Guarantees

An EU-wide guarantee may be used in more than one Member State. The guarantee can be lodged in Finland and used for customs clearance in EU-countries where the guarantee is in force. Correspondingly, the guarantee can be granted in another EU-country and used for customs clearances in Finland.

The EU-wide guarantee can be granted for import, special procedures, transit and temporary warehousing.

However, the transit guarantee must be valid throughout the entire EU territory and in optional agreement countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Andorra and San Marino).

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The guarantee category for customs liability is determined when the customer uses transit, warehousing or other special import procedures. In order to qualify for a reduction of the guarantee for customs liability, the customer must have sufficient funds in relation to the reference amount.

When determining if the funds are sufficient, all the different procedures used by the operator are added up (import, transit, warehousing and special procedures); the reference amount, i.e. the amount of customs debt as well as the amount of liability regarding customs duty and taxes.

The guarantees that the customer provides to Customs are deducted from the total reference amount, and the reference amount not covered by the guarantee is compared with the customer’s balance sheet total.

The requirement for sufficient funds is met, when the balance sheet total is at least half of the reference amount with no guarantee:

(Total reference amount – guarantees) / balance sheet total ≤ 2.

In guarantee category BD, the requirement for sufficient funds is additionally scaled according to the equity ratio so that when the ratio increases, the requirement for sufficient funds is based on a lower balance sheet total.

Example:

  • The customer’s total reference amount is 200,000 euros (the import reference amount is 50,000 and the reference amount for inward processing is 150,000 euros).
  • The balance sheet total is 60,000 euros and the equity ratio is 10 %.
  • The customer has no payment delays or payment disruptions.

When it comes to customs debt, the customer belongs in guarantee category AA (100 %).

Regarding the customs liability, the customer belongs in category BD (0 %) based on their equity ratio and payment behaviour. The customer also meets the requirements regarding e.g. their record keeping and internal audit, which are specific to the guarantee category.

In order to qualify for guarantee reductions, the customer must also have sufficient funds in relation to the reference amount.

Let’s check the sufficient funds in guarantee category BD (0 %):

The amount of guarantee required is 50,000 euros in total. The import guarantee is 100 % of the reference amount and the guarantee for inward processing is 0 %.

 (200,000–50,000 euros) / 60,000 euros = 2,5, i.e. the requirements regarding sufficient funds and guarantee category BD are not fulfilled.

Let’s check the sufficient funds in guarantee category BC (30 %):

The guarantee requirement is 95,000 euros in total (50,000 euros + 45,000 euro). The import guarantee is 100 % of the reference amount and the guarantee for inward processing is 30 %.

 (200,000–95,000 euros) / 60,000 euros = 1,75 i.e. < 2.

The requirement regarding sufficient funds is fulfilled when the customer delivers a guarantee in accordance with guarantee category BC for the customs liability, and a guarantee in accordance with guarantee category AA for the customs debt.


The guarantee can be sent to Customs, Credit Management, PO Box 261, 65101 Vaasa.

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If the guarantee provided is less than the amount of customs duty to be levied, the company’s own credit number cannot be used to clear the goods through customs. You can request that the forwarding agency uses their own credit number to handle the customs clearance transaction, thus the guarantee reservations are aimed at the representatives guarantee. You can also increase the amount of guarantee yourself by delivering an additional guarantee (see accepted types of guarantees).

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The following guarantee types or their combinations e.g. can be accepted as guarantees:

  • bank guarantee/suretyship insurance
  • pledge of a bank account.

Mortgages of businesses, vessels, cars and equipment are not accepted as comprehensive guarantee. The same applies to a deposit into the Customs account.

Customs always defines the acceptable type of guarantee and guarantee documents and contacts the customer prior to the delivery of the guarantee.

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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 (then the form of representation is indirect representation or direct representation with the liability of a guarantor). You can also prepare for invoicing peaks by increasing the amount of guarantee provided.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 


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