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Special arrangement for payment of VAT (SA)

Transport companies may use a special arrangement for payment of value added tax (VAT). A transport company may register for the special arrangement when it delivers consignments worth no more than 150 euros to private individuals and submits low value consignment declarations for these consignments. Read more: Import declaration for low value goods 

Under the special arrangement, the VAT is paid monthly to Customs based on a consolidated invoice. The special arrangement can be used when goods are imported from countries outside the EU or across the tax border from another EU country. It can also be used when goods are imported from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland or exported from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands. 

When using the special arrangement, the transport company must lodge a customs declaration for low value consignments as normal. The use of the special arrangement must be indicated in the customs declaration by providing an additional procedure code.

Requirements for using the special arrangement

The special arrangement can be used by a transport company that acts as a representative for the consignee who is a private individual or some other operator not registered for VAT, and that submits import declarations on behalf of this individual or operator. The representative must also be able present the goods it transports to Customs. The representative must have an authorisation for payment deferment granted by Customs, as well as a guarantor’s undertaking that the representative has lodged with Customs.

The value of the consignment must not exceed 150 euros. The value does not include any freight or other costs that may be payable separately. The goods must not be subject to restrictions or excise duty.

Businesses that use the special arrangements must keep a record of their business transactions. The records must be sufficiently detailed so that the customs authorities can verify that the correct amount of taxes has been collected and paid and that the customs declarations have been lodged correctly. Read more about the record-keeping requirements on the Instructions on authorisations page. 

Registering as a user of the special arrangement

Before the transport company can use the special arrangement, it must first register by sending a free-form notification to the Customs Authorisation Centre.

Submit a registration notification prior to starting operations. The notification must contain at least the name of the operator, their EORI number and address as well as the name and contact details of the SA contact person. You should also indicate whether the decision on registration can be sent to the representative by secure email.

For accepted registration, the operator must have a valid payment deferment authorisation. Moreover, the operator concerned must consent separately to the use of the guarantee to cover VAT on goods that are under the special arrangement and imported by private individuals. Before registration, the Authorisation Centre ensures that the conditions are met.

Payment and declaration of VAT

Customs will send the businesses that use the special arrangement a weekly machine-readable specification over the customs declarations they have submitted in one week. At the end of the month, Customs will send a consolidated invoice for low value consignments. The due date of the consolidated invoice is the last day of the month following the month when the invoice was sent.

The business must submit a monthly tax declaration of the amount of VAT it has collected and pay that amount to Customs. The VAT declaration must be submitted electronically no later than on the last day of the subsequent month.