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. The goods must be returned in the same condition that they were in when they were exported.

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

If you are submitting your declaration in the Customs Clearance Service or via message exchange, declare the following information:

  • procedure code 4010
  • Select one of the following EU codes for additional procedures.
    • F01 = returned goods, relief from import duty (Customs Code, article 203)
    • F02 = agricultural products, relief from import duty of returned goods (special circumstances referred to in article 159 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446: agricultural products)
    • F03 = returned goods, relief from import duty of returned goods (special circumstances referred to in article 158, section 3 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446: repair or restoration)

If the import is also VAT-exempt (VAT Act, section 94(1)(18)), please also enter the additional procedure code 642.

  • nature of transaction 21 (the goods are returned to the exporter)
  • nature of transaction 11 (the goods have been resold and are returned to the Union) 
  • preferential treatment 100
  • additional document C660 (export declaration), MRN number 

If you enter additional procedure code 642 for VAT free import, please also enter code 4PAS as code for additional document (customs form 348s ”Selvitys palautustavarasta” (account of returned goods).

Information on value:

  • Values and prices of the consignment: 
  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • sales price, EUR 0 
  • sales price, EUR XX, if nature of transaction is 11 (the goods have been resold and are returned to the Union)
  • invoicing price, EUR 0, with the code 90

Also fill in, if needed:

  • freight, EUR XX, with the code AK
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment, EUR XX, with the code 80 

If there is a service interruption in the Customs Clearance Service and you are using the fallback procedure, declare the same information in the SAD form as in the Customs Clearance Service.

If you are submitting your declaration via message exchange in the ITU system or using the SAD form, please declare the following information:

  • procedure code 4010
  • national code 7RB for returned goods, taxable importation (Finnish Value Added Tax Act, 1.1.2)
  • 7RA returned goods, tax-exempt import (Finnish Value Added Tax Act, 94.1.18)
  • nature of 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)

If you are submitting your declaration in the Customs Clearance Service or via message exchange, declare the following information:

  • procedure code 6123 Re-import of temporarily exported goods in an unaltered state
  • EU additional procedure code F05 = Exemption from import duty and VAT and/or excise duty of returned goods (Article 203 of the Customs Code and Article 143.1(e) of Directive 2006/112/EC) 
  • nature of transaction 60 (under 2 years) / 91 (over 2 years)
  • preferential treatment 100
  • additional document C660 (export declaration), MRN number 

Information on value: 

Values and prices of the consignment:

  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • sales price, EUR 0
  • invoicing price, EUR 0, with the code 90
  • Also fill in, if needed:
  • freight, EUR XX, with the code AK
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment, EUR XX, with the code 80

If there is a service interruption in the Customs Clearance Service and you are using the fallback procedure, declare the same information in the SAD form as in the Customs Clearance Service.

If you are submitting your declaration via message exchange in the ITU system or using the SAD form, please declare the following information:

  • procedure code 6123 Re-import of temporarily exported goods in an unaltered state
  • national code 7RA Returned goods, tax-exempt import (Finnish Value Added Tax Act, section 94(1)(18)
  • nature of transaction 60 (under 2 years) / 91 (over 2 years)
  • customs treatment 100
  • customs system 1011
  • attachment document N830 (export declaration), document number and date

Since the national code is 7RA, please also enter code 4PAS as code for additional document (customs form 348s ”Selvitys palautustavarasta”  (account of returned goods).

Information on value: 

  • total price, EUR 0
  • invoicing price, EUR 0
  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • freight, EUR XX, with the code AK (if needed)
  • exceptional basis of VAT assessment, EUR XX, with the code 80 (if needed)

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 (customs duty on imported goods) or procedure 22xx 999 (the imported goods are duty free).

If the goods are exported for testing whether the goods can be repaired or not and the goods are duty free, the goods must be placed under another temporary export procedure 22xx.  In this case, the import procedure is 6122, the additional procedure is 999, the preferential treatment is 100 and the country or country group of preferential origin is 1011. 

Select one of the following transactions:

51 – goods returning to the initial country of export after processing under contract 
51 – goods not returning to the initial country of export after processing under contract 
60 – delivery of goods for repair and subsequent return

Enter the MRN number of the export declaration with the code for additional document C660.

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 (always entered by companies not registered for VAT and private persons) and the statistical value are determined as follows:

All the following are included in the sales price:

  • the value of exported goods using the code AF (tools, matrices, moulds and similar items used in the production of the imported goods)
  • processing costs with the code 1G (labour costs incurred outside the Union) 
  • value of goods added outside the Union, with the code 1D
  • cost of transport and ancillary costs up to the place where the goods are brought into the Union, with the code 1J 
  • insurance cost related to import, with the code 1K

All the following are included in the basis for value added tax:

  • processing costs with the code 1G (labour costs incurred outside the Union) 
  • value of goods added outside the Union, with the code 1D
  • transport and ancillary costs for export from outside the Union, with the code 1H 
  • transport, loading, insurance and ancillary costs as well as other costs related to the importation to the first place of destination in Finland specified in the transport contract, with the code 3A 
  • if, at the time of the liability to pay tax, it is known that the goods will be transported to another destination located within the Union, the transport costs incurred up to this destination, with the code 3D

The following are included in the statistical value:

The statistical value consists of the value of the exported goods, the costs for processing goods outside the Union, the value of goods added outside the Union, royalties and licence fees relating to the goods as well as freight and insurance costs from the place of processing  to the Finnish border. The value of the exported goods must still be entered at item level with the additional information code FIXXX.

If there is a service interruption in the Customs Clearance Service and you are using the fallback procedure, declare the same information in the SAD form as in the Customs Clearance Service. 

If you are submitting your declaration via message exchange in the ITU system or using the SAD form, please declare the following information:

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

The basis for value added tax  =
processing costs +
value of goods added outside the Union +
cost of transport, loading and unloading to the place of processing (export freight) +
cost of freight, loading, insurance and ancillary costs up to the first place of destination in Finland (import freight) in accordance with the transport contract or, if it is known at the time at which the liability to pay tax arises that the goods will be transported to another place of destination within the Union, the cost incurred up to this place of destination.

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

If there is a service interruption in the Customs Clearance Service and you are using the fallback procedure, declare the same information in the SAD form as in the Customs Clearance Service.


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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