Goods samples

On 1 January 2018, value added tax within importation was transferred from Customs to the Tax Administration in situations where the importer is included in the register of VAT payers.

As of 1 January 2018, importers included in the register of VAT payers must provide the Tax Administration with information on import VAT on their own initiative on a VAT declaration. Further information is available on the Tax Administration website under the section on import VAT.

Bringing samples of goods from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU? (map)

Planning on ordering samples of goods prior to starting import?

When you bring in samples of goods and wish to sell or release them freely, you should clear the samples through Customs in the same way as any other import goods, and pay the import duties on them in the normal way.

If you wish to use the goods only as samples and not for sales purposes, you can import them to Finland as exempt from customs duty and value added tax when you clearly indicate that the goods are samples. Marked goods can be rendered unfit for use for example by tearing them, punching holes in them or adding stamps on them.

Goods samples of low value for acquiring orders can be exempt from customs duty and VAT under certain conditions

You can import samples of goods of low value, used for acquisitions of goods they are derived from, as exempt of customs duty and value added tax. Customs may require for goods imported as samples to be marked so that they are unfit for use as commercial goods, but still suitable for use as samples. When markings are added on high-value goods, they become goods samples of low value as referred to in this context.

  • Conditions concerning samples of goods:
  • Goods are imported in a quantity required only for acquisitions of orders.
  • Goods are used only for acquisitions of orders.
  • Samples indicate the nature and quality of the goods, for example as concerns sample cases of fabrics, rugs and wallpaper, or cheese in sample packages.
  • The samples are manufactured by tearing, piercing or otherwise clearly and permanently marking the goods, thus making them unfit for sale. For example, clothes may be stamped and shoes may be pierced.

Exemption from customs duty and tax can also be granted for several similar samples of an individual product. In such cases, the importer must prove that the samples are meant for presentational purposes and used by several sales representatives.

What restrictions and other things should I note?

Electronics and other durable consumer goods that cannot be rendered unfit for any use other than display as samples are not accepted as samples of low value.

If any imported samples of goods are subject to import prohibitions and restrictions, any possible exemption from customs duties does not erase those prohibitions and restrictions.

Are you bringing goods for research, test or analysis? Further information: Goods imported for research or test use

What information on samples to provide on a customs declaration?

When you import goods samples that serve the facilitation of trade, you should draft a free-form account on their purpose of use for Customs. 

Information to be declared in message format/web declaration/SAD form:

  • procedure code 4000
  • national procedure code C30
  • commercial document, code XXXX
  • on a SAD form, the procedure code and the national code are entered in section 37

                            

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