according to a confirmed visiting plan, for an official representational trip outside the customs territory of Finland.

The ships of Finnish authorities must submit a copy of the visiting plan to Customs before the goods are delivered to the ship. After this, the supplier can complete an advance notification and request permission from Customs for the supply. Permission is requested by email: during office hours (8 am–4.15 pm) to alustoimitukset(at) and outside office hours tojohtokeskus(at) 

Cruise ships

A ship operating cruises from Finland can be regarded as operating in international professional traffic if it meets the conditions for charter ships and calls at least at two foreign ports.

Fishing vessels

Vessels entered into the fishing vessel register can be supplied with tax-free fuel using either the ship supply procedure or the Tax Administration’s tax refund procedure, in which case the paid excise duty can be refunded on application.

Charter flights

An aircraft used for charter flights shall be correctly registered, surveyed and manned for the transport of people or goods. A separate flight plan shall be presented to the customs authorities on request. Each passenger must also have a travel document for the trip in question.

Charter vessels

Charter vessels shall be correctly registered, surveyed and manned for cross-border passenger traffic. Each passenger must also have a travel document for the trip in question.

Pleasure craft

Pleasure craft do not have the right to tax-free ship supplies.