Tax-free sales to travellers are supervised by the Finnish Tax Administration. According to the bulletin ‘Tax-free sales to travellers - Guidance for retailers’ released by the Tax Administration, sales to travellers comprise sales of goods to travellers who reside continuously outside the EU or outside Norway and who buy goods in Finland and export the goods as unused from Finland in their personal luggage.
There are no value limits in tax-free sales to travellers except for the minimum value of 40 euros. A buyer pays value added tax at the time of purchase, but gets a partial or total refund upon later presenting an account in accordance with section 8 in the value added tax act (a verification stamped by Customs or an invoice by a refund company) on the goods having been taken out of the EU territory.
The bulletin ‘Tax-free sales to travellers - Guidance for retailers’ is available on the Tax Administration’s website www.vero.fi
An export declaration is lodged in the following situations:
- A foreign entrepreneur picks up the goods personally (Ex Works) and takes them immediately outside the EU. The retailer lodges an export declaration in their own name. The sales are exempt from tax for the company in question.
- A traveller (not an entrepreneur) buys the goods, and the retailer delivers the goods to the buyer either personally or through a transport company so that the goods are given to the recipient only at the Finnish border. The retailer lodges a customs declaration in their own name, and the goods delivered to a traveller can be sold as exempt from tax under this arrangement.
- The retailer can lodge an export declaration in the traveller’s name and hand over the goods normally in connection with the sale. In these cases, sales are subject to tax. The buyer is declared as the exporter, and the retailer who submits the export declaration is declared as the agent. This arrangement involves tax-free passenger sales, which means that the retailer must also comply with the regulations issued by the Tax Administration. Both the sales voucher and the export declaration must be presented to Customs at the place of exit.
- If Customs at the customs office of exit finds that a traveller has actually bought goods for commercial purposes, the traveller can be required to lodge an export declaration stating the traveller as the exporter.
The supplier’s declaration is a document used mainly in EU internal trade to prove the origin of the goods.
The buyer of the goods may need a supplier’s declaration from the seller, to be able to draft a certificate of origin to receive preferential treatment of the goods when the goods are sold to a contracting country in the EU. A supplier’s declaration can also be drafted to declare to the buyer the EU portion of the EU internal transaction. The buyer can, in this case, take advantage of this EU portion in further processing of the goods, when accumulating the EU origin portion of the goods into products originating in the EU.
The statistical value is the cost of the item within the borders of Finland with some additional costs, such as freight and insurance, if they are not included in the trade price. When necessary, deliveries free of charge not included in the price, are also added to the statistical value.
The value of partly or completely gratuitous goods is determined according to the price that would be acquired upon selling the goods.
Exchange rates confirmed by Customs are applied when determining the statistical value in export. The statistical value is given in euros.
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.
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.
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.
The export declaration must be corrected if the credit note amount is of statistical significance.
Customs declarations cannot be corrected after the declared goods have been placed under an export procedure. A request for the correction of an export declaration can be made after the goods are placed under the export procedure. However, it is not possible to correct all information.
For the first consignment, enter 1 as the number of packages + the package type as well as the markings and numbers of the packages. For the other consignments, enter 0 as the number of packages + the package type as well as the markings and numbers of the packages.
You must enter exactly the same package types and the same package markings and numbers for each consignment and write these data in exactly the same way.
An entirely new export declaration must be lodged for the goods that remained in the Union.
The decision on release with confirmation of exit must be corrected as regards the goods that remained in the Union.
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.
If similar consignments are included in an export declaration, they must be combined into a single consignment on the declaration. This applies when the commodity code, procedure code and the previous document are the same for each consignment. The same commodity code cannot be used several time merely because there are differences in the characters and digits given for identifying the goods or in the packaging details.
The two-stage declaration procedure is used only in exceptional cases if Customs has granted authorisation for the simplified export procedure. In most cases, customers can lodge a conventional, one-stage, complete customs declaration to be provided in advance.
The declaration lodged in advance must state the date and time when the export consignment is available for customs control. The weight details and other information can be corrected until the consignment is released for a customs procedure. In practice, this means the moment given as the time of presenting the goods.
The location of the goods is to be stated as an official address, for example, “Rahtikuja 3 B, Vaasa, Finland”.
The information for the declaration must be provided either in Finnish or Swedish. The goods description can be provided in English.
When you use the Export Declaration Service, you can select Finnish, Swedish or English as the interface language. However, for example restrictions, messages and decisions concerning the declaration are available only in Finnish and Swedish.
