For what purpose do I need a warehouse for uncleared goods?

You need a warehouse for uncleared goods if you don’t want to - or are not able to - clear the goods as soon as they arrive in Finland. Uncleared goods are goods that have been imported from outside the EU without paying customs duties or taxes. If you bring goods via Finland and re-export them out of the European Union, you can gain financially from storing the goods in a warehouse for uncleared goods.

You don’t have to pay customs duties or other tax-like charges when the uncleared goods are stored in a warehouse with a customs authorisation. Storage also makes it possible to choose the final customs procedure later. Also, the goods may await the authorisations and licences needed for import. If the goods are re-exported, no customs duties and taxes need to be paid for them in Finland.

In Finland, uncleared goods can be stored in temporary warehouses or customs warehouses. There are no free zones in Finland.

Find out where the goods are sent from or whether they’ve already been cleared into the EU

Find out in advance, whether there are restrictions regarding the storing of the goods

Find out the precise goods description and commodity code before moving or transporting the goods to Finland

Decide whether you want to apply for a warehousing authorisation for your company or to buy the service from someone else

Choose the appropriate approach and manner of storage

Get the IDs and permits needed to submit a declaration

Customs must be notified when goods are placed in storage

Warehousing must be discharged through the customs clearance procedure

What if something has to be repaired or the transport is cancelled?

Points to consider

You need a customs authorisation when you store goods without clearing them through customs. Read more: Customs authorisations.

If you store goods, for which customs duties have been paid but no other taxes, for instance, excise duty or value added tax, you need an authorisation from the Tax Administration.

Depending on the goods, you have to get approval or licenses from other authorities in addition to a customs authorisation, if you store goods that require special conditions, for example, medicines or dangerous goods. The warehouse keeper is responsible for making sure you have all the required licenses and authorisations.

The licensing authorities in Finland are e.g. Evira, FIMEA, the Regional State Administrative Agencies, Valvira, Ministry of Defence, SYKE and the rescue authorities. Check what you have to communicate to other authorities, or what kind of licenses you need for storing goods. For example, to store cigarettes you need a license from Valvira in addition to the customs authorisation. There are also other regulations regarding the sale of cigarettes and alcohol. More information can be found on the websites of the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Valvira.

You can apply for a customs warehousing authorisation, when

  • your company is located within the European Union
  • your company has a Finnish Business ID
  • Customs has granted you authorisation for comprehensive guarantee and you have a valid guarantee for warehousing
  • you have a storage facility suitable for storing uncleared goods or another place of storage and accounting records, which Customs can accept as accounting for uncleared goods.

Read more: How do I apply for a warehousing authorisation?


The choice of warehousing type (temporary storage or customs warehousing) depends e.g. on how long you need to store the goods for, and on the possible need to process the goods during storage. If the goods are stored for less than 90 days at the point of entry, then temporary storage is enough. If the goods need to be stored for a longer period of time or the goods are to be repackaged, you need a customs warehousing authorisation.

Which type of warehouse to choose, mainly depends on what can be done to the goods in the warehouse and what kind of responsibilities you have as warehouse keeper, i.e. holder of the authorisation.

Even if you store uncleared goods in your own facilities, you don’t need to own them. However, regarding most authorisations you are responsible for the goods during storage. You can also buy the service, for example from a forwarding agency. On the Customs website, you can search for information regarding companies that have a customs warehousing authorisation.

Read more:

The costs associated with storing uncleared goods are different to the costs of other warehousing procedures.

  • The warehousing authorisation is subject to a charge.
  • Customs requires that you lodge a guarantee, which is calculated based on the amount of taxes that will possibly be levied on the stored goods. The guarantee is determined according to separate principles and is between 0 – 100 % of the amount of taxes.
  • If the goods are inspected or samples are taken, they are sometimes paid by the warehouse keeper.
  • Customs usually charges for the visit to the warehouse, if the warehouse keeper wants Customs to visit. This is topical, for instance when goods are destroyed under Customs supervision.
  • Now and then the customs inspections result in errors and insufficiencies being uncovered, then a penalty fee can be imposed or subsequent taxes can be recovered. If the goods have disappeared completely, but they have been entered into the warehouse accounts, then the warehouse keeper is ultimately responsible for the taxes.
  • Furthermore, the warehouse keeper pays the costs for maintaining the operation. These costs are generated e.g. for system upkeep and updates in accordance with customs’ requirements as well as keeping the accounts and documents up-to-date.



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