Import of returned goods

Goods can be returned free of customs duty from outside the EU, i.e. from third countries, to the EU within three years of their export from the EU. It must be possible to verify the export from the Union. The goods may have originally been exported or sold from any Union 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 Union and they are cleared back as returned goods, VAT must be levied on them.

As of 1 January 2018, importers registered for VAT declare the import VAT details to the Finnish Tax Administration on their own initiative by filing a VAT return. For more information, go to the website of the Tax Administration: Value added taxation of imported goods.

Requirements for the relief from customs duty on returned goods

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

  • certification of exit
  • INF 3 form
  • other reliable document, for example:
    • import clearance decision by a non-Union country, or a copy of the document
    • for cars, it can be a certificate of deregistration.

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 may be applied for from the Customs Authorisation Centre. Please note the following:

  • Agricultural products must be returned to the Union within 12 months of the date of export. An extension of the time limit can be applied for from 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 cleared into the Union with a reduced rate of customs duty or free of customs duty on the basis of their end-use and afterwards exported from the Union, they may be imported back to the Union as returned goods free of duty only if they are returned for the same end-use.
  • Goods imported for inward processing that have re-exported and are then brought back into the Union to be released for free circulation can’t be cleared as returned goods.

3. VAT treatment

If the goods have been sold free of tax to a country outside the Union and they are cleared back as returned goods, VAT must be levied. Import VAT is also levied when goods used in Finland in a way that entitles to a deduction have been exported to a country outside the EU, sold there and are then brought back to Finland as returned goods.

Points to consider

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

  • procedure code 4010, return of permanently exported goods
  • 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 exempt from VAT (VAT Act, section 94(1)(18)), please also enter the additional procedure code 642. If you enter the additional procedure code 642 for VAT-exempt import, please also enter the code 4PAS as the code for additional document (customs form 348s ”Selvitys palautustavarasta” (account of returned goods), PDF”).
  • nature of transaction 21 (the goods are returned to the exporter) - secondary valuation method
  • nature of transaction 11 (the goods have been resold and are returned to the Union) - valuation based on the transaction price
  • preferential treatment 100
  • additional document C660 (export declaration), MRN

Information on value:

Values and prices of the goods item:

  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • price of the goods (transaction price) EUR 0, if the nature of transaction is 21 (the goods are returned to the exporter)
    • The price at which the goods were sold from the EU can be used as the value of the returning goods. The value contains the additional costs outside the borders of the EU, e.g. freight and insurance costs.
      • Provide the value of the goods with the code ‘1A’ as total to be added.
      • The code “1A” can’t be used if the value of the entire consignment exceeds 20 000 euros. In this case, use the code “AK”.
  • price of the goods (transaction price) EUR XX, if the nature of transaction is 11 (the goods have been resold and are returned to the Union)

Also provide, if needed:

  • exceptional taxable amount for VAT, 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 in the Customs Clearance Service or via message exchange, provide the following details:

  • 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 (no more than 2 years) / 91 (over 2 years)
  • preferential treatment 100
  • additional document C660 (export declaration), MRN

Information on value:

Values and prices of the goods item:

  • statistical value, EUR XX
  • price of the goods (transaction price) EUR 0

Also fill in, if needed:

  • freight EUR XX, with the code AK
  • exceptional taxable amount for VAT, 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.


Customs procedure 6122 999 is used in cases when the goods have been exported temporarily (procedure 22xx 999) from the Union for processing, repair, testing or other handling. When the goods are brought back into 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 is levied on the imported goods) or procedure 22xx 999 (the imported goods are free of duty).

If the goods are exported for testing whether the goods can be repaired or not and the goods are free of duty, 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
52 – 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 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 the procedure 6122 are fulfilled, the customs value, the taxable amount for VAT (always provided by companies not registered for VAT and private persons) and the statistical value are determined as follows:

In addition to the transaction price, the following are included in the customs value:

  • value of the exported goods (=value of the articles and services rendered, code AE)
  • processing costs (code 1G)
  • value of goods added outside the Union (code 1D)
  • cost of transport and ancillary costs up to the place where the goods are brought into the Union (code 1J)
  • insurance cost related to import (code 1K)

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

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

The value of the exported goods is not included in the taxable amount for VAT.

The following are included in the statistical value:

The statistical value consists of the value of the exported goods, the costs of processing operations carried out 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.

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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                            

Contact us

General instructions for businesses

General instructions for businesses offers advice Mon–Fri 8 am–4.15 pm. Have a look at the FAQ or contact us with your question.

Customs Information Service