Before starting import

Find out before you start import 

  1. Find out where the goods are sent from or whether they’ve already been cleared into the EU
    • It is crucial for customs clearance and import taxation purposes to know where the goods are actually being delivered from.
    • If goods are delivered to Finland from outside the EU’s customs and fiscal territory, or from within its customs territory but outside its fiscal territory, they must be cleared through customs and taxes have to be paid. Where the seller is located is not relevant.
    • It is also possible to deliver uncleared goods from within the EU to Finland.
    • The carrier or Posti informs the consignee if the goods have to be cleared.
      What does import cost
  2. Commodity code
    • The commodity code determines the amount of customs duty and the restrictions, among other things. That’s why it is important to use the right commodity code.
    • The commodity codes can be retrieved from the Fintaric database. Customs can also help you.
    • Binding tariff information (BTI) is a decision on the commodity code applied to goods that binds both Customs and the importer.
    • Customs checks the commodity codes retroactively. The period of subsequent taxation is three years.
      Commodity codes
  3. Find out in advance, whether there are import restrictions regarding the goods
    • For example, there are restrictions on the import (and partly on the transit) of textiles, foodstuffs, goods made from endangered plants and animals, food supplements, toys, medicines and weapons. The EU import restrictions can be checked in the Fintaric database by using the commodity code.
    • The importer is responsible for the safety of the products and package labelling, among other things. If needed, contact the market surveillance authority regarding the product group before importing the goods.
    • All restrictions have their own national administrative authority and/or licensing authority (e.g. Finnish Food Authority). The Customs restriction manual features the most important import, export and transit restrictions that Customs supervises.
    • More information on consumer safety is provided on the websites of e.g. the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the Finnish Food Safety Authority.
    • The Customs Laboratory examines imported foodstuffs and consumer goods.
      Restrictions and controls of food and consumer goods

Declare the goods

  1. Apply for the authorisations and registrations you need to fill in a customs declaration
  2. You receive the goods when they have been cleared through customs
    • The carrier notifies Customs that the goods have arrived.
    • The importer (declarant) is responsible for the customs clearance of the goods. Choose the right customs procedure and nature of transaction according to the purpose of use. The code list contains the codes to be used in the declaration.
    •  You can clear the goods through customs yourself or use an agent. You can use either the Customs Declaration Service or message declarations (requires an authorisation from Customs).
    • Check the terms of delivery and whether the seller takes care of the custom clearance. Customs does not automatically clear the consignment.
    • Clear the goods within the time limit shown on the notice of arrival. If you have all the information regarding the goods and everything is otherwise in order, clearing the good through customs may only take a few minutes.
    • If you clear the goods in the Import Declaration Service, you can immediately pay the import taxes through online banking. When this is done, you will receive the goods. If your company has a customs authorisation for comprehensive guarantee and payment deferment, you’ll be granted a term of payment for the invoice.
  3. You can lodge a claim for revision if something goes wrong
    • If you notice that you've made an error when clearing your consignment through customs, you can file a claim for a revised decision. Some of the goods in the consignment may not have been cleared, or you may have paid too much or not enough customs duty.
    • You can appeal the customs clearance decision, even if the customs declaration was lodged by an agent. The claim for a revised decision must be submitted within the given time limit.
    • If you have not paid any taxes yet, then you can submit an express claim regarding the error you have observed.
      How to write a claim

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General instructions for businesses

E-services’ support for businesses +358 295 5207

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