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Questions frequently asked by businesses

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Import

Send the application for a revised decision to the Customs registry office by e-mail to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi or by post to Finnish Customs, Applications for a revised import decision, P.O. Box 512, 00100 Helsinki.

You can apply using the following customs forms:

  • customs form 643s or 643r (application for repayment/remission of customs duty, in Finnish or Swedish)
  • 99s or 99r (Amendment notification leading to post-clearance recovery, in Finnish or Swedish. You can also apply for repayment using this form)

or

  • a free-form application containing the required or similar details as well as any other necessary information.

Read more:

 


You can lodge an express claim if the customs invoice relating to the customs clearance decision has not yet been paid and there is at least seven days until the invoice is due. Only applications for lowering of the taxes can be processed as express claims. Applications involving requests for subsequent recovery and changes to the commodity code cannot be processed as express claims.

Read more: Express claims

 


Applications are processed in order of receipt. Applications for a revised decision that are sent in by private persons take about two months to process from the date when they become pending.
The processing time for applications sent by businesses is slightly longer: about four months from registering the case as pending.
If you haven’t received a decision within the average processing times, you can enquire about your case from the Customs registry office at kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi or 0295 527 000. Please try to avoid unnecessary queries, as they cause delays to the processing of the applications.


You can apply for repayment of the import duties and taxes if, for example, you have cancelled the purchase and sent the goods back to the seller outside the EU or if the value of the goods was incorrectly declared.

Read more: Returns, repairs and replacements

 


The refund may not yet show on your bank account when you receive the decision, as it may take a few days for the funds to be transferred to your account.


If the customs clearance was done by an agent on your behalf, ask the agent for the customs clearance decision. If you did the customs clearance yourself using our Import Declaration Service, log in to the service using the same online banking ID.
As soon as you have agreed to the terms of use, the Front page opens and you can print out the customs clearance decision.

According to the terms of use of the Import Declaration Service, a private person is responsible for keeping a file of the customs clearance documents for the current year + for 3 years following the customs clearance, and businesses, in turn, for the current year + for 6 years following the customs clearance. You may be asked to show the documents to Customs.


You can enquire about the matter by contacting the Customs registry office by email to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi, or by phoning 0295 527 000. The registry office will tell you the date when Customs received your claim for a revised decision, that is, the date when the application became pending.

Please note that the processing of your application takes about three months.


Importers shall on their own initiative calculate and declare the import VAT to the Tax Administration.  If you need a customs clearance decision for the purpose of the information request, please consider the following:

  • If a representative has carried out the customs clearance for the company, it is usually the representative who sends the customs clearance decision to the company. Check where your company’s customs clearance decisions to be archived are sent. The customs clearance decision may be in paper or electronic form. Make sure that your representative knows to which address your company’s customs clearance decisions shall be sent, so that the person who declares the VAT details to the Tax Administration gets the required details.
  • If the company has carried out the customs clearance online, the customs clearance decision is in the Import Declaration Service. (The service is not an archive, so you can only see the latest customs clearance decisions there for a limited period of time.)                                                                                                                                  
  • If the customs clearance has been carried out in message format from the company’s own data system, the customs clearance decision is also there.

In the Tax Administration’s My Tax, you will find the comparison data on imports, sent to the Tax Administration by Customs. The comparison data is based on the customs clearance decision, which contains not only the customs value but also the customs duties and other charges levied by Customs.

If you need a list of the customs clearance decisions, read the instructions on the archiving of import clearance documents.


You can make a new (replacement) customs clearance for the right customer. Use the same tax determination date in the replacement clearance as in the original customs clearance. Send a request for repayment or remission of customs duties concerning the incorrect customs clearance to the Customs Registry Office

You can lodge an express claim if the customs invoice relating to the incorrect customs clearance decision has not yet been paid and there is at least seven days until the invoice is due. If the due date has already passed, both invoices have to be paid and a repayment can be applied for retrospectively.

