Import of returned goods

Goods can be returned as exempt from customs duty from outside the EU, i.e. from third countries, within three years of the export to non-EU territory. It must be possible to verify the export to a non-EU territory. The goods may have originally been exported or sold from any EU country. Temporarily exported or sold goods may also be returned free of duties.

Returned goods are exempt from import duties even where they represent only a proportion of the goods exported from the Union. The same applies to returned goods that are parts or supplies that comprise elements of machines, devices, equipment or other products exported to locations outside the customs territory of the Union.

If the goods have been sold free of tax to a country outside the EU and they are cleared back as returned goods, VAT is collected.

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 value added taxation on importation.

Requirements for the relief from customs duty on returned goods

1. It must be possible to confirm the export from the Union e.g. by one of the following documents:

  • certification of exit
  • INF 3 form
  • other reliable document, for example:
    • import clearance decision by a non-EU country, or a copy of the document
    • for automobiles, a certificate on the removal of the vehicle from the Finnish Vehicle Register is accepted.

2. The goods must be returned to the Union within three years of the date of export

In special circumstances, an extension of the time limit can be applied for from the Authorisation Centre. Please note the following:

  • Agricultural products must be returned to the Union within 12 months of the date of exportation. An extension of the time limit can be applied for with the Customs Authorisation Centre.
  • Agricultural products for which export refunds have been paid earlier may not be treated as returned goods.
  • If the goods have been customs-cleared into the EU with a reduced rate of customs duty or free from duties on the basis of their end use and afterwards exported from the EU, they may be imported back to the EU as returned goods free of duties only if they are returned for the same end use.
  • Under the inward processing procedure, customs clearance as returned goods is not possible for goods that have been imported to the Union, re-exported and then imported back to the Union for release into free circulation.

3. VAT treatment

If the goods have been sold free of tax to a country outside the EU and they are cleared back as returned goods, VAT is collected. VAT is also collected on import in situations where goods used in Finland in a way that entitles to reduction have been exported to a country outside the Union, sold there and are then imported back to Finland as returned goods.

Points to consider

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

  • procedure code 4010
  • national code 7RB for returned goods, taxable importation (Finnish Value Added Tax Act 1.1.2)
  • national code 7RA for returned goods, taxable importation (Finnish Value Added Tax Act 94.1.18)
  • trade transaction 21
  • customs treatment 100
  • customs system 1011
  • attached document N830 (export declaration), document number and date

If the national code is 7RA, the code 4PAS “Selvitys palautustavarasta” (account of returned goods) is also to be provided as an additional document (customs form 348s).

Information on value

  • total price, EUR 0
  • invoicing price, EUR 0
  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • freight, EUR XX (if needed)
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment, EUR XX (if needed)

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

  • procedure code 6123 Re-import of temporarily exported goods in an unaltered state
  • national code 7RA Returned goods, tax-exempt import (Value Added Tax Act, 94.1.18)
  • trade transaction 60 (under 2 years) / 91 (over 2 years)
  • customs treatment 100
  • customs system 1011
  • attachment document N830 (export declaration), document number and date

As the national code is 7RA, the code 4PAS ”Selvitys palautustavarasta” (account of returned goods) is also to be provided as an additional document (customs form 348s).

Information on value:

  • total price EUR 0
  • invoice price EUR 0
  • statistical value EUR XX
  • freight EUR XX (if needed)
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment EUR XX (if needed)

More information: yritysneuvonta(at)tulli.fi


Customs procedure 6122 999 is used in cases when the goods have been exported temporarily (procedure 22xx999) outside the Union for processing, repairs, testing and other types of handling. When the goods are returned to the Union, they can be either duty free according to the customs tariff or they can be presented with a document for preferential treatment (e.g. EUR.1), based on which the customs duty is zero.

It is recommended that the exporter find out in advance, whether the goods are to be placed under an authorised outward processing procedure 21xx 7UA/7UB (customs duty on imported goods) or procedure 22xx 999 (the imported goods is duty free).

