Goods imported for research or test use

If you are importing products for examination, analysis or test use, they can be exempt from import duties and value added tax under certain conditions. However, if these products are subject to excise duty, excise duties will be levied on them.

An exception to this are alcohol and alcoholic beverages. No excise duty is levied on them when they are imported for these purposes. A seller acting as the importer must in these cases, however, have a wholesale licence for spirits and alcoholic beverages and the buyer must have a licence to use spirits or alcoholic beverages. The holder of the licence may import alcoholic beverages or spirits for personal use.

Prerequisites for relief from customs duties

A condition for exemption from customs duties is that the purpose of the procedures to be implemented is to determine the composition, quality or other technical aspects of the product for the purpose of releasing information, or for industrial or commercial research. Exemption from customs duties is only granted for the goods that are needed to execute the procedure.

The goods used in research, analysis or experimentation shall generally be fully exhausted or destroyed. Goods that are not fully exhausted or destroyed by the end of the research, analysis or experiment, or that were not in fact used, must, under the consent and supervision of Customs, be

  • destroyed or rendered commercially worthless
  • forfeited to the state without expenses
  • exported to a location outside the European Union.

The goods can, with the consent of Customs, also be turned into scrap or waste, which means that import duties on scrap or waste must be paid for them. If the remaining goods are adopted for some other use, import duties must be paid for them. Read more: Customs duty and VAT.

Exemption from customs duty cannot be granted if

  • the purpose of the research, analysis or test use is solely to further sales.
  • goods are used as tools or auxiliaries in the research of other goods.

Applying for exemption from customs duty

Exemption from customs duty is applied for with a customs declaration. The declarant must provide an account the purpose of the goods and a time limit within which the research, analysis or experiment will be conducted.

In addition, the declare must notify Customs if anything is left over of the goods and what is intended to be done with the left-over goods. The explanation shall be supplied using either customs form 976s (in Finnish) or a separate document that contains the information in the form.

Points to consider

  • procedure code 40xx or 49xx
  • national code C33
  • the time limit within which the research, analysis or experimentation is conducted:
    • in message format, code XXX under the additional information concerning the consignment
  • explanation from the holder of the goods on the purpose of the goods
    • in message format, code 1ZZZ under the additional information concerning the consignment


                            

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