Read more: Express claims

 


Export

The goods must be cleared for export in Germany if they do not physically exit Finland for export. The exporter can be a Finnish company, but the German authorities may require that the exporter is registered in Germany.


The location of the goods is to be stated as an official address, for example, “Rahtikuja 3 B, Vaasa, Finland”.


An export cargo that exits the EU territory loses its Union status. Therefore, an advance declaration on arrival must be provided for the returned cargo and it must undergo customs clearance.

If the goods are returned in the same condition as they were in when they were exported, they can be cleared for import as returned goods at the customer’s request, in which case it is not necessary to pay any possible EU import duties for them. However, the goods are subject to value added tax if they are sold free of VAT.

In connection with import clearance, Customs must be presented with form No. 348 concerning the returned goods, as well as a certification of exit.

If a product taken outside the EU is returned to Finland temporarily, for example for reparation, the company responsible for the reparation can clear the goods for import under the inward processing procedure.


An indirect representative has the responsibility of a goods holder. This means that the representative (usually a forwarding agency) is responsible for the information in the export declaration to the same extent as the exporter is responsible for its own export declarations when independently seeing to export clearance.

A direct representative has the responsibility of an agent. This means that the agent is responsible for the correctness of information to the best of its (expected) knowledge.


EUR.1 (and A.TR.) -application forms are sold at PunaMustas online store (in Finnish).

The endorsement of EUR.1 movement certificates is primarily done by post. The certificates can be sent to any customs office for endorsement. The EUR.1 movement certificate can also be endorsed over the counter at any customs office with customer service: Contact information and postal addresses.

For frequent exportation of originating products, the exporter should apply for the status of approved exporter. Then the exporter can personally draft a standard-form declaration of origin to the consignment’s commercial document and an EUR.1 movement certificate endorsed by Customs is not needed.


Statistics

Customs has occasionally published a review of Finland’s international trade indicating the shares of Finnish regions in the total export volume. You can download the latest review (only in Finnish) here.


You can make a normal Intrastat declaration on such a consignment for the month from where the consignment is missing. Additional declarations do not substitute previously sent declarations, which means that a company can submit several declarations per month. Additional declarations can be made until mid-August of the year following the statistical reference year.


Companies do not need to register as Intrastat declarants themselves. If the threshold of the obligation to declare statistical data for imports is met, Customs notifies the company of this obligation. Similarly, Customs notifies companies of the obligation to provide data for exports.


Customs keeps track of the Community trade of companies obliged to provide information through VAT and statistics information. If the company’s total annual exports stay below the threshold value, Customs regards the company’s obligation to provide information as expired, and informs the company of this with a letter. In practice, this takes place in the spring based on the information of the entire preceding year.


Corrections of declarations can be made until mid-August of the year following the statistical reference year.


Finnish Customs’ international trade statistics are published on the “International trade statistics” page. The page contains the latest statistical publications and reviews. The page also contains information on statistics compilation practices, the publication schedule for statistics, and complete statistical graphs. The chart page contains complete Excel charts on Finland’s imports and exports according to, for example, commodity group and country.

The detailed international trade statistics of Finnish Customs can be obtained from Uljas statistical database. The database can be used free of charge and it does not require registration.


Transactions with Customs

Registration as an export customer is worthwhile, as Customs can process electronic declarations as smoothly as possible.

Upon registration, Customs enters the name and address details of the company in its customer register along with any possible information on authorisations. When a company submits an electronic export declaration into Customs’ export system, the system processes the declaration faster, as the information is already in the customer register.

Registration is obligatory if the company lodges more than four export declarations per year.

EORI registration can also be done in connection with registration as an export customer. An EORI number is obligatory if the exporter lodges more than four export declarations per year.


Customers, registered before 1 May 2016, do not have to do anything regarding the renewal of authorisations or guarantees. Customs will contact customers for the renewal of authorisations during the transitional period (estimated until 30 April 2019).

