If a prohibition of use is placed on a sample for the duration of the examinations, the product cannot be put into use. If there is a specific motivated reason why the goods should be allowed to be put into use, contact Customs’ product safety unit. In the case of internal market sampling, samples are generally not prohibited from being put into use; in that case, they can be delivered for sale.

The country of origin is the country where the goods are from i.e., were they were produced or manufactured.

If goods have undergone manufacturing or processing in at least two countries, the country of origin is the country where the last significant and economically motivated manufacturing or processing was performed and which resulted in a new product. For example, packaging, sorting and other comparable small scale handling is not considered manufacturing.

However, the dispatching country is entered as the country of origin in accordance with the statistical directives in the following cases:

  • the country of origin is not known (and cannot be established)
  • returned goods and other goods originating in the Union
  • goods belonging in chapter 97 of the customs tariff
  • after outward processing (nature of transaction stating codes 51, 52 or 53 in box 24) for imported goods.

The Customs Laboratory does not take commercial analysis orders. The declarant is responsible for the conformity of the product and can have its conformity tested by commercial traders. More information is available on the websites of the Finnish Food Authority and TUKES. 
When you are planning to import goods (Customs)
Import and export (Finnish Food Authority)
Products and services (Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency)

Products to be examined are chosen randomly in accordance with Customs’ control plan, and the decision on sampling is based on an assessment of risk factors. The control has to be done regularly. In addition to risk-based sampling, the extent of the internal market imports, the range of products, the origin of the product, the supplier, any previous examination results and the EU Commission's RASFF alerts affect the frequency of sampling. Similar products of other traders are also regularly monitored to ensure that the products comply with the regulations.

The Customs Laboratory delivers the documents in Finnish or Swedish, depending on which language the company registered in the Finnish Business Information System.

According to the EU regulation, Intrastat data can only be used for statistical purposes, so they cannot be utilised in customs supervision.

The examination fees are determined in accordance with The Ministry of Finance Decree on Customs performances subject to charge.

The analyses are determined in accordance with Customs’ control plan and risk assessment. For some products, there are certain regulations that require intensified controls.

Only certain unopened packages of foodstuffs can be returned. Commercial goods are returned on request. The declarant must notify of this during the sampling stage. The prerequisite for returning a product is that it complies with the regulations. 

Samples for examinations are only taken in a minimum quantity needed for the examinations; usually based on legislation. In some examinations, the minimum quantity is quite large, up to 50 incremental samples. Usually, 1‒5 incremental samples are taken for examinations.

The sampling is based on the following regulations: the Food Act (297/2021), the Consumer Safety Act (920/2011), the Chemicals Act (599/2013), the Cosmetics Act (492/2013), the Act on organic production (1330/2021), the Act on the Organisation of the Market in Agricultural Products (999/2012) and the EU Control Regulation (EU) 2017/625.

The duration of the analyses cannot be affected. They are always made according to the instructions.

The Customs Laboratory sometimes requests documentation for examinations and categorisation of product safety samples. Submitting it quickly may speed up the completion of the examination. 

The examination times vary depending on the case. The average examination time is 10 working days.

The term declaration header/item to be cleared refers to goods declared with one customs declaration and their basic information, such as the terms of delivery, transport and location information. The declaration header covers the whole customs declaration and the goods items declared in it.   

One customs declaration can contain several goods items. More specific details must be provided for each goods item, that is, for those goods that have the same commodity code, goods description, previous procedure, additional procedure and country of origin. 

Incoterms, or delivery terms, are trading conditions of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller regarding the delivery, the goods and costs.

Enter the delivery term of the trade invoice to the customs declaration.

Read more: Incoterms

The information about summary declaration/previous document has to do with the supervision of customs clearance of goods upon arrival in the customs territory.

  • the arrival ID is entered for postal consignments
  • the previous document in freight consignments is generally the MRN of the AREX + the goods item number. The freight carrier notifies you of the previous document to be submitted

Read more: The previous document must be provided in the import declaration

The EU has a customs union agreement with Turkey which involves the import and trade in most so-called industrial products. Industrial products imported from Turkey are entitled to duty-free treatment if the goods have been in free circulation in Turkey. The country of origin of the products is irrelevant. Justification for duty-free treatment of customs union products upon import, is proven with an A.TR. goods certificate.

Read more on preferential treatment
Instructions on completing the customs declaration

The statistical value refers to the price of goods including the additional import costs occurring outside the borders of Finland and in export, the additional cost inside the borders of Finland, such as freight and insurance costs and, when necessary, shipments free of charge that are not included in the price. The price of partly or completely gratuitous goods is determined according to the price that would be acquired upon selling the goods. The statistical value does not include taxes implemented in Finland, such as: customs duties, VAT, excise duty, import costs and other taxes and/or export refunds with similar effect.

The value of the goods is declared as the statistical value of goods imported or exported for processing under contract or to be used for repairs. When re-exporting goods, the costs for wages etc. in accordance with the trade invoice, are added to the value of the goods as well and freight and insurance costs up to the Finnish border.

Detailed information on importing and instructions for different import clearances, can be found on the Import page.

Taric is the EC’s common customs tariff, which is used e.g. to define Union taxes and payments. The Taric codes are located in the Taric database. It contains a nomenclature, code numbers and additional coded, amounts of customs duties to be implemented, other bases for charges as well as information needed regarding administration or actions to be implemented on import and export.

The Taric database

Goods subject to charge and free goods are declared with separate customs declarations.

Read more: Declaring free-of-charge goods in an import declaration

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.


Any questions?