The export declaration can be lodged in Finland, i.e. the country of departure, if the value of the goods does not exceed 3 000 euros and the goods are not subject to prohibitions or restrictions.
If the value of the goods exceeds 3 000 euros, the export declaration can be lodged in Finland if the goods have been manufactured or purchased in Finland or if they are in consignment stock in Finland.
A consignment stock is, in the context of the export procedure, any warehouse that has an address and receives goods meant for export, and from where such goods depart.
In addition to an export declaration being lodged, the transfer to Finland of goods meant for export must be entered in the EU VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) as a transfer of own goods. Due to this, the goods must be registered as received either by the exporter or an authorised party. The registration must be done using the VAT number received from the Finnish Tax Administration (number beginning with “FI”).
When an export licence is required for the goods, the export declaration must be lodged in accordance with the licence requirements, usually only to the country of export.
The exporter has to be established in the Union. An agreement party established in the Union is regarded as the exporter even when the right of ownership of the goods has been transferred to a buyer established outside the Union in accordance with a term of sale (for example Ex Works) or some other agreement.
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.
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
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 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
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
This refers to the supplier’s declaration for a single consignment of products having preferential origin status in accordance with annex 22-15 of the Implementing Regulation 2015/2447.
”I the undersigned declare that the goods listed on this document _ _ _ _ _ (1) originate in _ _ _ _ _ (2) and satisfy the rules of origin governing preferential trade with Switzerland, Tunisia and Morocco (3).
I declare that (4):
- (X ) Cumulation applied with Norway
- ( ) No cumulation applied.
In box 3, the contracting country is entered (e.g. Switzerland), where the buyer has declared that he intends to export the goods. The prerequisite is that the goods fulfil the conditions of origin of the free trade agreement between the EU and Switzerland.
The buyer may have asked the seller to register in box 3 all the free trade agreements within the EU, in case the buyer wants to export goods to several EU contracting countries. Here you can only register the contracting parties with which the conditions in the rules of origin are fulfilled, though.
If an applied cumulation e.g. with Norway is declared in box 4, then the prerequisites in the rules of origin in box 3 can only be fulfilled in agreements between countries that are part of the Euro-Mediterranean agreement network.
- If the value of the originating goods in the consignment exceeds 6,000 euros, the exporter must have a written approved exporter’s authorisation granted by Customs with a company-specific authorisation number. Based on this authorisation, the approved exporter can issue specified declarations of origin on the commercial documents of export consignments (generally on the export company’s invoices). The number of the authorisation granted by Customs to the exporter is included in the declarations of origin. See the page How to provide proof of origin, section Approved exporter
- If the value of the originating products in the consignment does not exceed 6,000 euros, any exporter can personally draft a standard-form declaration of origin on a consignment’s commercial document (usually the selling company's invoice). Then the declaration of origin must contain the handwritten signature of the exporter.
- The person who submits the declaration of origin must always, with a document, be able to prove the originating status of the goods in the consignment. When drafting declarations of origin, this documented proof should be available to the company and to Customs.
Under certain circumstances, the EUR.1 movement certificate can be submitted retrospectively for the goods mentioned in the certificate, if
- it was not issued at the time of exportation because of errors, involuntary omissions or special circumstances, or
- it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the customs authorities that an EUR.1 movement certificate was issued but was not accepted at importation for technical reasons.
An EUR.1 movement certificate issued retrospectively shall in box 7 be endorsed with the following phrase: ‘ISSUED RETROSPECTIVELY’.
The flip side, i.e. the ‘exporter’s declaration’, of the application part of the EUR.1 movement certificate mentions what the exporter should fill in. The exporter should mention under which conditions the product has become the originating product mentioned in the certificate.
What has to be filled in depends on what is required for gaining originating status, according to the rules of origin for the product (commodity code). The product can, for example, be wholly obtained in the EU (e.g. grain grown and processed in the EU). The product can be sufficiently worked, for example in such a way that the amount of non-originating components does not exceed the maximum amount allowed. Depending on the commodity code the rule can, for instance, further state that the non-originating component used belongs under a different commodity code than the end product (export product). In other words, what the exporter needs to mention here, depends on the rule of origin regarding the commodity code of the export product.
In the footnote of the exporter’s declaration are examples of documents, which can be used to provide proof of the correctness of the declared origin. The exporter should mention in this section, which documents they have for proving the origin.
Yes, they can. The protocols of the rules of origin in free trade agreements actually state that the exporter or their representative with power of attorney, can fill in the EUR.1 movement certificate and the application part of the form.
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.