Read more: Guarantees

 


When determining the amount of comprehensive guarantee for transit, warehousing and other special procedures, the companies are placed into guarantee categories based on their financial solidity and payment behaviour. Furthermore, in guarantee categories BD 0%, BC 30% and BB 50%, companies must meet requirements relating to records and in-house control.

If you apply for comprehensive guarantee for special procedures or temporary storage and exemption from providing a guarantee (guarantee category BD 0%) or a reduced guarantee (guarantee category BC 30% or BB 50%), we ask that you fill in the questionnaire in the management system for commercial and transport records.  You do not have to fill in the questionnaire in guarantee category BA 100%.

How the guarantee category is determined is influenced by certain criteria in the questionnaire as well as, for instance, solidity. Below is an indicative table on the guarantee category enabled by the equity ratio.  The guarantee category is confirmed by Customs in connection with the processing of the application. 

Equity ratio Guarantee category
negatiivinen BA 100
0% - 4,9% BB 50
5% - 9,9% BC 30
10 % - BD 0

 

Questionnaire: Description of the accounting and logistics system (in Finnish)

Guidance for filling in the questionnaire: yritysneuvonta.lupa-asiakkaat(at)tulli.fi

Read more on Guarantee categories and related requirements: Guarantee categories and related requirements


The comprehensive guarantee category related to the comprehensive guarantee authorisation for customs debt is AB for AEO operators and AA for other operators.

The amount of guarantee required for customs debt in guarantee category AA is 100 % and for value added tax debt it is either 0 % (guarantee valid only in Finland) or 100 % for both customs and value added tax debt (EU-wide guarantee).

An AEO economic operator is entitled to a reduction of the guarantee. The amount of guarantee required for customs debt is 30 % and for value added tax debt it is either 0 % (guarantee valid only in Finland) or 30 % for both customs and VAT debt (EU-wide guarantee).


Åland

Authorisations

Customers, registered before 1 May 2016, do not have to do anything regarding the renewal of authorisations or guarantees. Customs will contact customers for the renewal of authorisations during the transitional period (estimated until 30 April 2019).

Read more: Guarantees

 


Guarantees

The transit reference amount is the maximum amount of outstanding customs duty and tax liability (customs duty, VAT and excise duty).

The transit reference amount is based on the realised transits for one year as well as on an estimate of the future requirement.

Example for calculating the reference amount

The one-time reservation to be reserved for a single transit €10 000 x the maximum number of simultaneously open transits 10 = reference amount €100 000.

The one-time reservation is the average amount of customs duties and taxes relating to one transit. For new operators, who do not have a transit history, the one-time reservation is €10 000.  The one-time reservation should correspond as well as possible to the actual amount of customs duties and taxes.  If the customs duties and taxes of a transit clearly differ from 10 000 euros, the one-time reservation should be the actual amount of customs duties and taxes for new operators as well.

When applying for comprehensive guarantee authorisation, you can enter the transit reference amount, the one-time reservation and the maximum number of transits open at the same time, in the box for further information.

According to EU legislation, the operator must monitor and ensure that the amount of customs duties and taxes relating to open transits does not exceed the reference amount. If the reference amount is insufficient, the operator should contact the customs office of guarantee ([email protected]) before starting the procedure.

Guarantee for reference amount in different guarantee categories:         

Guarantee category BD BC BB BA
Reference amount 0 % 30 % 50 % 100 %

The box ‘Vakuudesta varattu osuus (%)’ (Amount reserved from the guarantee) in the customs clearance decision, allows you to ensure that the guarantee is sufficient. If the guarantee is insufficient, the periodic filing or customs clearance decisions you’ve received can be paid before the payment is due. When paying, use the payment reference in the customs clearance decision and in the periodic filing.

You can also contact the forwarding agency and request that the representative’s credit number be used to handle the customs clearance transaction, thus the guarantee reservations are aimed at the representatives guarantee. You can also prepare for invoicing peaks by increasing the amount of guarantee provided.