Read more Customer notice 13 April 2017 “Procedure codes in temporary export” (in Finnish and Swedish).

When the prerequisites for using procedure 6122 are fulfilled, the customs value, the basis for value added tax and the statistical value are determined as follows:

Customs value =
cost of processing operations +
value of the articles and services rendered = value of exported goods
cost of transport, insurance and ancillary costs up to the place of destination in the Union (import freight)

The basis of value added tax =
cost of processing operations +
value of the goods added outside the Union +
cost of transport, loading and unloading to the place of processing (export freight) +
the cost of freight, loading, insurance and ancillary costs up to the first place of destination
in the Union (import freight) in accordance with the transport contract or, if known,
the other place of destination within the Union

statistical value =
value of the exported goods +
processing costs +
value of the goods added outside the Union +
freight and insurance costs from the place of processing up to the Finnish border (import freight).


These are instructions for businesses whose customers, living outside the EU customs territory, bring in goods into the customs territory of the EU for repairs or for replacement under warranty.

When goods are imported for repairs

Goods brought into the customs territory of the EU for repairs, must be cleared through customs. If the customer does not want to pay import duties or VAT for the goods, they can be placed under the inward processing procedure. The inward processing procedure requires an authorisation. More specific instructions on inward processing here.

Primarily, holders of inward processing authorisations must be based in the Union customs territory; therefore, it is recommended that the company carrying out the repairs apply for the inward processing authorisation. The company can apply for the authorisation from Customs either in advance or when the goods are placed under the procedure; by adding certain additional information in the customs declaration.

The granting of the authorisation also requires lodging a guarantee. Read more on guarantees. The guarantee, which was lodged in connection with the import clearance is released or returned when the repaired goods have been re-exported from the EU customs territory and the required bill of discharge has been submitted. Goods to be re-exported must be cleared for export and the goods and documents pertaining to them, must be presented to Customs before the goods exit the Union.

If the goods brought in for repairs are not cleared for inward processing by the authorisation holder, i.e. the company carrying out the repairs, the customer must clear the goods

either as normal customs clearance upon import, and normal import duties and taxes are levied (more information: What are import duties and taxes?)
or place the goods under the inward processing procedure. Occasionally, it is also possible to grant the inward processing authorisation to a person established outside the customs territory of the Union. In these situations, it pays to be in touch with Customs Business Information Service well in advance for more information: Contact information for Customs

If, instead of repairing the goods, the company replaces the goods with equivalent undamaged goods (replacement under warranty), the company must apply for an authorisation for inward processing from Customs in advance.

When goods are imported for replacement under warranty

Goods brought into the customs territory of the EU for replacement under warranty, must be cleared through customs. If the customer does not want to pay import duties or VAT for the goods, they can be placed under the inward processing procedure. More specific instructions on inward processing here. The inward processing procedure requires an authorisation. Replacing goods under warranty requires that an authorisation for inward processing has been applied for from Customs in advance. The authorisation must include a mention of the possibility of using equivalent goods. Read more: Using equivalent goods for special procedures (PDF in Finnish)

A company should apply for a Customs authorisation for inward processing if it has customers to whom it replaces goods under warranty. The guarantee, which was lodged in connection with the import clearance, is released when the goods replaced under warranty have been re-exported from the EU customs territory and the required bill of discharge has been submitted. Goods replaced under warranty and ready to be exported, must be cleared for export and the goods and documents pertaining to them must be presented to Customs before the goods exit the Union.

The authorisation holder, i.e. the company replacing the product, must fill in a customs declaration regarding goods arriving for replacement under warranty. The seller and the customer must in advance agree on who should submit the customs declaration and who should notify the border customs office.

If the goods brought in for replacement under warranty, are not placed under the inward processing procedure by the seller, the customer must clear the goods personally

  • either as returned goods, provided that no more than three years have passed since the goods were exported
  • or as normal customs clearance upon import, and normal import duties and taxes are levied.

More information on returned goods and import duties and taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                            

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