Release for free circulation

Release for free circulation is the most common and the simplest customs procedure for import. In this procedure, goods delivered from outside the EU are cleared into the EU (Finland). The goods are released from customs supervision and they can be consumed or moved freely within the EU.

Customs duties are levied on the import goods and so-called commercial policy measures, such as import prohibitions or quantitative import restrictions, are applied to the goods.

The customs declaration for the goods can be lodged either by the declarant (importer) by a representative authorised to lodge the declaration. The declarant must be a business established in the European Union.  

The goods are declared in the Customs Clearance Service.

Release for free circulation – basic case:


Your company imports goods from China, clears the goods for free circulation and pays any customs duties due for the goods. When your company has received the release decision for the goods, you can freely move the goods to be sold in your shop.

Use these procedure codes in the customs declaration:

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

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

Additional procedure code

With an additional procedure code you provide more specific information about the goods in the customs declaration. The additional procedure code C07, for example, is used when declaring low value consignments, that is, consignments of negligible value, up to 150 euros.

Please not that the additional procedure code must also be provided when there is no additional procedur. In that case, the code is “999 – no additional procedure”.

Condition code and TARIC additional code

The importer, you must find out if the goods are subject to import restrictions or if an authorisation is required for importing the goods. Indicate these in the customs declaration e.g. using condition codes and TARIC additional codes. More information about condition codes

Release for free circulation – cases:

Goods can be released for free circulation although they are not directly released from all obligation or the use of the customs procedure is subject to restrictions. In these cases, codes other than 40 and 00 are used for indicating the requested procedure and the previous procedure in the customs declaration.


Points to consider

Commercial policy measures include, among others, import prohibitions, quantitative import restrictions as well as import surveillance and safeguard measures.

The commercial policy measures are based on the common commercial policy of the EU countries.