When you are planning to import goods
Import means bringing in goods from a non-EU country. Upon import, goods must be cleared through Customs before they can be taken into use or resold.
It is not necessary to clear immaterial commodities and services through Customs. These include, for example, software and e-books.
Importing goods is a continuation of the company’s procurement and purchasing operation. Procuring goods from abroad is part of the purchase agreement, whereas the costs incurred from importation are part of the purchase pricing.
Before acquiring the goods:
Find out the costs
- The taxes most commonly paid on import are customs duty and value added tax (VAT). The customs duties on import are determined by the commodity code and the customs value of the goods.
- You can obtain a lower customs duty or zero duty based on the origin of the goods.
- The customs procedure also affects the costs. The most common customs procedure is release for free circulation, where the customs duties on the goods are paid on import.
Read more: What does it cost to import goods?
Apply for identifiers and authorisations
- To lodge customs declarations, your business needs an EORI number.
- Using our online services usually requires identification and authorisation.
- If you regularly import goods and wish to be able to pay the customs duties later, you can apply for the authorisations for comprehensive guarantee and payment deferment.
Decide how you wish to handle your customs transactions
- You can handle almost all customs transactions online. Import declarations are lodged in the Customs Clearance Service. Using our online services
- You can also apply for message declarant status if your business lodges a large number of customs declarations. Message exchange
- You can also authorise a representative to handle your customs transactions.
Find out the following details about the goods:
- From where are the goods dispatched?
- In terms of customs clearance and import taxation, it is crucial to know from where the goods are actually dispatched. Where the seller is located is not relevant.
- It is also possible to deliver undeclared goods from within the EU to Finland.
- Commodity code
- The commodity code determines the rates of customs duty and the restrictions, among other things. That’s why it is important to use the correct commodity code.
- Are the goods subject to import restrictions?
- Textiles, foodstuffs, products derived from endangered plants and animals, food supplements, toys, medicines and weapons, among other things, are subject to import (and partly transit) restrictions. You can check the restrictions on imports to EU in the Fintaric service by using the commodity code.
- From where are the goods dispatched?
The transport company transports the goods
- The transport company transports the goods to Finland and submits the mandatory entry declarations for them to Customs.
- The transport company is responsible for presenting the goods to Customs, that is, it submits a presentation notification for the goods. The notification indicates whether the goods are placed in temporary storage at the place of entry or whether they are immediately declared for a customs procedure.
The importer declares the goods
- You submit the declaration when the transport company or the warehouse keeper has notified you of the arrival of the goods. The arrival notice contains the arrival ID or the MRN needed for the customs declaration. Read more about submitting an import declaration
- The importer (declarant) is responsible for declaring the goods. In practice, the goods can be declared by the importer or their representative.
You receive a decision on release and a customs decision
When the customs declaration is approved, Customs sends the decision on release, the invoice and the customs clearance decision to the company. Payment of the invoice releases the guarantee reserved from the comprehensive guarantee. Customs also sends a periodic filing to the holder of the payment deferment authorisation, containing all customs clearance invoices of a given period.
The warehouse keeper or road border customs releases the goods against the decision on release.
You can file a claim for revision
- If you notice an error in a customs declaration already approved by Customs, and confirmed with a customs clearance decision, you can submit a claim for revision to Customs
- Import documents must be archived.