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The ABC of export

Export goods must be cleared by Customs before they are taken out of Finland; that is, the exporter must submit an export declaration to Customs. No taxes or other charges need to be paid for export goods to Customs.

Read about the basics of export on this page if you’re exporting goods

  • to a country outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU (e.g. to the United States) 
  • to an area outside the fiscal territory of the EU (e.g. to the Canary Islands) 
  • from the Åland Islands to some other country than Finland.

A. Prepare for export

There are certain conditions for acting as an exporter.

Find out the commodity code of the export goods in advance. With the commodity code, you can find out, for example, what export restrictions apply to the goods.

In exports, the commodity code is a so-called CN code consisting of eight digits.

The EU has placed restrictions on the export of goods such as firearms, firearm supplies, dual-use goods, objects of cultural value and ozone-depleting substances. In addition, there may also be regional export and economic sanctions in place.

You will need an authorisation (licence) to export certain goods. Find out from what authority you can apply for the authorisation before exporting the goods.

Customs does not issue export licences.


There may also be restrictions in place in the country of destination. Useful sources of information are Business Finland, embassies, the portal Access2Market maintained by the EU Commission, your forwarding agency as well as the shipping company, airline or other transport operator.

For instance, wood packaging material must fulfil the requirements of the IPSM 15 standard when exported outside the EU. Wood packaging material (Finnish Food Authority, in Finnish)

You can handle the customs transactions yourself. However, many companies use the services of a forwarding agency or another representative to facilitate the customs transactions.

If you use a representative, remember to grant the necessary mandates to the representative.

You can submit the export declaration free of charge using Customs’ Export Declaration Service.

If your company submits a large number of export declarations, message exchange could be an alternative transaction channel. Message exchange requires investments by the company, an authorisation granted by Customs and system testing. Message exchange.

Based on the free trade agreements and other preferential tariff agreements entered into by the EU, you can lower the costs that the buyer of the exported goods must pay in the destination country.

You will not get beneficial treatment automatically without taking measures as the exporter.

Benefit from the EU’s trade agreements in exports

You need obtain a business identifier, an EORI number, for your company from Customs. Your company must have a valid EORI number in order to submit export declarations.

Your company must grant its employees a mandate to submit export declarations. If you use a representative, the representative must also be granted a mandate.

How to grant a mandate

B. Submit the export declaration

Submit the export declaration once you have the required information. The declaration must be submitted before the goods are loaded for transport.

The export declaration is part of the customs clearance. As an exporter, you are responsible for the customs clearance of the goods.

If you use a representative, the representative will submit the export declaration on your behalf.

How to make an export declaration


C. The departure of the goods from Finland

Prepare for the fact that Customs controls the export of goods and may inspect goods consignments. In practice, Customs may, for instance, ask to see documents and inspect means of transport.

The goods have to be available for customs inspection at the location mentioned in the export declaration.

The transport of the goods can begin when Customs has sent the decision on release and the export accompanying document (EAD). The EAD contains a reference number, MRN, that identifies the export declaration and that the carrier needs for discharging the export procedure at the last customs office before the goods exit from the customs or fiscal territory of the EU.

When the goods have left the EU territory and the freight carrier has submitted the required exit notifications to Customs, Customs will certify the export. You will then receive a decision on release with certification of exit; this document also verifies a sale free from value added tax.

Exit of goods from the EU

D. Tulli-ilmoittamisen jälkeen 

No customs duty or VAT is paid for export goods.

However, the seller of the goods needs verification on the VAT-free sale of the goods for their records. The most common proof of this is the decision on release with certification of exit obtained from Customs. Guidance on the VAT rules for export trade is provided by the Tax Administration (, in Finnish)


Depending on the situation, you can apply for amendment or invalidation if an error has occurred in the export clearance or if, for example, the export transaction is cancelled.

Amendment and invalidation of an export declaration

Sinun on arkistoitava sähköiset viennin asiakirjat. Tulli tekee jälkitarkastuksia sekä yrityksen tullille toimittamiin asiakirjoihin että yrityksen kirjanpitoaineistoon.

Arkistointi (Linkki ei vielä toimi.)

Are you engaged in intra-EU trade?

Check here what you need to consider regarding intra-EU trade.