Ship supply procedure – export declaration for ship supplies

Ship supplies refer to tax and duty free deliveries from Finland to commercial ships and aircraft located in the territory of the European Union and operating in international traffic. These goods include:

  • the ship’s spare parts and equipment
  • the ship’s fuels and lubricants
  • goods to be sold to passengers on board the ship
  • goods to be consumed by staff or passengers on board the ship.

For ship supplies, the same formalities that apply to export declarations are observed and an export declaration must be submitted to Customs, regardless of the ships nationality or whether the ships destination is in the EU or not.

The ship supply declaration is submitted electronically, unless the supplier has been authorised by Customs to use a simplified declaration. The ship supply declaration should be submitted well in advance for all consignment, so that the goods can be inspected if necessary. A ship supply declaration approved by Customs is a permission to load the vessel.

Consignments from other countries, which are to be loaded onto a ship in Finland, must have a loading permit from Finnish Customs before the goods are loaded on board the vessel.

The supplier must make sure that the information provided is correct, and to notify Customs of any changes to the information.

Normal procedure

Under the normal procedure, the supplier submits the declaration, either online in the Export Declaration Service or with a message, before the goods are delivered to the ship.

Entry in the declarant's records and the local clearance procedure

A company, which regularly delivers a significant amount of tax-free consignments to ships or to aircraft, can apply for an authorisation for simplification for ship supplies. The holder of the authorisation hands over the customs declaration to be entered into the accounts, and submits a supplementary declaration to Customs retrospectively for the previous month’s ship supplies. The authorisation for simplification can be used for goods deliveries to ships or aircraft located in Finland. The holder of the authorisation may also be responsible for providing Customs with an advance declaration before the planned delivery.

Authorisations for local clearance procedure, which concern vessel and aircraft supplies and have been granted before 1 may 2016, are valid until Customs has re-assessed and withdrawn the old authorisations and if needed granted new authorisations, which concern registering a customs declaration in the declarant’s accounts. Customs makes the decisions based on re-assessments before 1 may 2019.

Restrictions on ship supplies

  • The ship supply procedure cannot be used for special procedures or for exports with refunds (CAP export).
  • A ship supply declaration is not submitted if the consignee is a shipyard or other contractor who participates in the building of the ship. The ship supply procedure can only be applied when a new ship is in the last stages of being furnished and the consignee is a shipping company.
  • A ship supply declaration cannot be submitted if the goods are delivered to a ship outside the EU. In this case, the goods to be delivered on board the ship must be declared electronically with a normal export declaration. 

The rule regarding one transport contract does not apply to supplies for ships and aircraft in international traffic.

Oral declaration for ship supplies

A ship supply declaration can be submitted orally when the consignment is worth a maximum of 1,000 euros and has a net weight of no more than 1,000 kilograms. A declaration is required though, if the goods are under some kind of restriction.

Delivering undeclared goods to ships and aircraft

When undeclared goods are delivered to ships or aircraft the goods must be transited, unless the warehouse of departure is at the same port or airport as the ship or aircraft where the goods are to be delivered. However, goods can be moved from a Customs warehouse without the transit procedure irrespective of the location of the craft. The transfer is made with a re-export declaration. 

Goods placed under the customs warehousing procedure can be moved as ship supplies under the customs warehousing procedure. The transfer is made with a re-export declaration. If the holder of the customs warehousing authorisation has a ship supply authorisation, the transfer is made with a document specific for the authorisation.  Exceptions to this are non-union originating meats, which have to be transited if the vessel is not at the same port as the customs warehouse. With a loading permit from Customs goods in a temporary warehouse can be transferred to a ship located in the same location. If the ship is at another port, then the goods have to be transited.

Points to consider

In international traffic, vessels and aircraft require various goods and supplies for their operations, such as fuels and lubricants, provisions and various goods to be installed and used in maintenance and repairs. In customs legislation, deliveries of these goods are referred to as vessel and aircraft supplies. 

Vessel and aircraft supplies also include goods which are delivered exempt from tax for sales purposes and for imports as gifts.

For vessel and aircraft supplies, it is required that the goods are ordered in the name of a shipping company or an airline. Goods meant for use by vessel personnel are treated as passenger imports and exports.

Read more: Ship supply procedure



When goods are ordered from a company for delivery on board a vessel or aircraft, an electronic export declaration must be submitted to Customs concerning the delivery. The customs declaration must be submitted well in advance of the delivery onto the ship, so that Customs has the possibility to inspect the goods.

A company that regularly delivers goods to ships can apply for an authorisation from Customs to use a simplified declaration procedure, where instead of an export declaration, a summarising declaration is submitted to Customs for several different consignments.

Read more: Ship supply procedure


An electronic declaration concerning vessel or aircraft supplies is processed in the same way as a complete export declaration, with certain exceptions.

The export declaration concerning vessel or aircraft supplies is easier to draft than a normal export declaration, because only three summarising TARIC codes are used as tariff headings for ship supplies: 99302400 foodstuffs, 99302700 fuels and 99309900 other goods.

It is not necessary to provide export safety and security information or exit declarations.

Read more: Ship supply procedure


When delivering goods on board a vessel or aircraft in Finland, the supplier asks the vessel/aircraft representative to sign the export accompanying document (EAD), and then adds the signed document to its acconts as proof.

It is also possible for a supplier to obtain a decision on release with confirmation of exit for their accounts by presenting Customs with the accompanying document signed by the vessel/aircraft representative.

Read more: Confirmation of exit


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