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How to submit an import declaration

An import declaration must be submitted for the goods when

  • the goods are imported from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU. Check the customs and fiscal territory of the EU.
  • the goods are imported from an area that is part of the customs territory but not of the fiscal territory of the EU (e.g. from the Canary Islands or the Åland Islands). Check the guidance concerning Åland.

An import declaration is not required for intangible assets and services.

Who submits the declaration?

The import declaration can be submitted by the importer or by a representative, e.g. a forwarding agency, authorised by the importer.

Basic case: release for free circulation (4000)

The customs procedure under which the import goods are placed must be provided in the import declaration. Most goods are placed under the customs procedure called release for free circulation (procedure code 4000). In this procedure, goods delivered from outside the EU are cleared into the EU (Finland). The goods are usually removed from customs supervision and they can be consumed or moved freely within the EU.

In addition to the procedure code, you have to enter e.g. an additional procedure code in the import declaration to provide more information about the goods and the procedure. Read the instructions below on this page.

Proceed as follows

  • The company has an EORI number.
  • You have found out the commodity code of the goods.
  • You have an invoice, an order confirmation or some other document indicating the value of the goods and any shipping costs.
  • You have calculated the statistical value of the goods in euros when brought to the Finnish border.
  • You have obtained documentation on origin and restrictions, if any.
  • You have obtained sufficient mandates for submitting the import declaration

Why you should do this in advance

Insufficient information and mandates slow down the submission of the import declaration. This may lead to additional costs for your company e.g. due to a longer storage time for the goods.

You can submit the import declaration when you have obtained

  • the arrival notification or the MRN of the previous document from the carrier as well as the identification of warehouse (format: FI1234567-800101) from the warehouse keeper, if the goods are in a warehouse.

Submit the import declaration in the Customs Clearance Service. If you are a message exchange customer, submit the declaration via message exchange.


In the import declaration, you must provide details of the imported goods. For example, the goods-specific restrictions are checked and the import duties and taxes are calculated based on these details.

The most common import declaration is the standard customs declaration (FI415). In a standard customs declaration, you provide all the required details at the same time.

Check the details to be provided in an import declaration for goods to be released for free circulation.

You will receive the goods against the decision on release. The company receives the decision on release before paying the customs invoice if it can pay the customs invoice later based on a payment deferment authorisation). If there is no payment deferment authorisation, the customs invoice must be paid before the goods can be released.

Please note that the goods are not always removed from customs supervision after being released. Check whether the procedure or additional procedure you are using is subject to restrictions after release. For example, there may be restrictions regarding the use of goods imported free of customs duty on the basis of the Duty Relief Regulation (such as goods for charity) or the transfer of these goods to another company.

In the import declaration, you must provide details of the imported goods. For example, the goods-specific restrictions are checked and the import duties and taxes are calculated based on these details.

Various codes, which are mostly uniform in the customs territory of the EU, are used in customs declarations.

In addition to the commodity code of the goods, e.g. the following details must be provided in the import declaration:

Parties

The details of the parties that are related to the imported goods and that have different responsibilities and obligations are provided in the customs declaration. For example, the company responsible for the import duties and taxes is provided here.

Always provide the following parties:

  • declarant
  • importer
  • exporter.

You can also provide other parties, such as a representative.

Parties

Procedure codes 

The customs procedure code 4000 is used when the goods are to be released for free circulation (40) and there is no previous procedure for the goods (00), that is, the goods are imported to the EU for the first time.

In the customs declaration, choose

  • code for requested procedure 40
  • code for previous procedure 00

Please note that there are other procedures for release for free circulation that may be subject to restrictions or conditions concerning the use or transfer of goods, for example.

Additional procedure code

With an additional procedure code you provide more detailed information about what is going to be done to the goods placed under the procedure and what the goods are going to be used for. The code indicates, for example, the grounds for duty exemption and VAT exemption.

The additional procedure code C07, for example, is used when declaring low value consignments, that is, consignments of negligible value, up to 150 euros, if all the conditions for the declaration are met.

Please note: If the goods are released for free circulation and you provide, for example, an additional procedure code beginning with C, the imported goods may be subject to restrictions or conditions. Additional procedure codes beginning with C are used when declaring duty-exempt goods in accordance with the Duty Relief Regulation, which cannot be transferred freely or used for other than specified purposes. If one wishes to do so anyway, Customs must be notified.

The additional procedure code must also be provided when there is no additional procedure. In that case, the code is “999 – no additional procedure”. 

List of additional procedure codes

Condition code and TARIC additional code

If the goods are subject to import restrictions, provide the restrictions in the customs declaration e.g. with condition codes and TARIC additional codes.

Declaring restrictions, preferential treatment and anti-dumping duties

Preference and country of origin

Provide the country of origin of the goods in the customs declaration. If you do not know the country of origin, enter the last country of dispatch.

Also provide a preference code for the goods.

  • If you are not applying for preferential treatment, select “100 – Tariff arrangement erga omnes” as the preference code.
  • In that case, the general third country duty will be levied on the goods.
  • If you are going to apply for preferential treatment for the import goods, you must provide a preference code in the customs declaration. For example, if you apply for preferential treatment based on origin, provide the preferential country of origin or country group as well as the preferential certificate of origin.

Import duties are levied on the goods based on the codes provided in the declaration, so make sure that the details concerning preference are correct.

Values

The transaction price of the goods as well as any items to be added to or deducted from the transaction price must be provided in the customs declaration. These together make up the customs value of the imported goods. Provide the items to be added to the transaction price only if the items are not already included in the transaction price.

The statistical value of the goods must be provided in the declaration as a total amount.

Providing the value details

Previous document

The details of the previous document must be provided correctly in the customs declaration, so that Customs receives it for processing and so that the carrier or the warehouse keeper can release the goods to you. You usually get these details from the carrier transporting your goods or from the warehouse keeper storing goods you have imported.

At least the code describing the previous document type and the document identifier, usually the MRN, must be provided concerning the previous document. The document type affects how the details are provided in the customs declaration.

Providing the previous document

Quantity details and supplementary unit

Provide the actual quantity details of the goods, such as net mass, gross mass and number of packages. For some commodity codes, you may also have to provide a supplementary unit (statistical quantity) or a tax calculation quantity.

Customs duty is usually a percentage of the value of the goods, but the quantity of goods, the supplementary unit and the tax calculation quantity may affect the amount of customs duty.
You can use e.g. the Fintaric service to check the supplementary units or tax calculation quantities that are required by the commodity code and that need to be provided for the import goods.

Location and control location

Provide the details of the control location of the goods carefully and accurately, so that Customs can, if necessary, direct the goods with a movement permit to the control location for inspection. It must be possible to unload the goods safely at the control location.

Providing the location and control location

You can find more detailed guidance on import declarations here.

You can also declare import goods using these declarations 

In addition to the standard customs declaration, there are other declarations:

  • Customs declaration for low-value goods (FI485) (the link is not yet functional), with which you can declare goods worth 150 euros or less, with certain exceptions. Fewer details are required when submitting this declaration compared to the standard customs import declaration.
  • Simplified import declaration, which you can use e.g. if you only have an estimate of the price of the goods. In that case, you must provide the missing details later with a supplementary customs declaration. If you use this declaration procedure regularly, you will need an authorisation from Customs.

Are you temporarily importing goods? Are you exporting goods for repair?

Check what to do in these and other situations involving import.

Special procedures for import