Other cases of tax exemption

Goods to be placed under the tax warehousing procedure

Importing goods is free of tax when the goods are placed under a tax warehousing procedure as defined by the Value Added Tax Act.

Goods under the tax warehousing procedure as defined in the Value Added Tax Act are goods, for which the Tax Administration has granted an authorisation for tax-free warehousing and which are not under a temporary storage procedure or a customs warehousing procedure as defined by the Customs Code.

Excise goods are deemed to be under a tax warehousing procedure when they are in a warehouse as defined in Section 6(5) of the Finnish Act on Excise Duty (182/2010). An authorised warehouse keeper with excise duty authorisation is therefore not required to have a separate tax warehouse decision granted by the Tax Administration regarding products for which the provisions for tax exemption can be applied.

Tax exemption based on international agreements

The import of goods is tax-exempt if an agreement on tax exemption binding Finland was made with a foreign state when the Value Added Tax Act came into force.

Imports by vehicle crew members

Persons who belong to the crew of a means of transport, which provides professional transportation between Finland and a country or territory outside the Union may, in a calendar month when travelling on duty, import the same amount of goods free of tax as may be imported on one occasion free of tax by travellers. However, in addition to the restricted quantities, the crew of a mode of transport in road traffic can bring in other products worth up to 300 euros exempt from duties and taxes.

Data storage media

Importation of a data medium and a special program stored thereon is tax-free if the importer is an entrepreneur or a legal person included in the register of VAT payers. Importers included in the VAT payers register declare their tax-free imports to the Tax Administration on their own initiative from 1 January 2018.

Points to consider

The importation of investment gold is free of value added tax as defined in the Value Added Tax Act. 

An importer not included in the Vat payers register, must invoke tax-free importation with a customs declaration and present proof of fulfilment of the conditions for tax exemption. The EU additional procedure code 7AN is entered in the customs declaration. (SAD: national procedure code 7AN).

Gold bullion and wafers

Gold bullion and wafers with an approved weight on the gold market are considered investment gold if the fineness is at least 995 parts per thousand. Investment gold coins are also considered investment gold. Gold bullion bars and wafers of standard weight are used when dealing in gold on the most significant gold markets of the world. Weights accepted by the bullion markets as referred to in Annex III to Council Implementing Regulation No 282/2011 (15 March 2011):

  • 12,5/1 kilograms
  • 500 / 250 / 100 / 50 / 20 / 10 / 5 / 2,5 / 2 grams
  • 100 /10 / 5 / 1 / ½ / ¼ ounces
  • 10 / 5 / 1 tael
  • 10 tola

For example, the manufacturer’s guarantee can be accepted as proof of fulfilment of the conditions of tax exemption.

The importation of gold materials (e.g. gold dust and nuggets) and semi-finished products (e.g. gold bars, scrap gold) is taxable.

Gold coins

Gold coins with a fineness of at least 900 parts per thousand are considered investment gold if

  • they were minted after the 1800s
  • they are or have been legal tender in the originating country; and
  • their general sales price is no more than 80 per cent higher than the market price of the gold content of the coins.

Each Member State must each year declare to the Commission the coins that fulfil the conditions of investment gold coins and which are used when trading in the Member State in question. In accordance with Council directive 2006/112/EC regarding the common value added tax system, the Commission publishes a comprehensive list of these coins in the C series of the European Union’s Official Journal before 1 December of each year. The coins published in the list are deemed to fulfil the conditions regarding investment gold during the whole year for which the list was published.

The Commission has not published a list for 2013. The lists for 2014, 2012 and 2011 can be found in the following Official Journals of the European Union:

  • C 138/2014
  • C 351/2011
  • C 322/2010
  • 385/2016

However, the list published by the Commission is not exhaustive, so other gold coins not mentioned in the list that fulfil the abovementioned conditions can also be considered investment gold coins. The responsibility of providing proof that the conditions are met, lies with the importer who wants to invoke tax exemption.

When calculating the relationship between the general sales price and the market price of the gold content of a coin, the following concepts are used:

Normal sales price – Sales price of the coin collected by the seller from the buyer. Transport costs or other costs by the seller are not included in the sales price.

Currency conversion rate – Currency conversion rates established by Customs are used when converting currency into euros upon import. These rates are published every month on Customs’ website. 

Open market value of gold – The price of gold quoted at the London Metal Exchange on the day the coin was received is used when calculating the open market value of gold (USD/ounce). If the price of gold is not quoted on the said date, the value on the following quotation date is implemented. The declarant is usually the one to present the market value in question. 

The gold content of a coin in grams – The importer must present a report on the gold content of a coin, e.g. a guarantee by the manufacturer.

  • Ounce – 31,1035 grams
  • Tael – 1,193 ounces
  • Tola – 10 tola = 3,75 ounces