Read more: Guarantees

 


When goods are released for free circulation, an amount that corresponds to the customs debt is reserved from the guarantee in connection with customs clearance, and the reservation is released 1–2 days after the invoice has been paid (registration delay). Registering payments transferred between different banks or from foreign accounts takes longer. Further delays may be caused by, for example, public holidays. That is why it pays to contact Customs before the limit has been reached.

Read more: Guarantees

 


The entire guarantee reservation is in force, until the whole customs clearance decision and possible penalty fees have been paid. Partial payments do not release a guarantee reservation.

Read more: Guarantees

 


During customs clearance, an amount of guarantee that corresponds to the customs debt is reserved. A guarantee is not reserved for a value added tax debt. When customs invoices are paid, a guarantee amount that corresponds only to the customs duty in the customs invoice is released. That is, the customs invoice does not release a guarantee amount that corresponds to the total sum of the invoice.

Read more: Guarantees

 


Transport and warehousing

All goods brought into the country must be presented to Customs. Transports arriving by road are presented to Customs, or else the transport operator submits an electronic manifest presentation to Customs. If the undeclared goods are subsequently unloaded into a temporary storage facility, you have 90 days from the date of the manifest presentation, i.e. about three months, to decide what you aim to do with the goods. You can for instance re-export the goods out of the EU or clear them through Customs into Finland.

Please note that 90 days is the maximum time provided by law, and some of the temporary storage keepers apply a shorter time limit.


The warehouse reference amount, i.e. the amount of liability for customs duty and tax, is generally determined based on the maximum value of the warehouse. In the reference amount, the default liability for value added tax is 24 % and for customs duty, it is 6 %. If the warehouse contains only one type or a few types of products, the reference amount can be determined according to actual tax and customs duty percentages.

The reference amount will also include any possible excise duties. As concerns excise duties, 30 % of their average value will be taken into account in the reference amount.

Example

The maximum value of goods stored simultaneously in a warehouse: e 100 000.
The average amount of excise duty on goods stored simultaneously in a customs warehouse: e 50 000.
Customs liability: 6 % x  e100 000 =  e 6 000
Value added tax liability: 24 % x e 100 000 =  e 24 000
Excise duty liability: 30 % x e 50 000 = e 15 000
Value added tax liability of excise duty: 24% x e 15 000 = e 3 600
Total reference amount: e 48 600

According to EU legislation, the operator must monitor and ensure that the amount of customs duties and taxes on goods simultaneously in the warehouse does not exceed the reference amount. If the reference amount is insufficient, the operator should contact the customs office of guarantee ([email protected]) before starting the procedure.

The warehouse guarantee share of the reference amount in different guarantee categories

Guarantee category BD BC BB BA
Customs and excise taxation 0 % 30 % 50 % 100 %
VATVAT 0 % 0 % 10 % 50 %

 

Provide the value of the goods in the warehouse with the form: Customs form 945s – Value declaration for goods in storage (in Finnish)

 

 


Import Declaration Service

The consignment must be cleared through Customs. Read more about Customs clearance of a postal parcel after delivery

Customers in Åland are requested to contact Customs in Mariehamn for further information on how to clear undeclared postal parcels through customs.

Please note that you cannot use the Import Declaration Service to clear an undeclared postal parcel, which has been delivered directly to your company. A request for post-clearance must be made for the consignment in accordance with the instructions mentioned above.


Send the application for a revised decision to the Customs registry office by e-mail to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi or by post to Finnish Customs, Applications for a revised import decision, P.O. Box 512, 00100 Helsinki.

You can apply using the following customs forms:

  • customs form 643s or 643r (application for repayment/remission of customs duty, in Finnish or Swedish)
  • 99s or 99r (Amendment notification leading to post-clearance recovery, in Finnish or Swedish. You can also apply for repayment using this form)

or

  • a free-form application containing the required or similar details as well as any other necessary information.

Read more:

 


Negation codes are used to indicate products that are not subject to any import or export restrictions. For example, if an imported toy does not contain cat or dog fur, which are prohibited items, the negation code for the toy is Y922.

Negation codes and other conditional and additional codes can be checked in the EU TARIC database for each commodity code.


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