How to simplify transit

Transit simplifications and authorisations

The company can apply for an authorisation from Customs

  • to act as an authorised consignor, who can start a transit procedure from customs approved warehouses and present the goods electronically to Customs, without having to visit a customs office
  • to act as an authorised consignee, who can receive goods arriving under a T or TIR transit procedure into their customs or temporary warehouse and present the goods electronically to Customs on behalf of the principal holder of the transit procedure
  • to affix customs approved seals of a special type to means of transport or packages.

A guarantee can be simplified by applying for an authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee.

What is required of a person applying for the status as authorised consignor?

The conditions are that

  • the applicant regularly uses the Union transit procedure and is established in the customs territory of the Union
  • they have a valid comprehensive guarantee
  • the company has not committed any serious infringements of customs or tax legislation
  • the applicant has a management system for transport data
  • the person responsible for the company’s customs matters has practical standards of competence or professional qualifications related to the transit procedure
  • the authorised consignor submits the transit declaration data electronically in the customs system.

What is required of a person applying for the status as authorised consignee?

The conditions are that

  • the applicant regularly uses the Union transit procedure and is established in the customs territory of the Union
  • the company has not committed any serious infringements of customs or tax legislation
  • the applicant has a management system for transport data
  • the person responsible for the company’s customs matters has practical standards of competence or professional qualifications related to the transit procedure
  • the authorised consignee presents the transit declaration data electronically to Customs.

How to receive an authorisation to use seals of a special type

The conditions for the authorisation are that

  • the applicant regularly uses the Union transit procedure and is established in the customs territory of the Union
  • the company has not committed any serious infringements of customs or tax legislation
  • the applicant has a management system for transport data
  • the person responsible for the company’s customs matters has practical standards of competence or professional qualifications related to the transit procedure.

Points to consider

Transit procedure started by an authorised consignor

An authorised consignor can initiate T transit procedures at all customs approved warehouses located in Finland. A list of warehouses can be found on Customs’ website: Warehouse IDs

The authorisation holder must send the transit declaration to Customs’ electronic transit system before the transporting of the goods begins. The customs system sends the holder of the authorisation an electronic copy of the TAD. The TAD accompanies the goods to the office of destination or to the authorised consignee.

If the authorisation holder has received a ‘control message’ (CONTRL) from Customs’ electronic transit system and/or an ‘acceptance message’ (FITACC), then the transit decaration message has been received and its being processed by Customs. A new transit declaration message regarding the same goods must not be sent without permission from Customs.

Time limit set for the transit

The time limit within Finland is a maximum of three days and to an office of destination outside Finland, the time limit is a maximum of ten days. The current day is not part of the time limit, rather the first day is always the following day.

The days taken into account are always Finnish weekdays. Thus are weekends or public holidays for instance, not part of the time limit. For a transit procedure within Finland that begins on a Friday, the time limit for the transit transport can be set to the following Wednesday, i.e. three days, then the goods have to be presented at the destination. Respectively, the time limit for transits ending outside Finland does not include public holidays or weekends.

A time limit that exceeds three days for a transit within Finland can only be granted on justified grounds. If the authorised consignor grants a longer time limit for the transit, they do not have to contact Customs, rather they must archive a written justification in their own transport data management system.

Transit goods description

The goods description submitted must be the accurate trade name. Each trade name must be declared as a separate consignment. Generic descriptions such as ‘spare parts’ or ‘electronics’, must not be used. Declaring the commodity code does not replace a precise description of the goods.

Each type of goods is declared as a separate consignment, so that each consignment only contains goods under one common trade name. If the cargo for example consists of microchips, cables and routers, each of these goods types comprises its own consignment and is to be declared separately.

Identification of the goods and sealing

The authorisation holder must register the quantity of the seals and IDs in the transit declaration and affix the seals to the cargo space no later than when the goods have been released for the transit procedure. An alternative method to sealing the goods is to provide a sufficiently accurate and detailed goods description for easy identification, including the quantity and nature of the goods as well as special features like e.g. the serialnumber. Sealing the goods does not remove the obligation to provide a detailed goods description.

Transporting goods placed under the transit procedure

Transporting commercial goods as an authorised consignor can only take place by truck or in a van when the goods exit the Union under the transit procedure via Finland to a non-EEA country. If the wish is to transit goods by passenger car, then the transit procedure must be initiated at the customs office of departure under a standard procedure.

Cancelling a transit declaration

Transit declarations that have not received a ‘control message’ from Customs, must be cancelled if the transit of the goods has already been initiated under the fallback procedure.


Ending the transit procedure

The authorised consignee can receive consignments either as T transits or TIR transits, depending on the authorisation. An authorised consignee must send an arrival notification of all incoming goods to the customs electronic transit system, before unloading the goods. The message should include the condition and presence of all affixed seals as well as, written down in box no. 56 of the TAD, all possible incidents during transport.

Condition of the seals

If the seal mentioned in the TAD (boxes D and F) is missing or broken when the transport unit arrives, the authorised consignee must contact the Customs Electronic Service Centre before unloading (Tel. 0295 5207).

Unloading Permission

When unloading permission has been received from the customs electronic transit system, the authorised consignee can remove any possible seals and start the unloading of the goods. The goods should be inspected by comparing them to the data in the unloading permission or in the TIR Carnet.

Unloading report

An authorised consignee must immediately, or no later than on the third day from the arrival of the goods, send an unloading report message to the customs electronic transit system. The unloading report message must especially contain the following data:

  • possible excess goods
  • missing goods as well as replacements and
  • other possible breaches of regulations, such as differences between the data in the TIR Carnet and the unloading permission.

The authorised consignee must archive the TADs and appendices, pertaining to the received consignments, so that they are available to Customs.

Irregularities such as surplus goods and small weight differences are to be reported with a FITULR unloading report for indicating the purpose of the message. (Code 2, code list 0093)

Code 2 is to be used upon detecting small differences that do not affect the discharge of the transit or the customs debt. The code applies when all goods are presented, but when it is still appropriate to notify the customs office of departure about any differences in them. Such cases include the following:

missing or incorrect ID of a means of transport (for example “AUT-0”)
transactions that occurred during the route are not recorded in the accompanying document
minor differences in weight, package type or markings that do not result from any visible handling or changing of goods
surplus goods (same or different goods) are unloaded, and will be entered or have been entered in temporary storage accounts or placed under a new customs procedure (e.g. release into free circulation).

If an individual transit contains both surplus and missing goods, control result code 4 must be used, and the surplus goods must be recorded accordingly.

Discharging the TIR operation at Customs

The TIR operation is discharged at the customs office upon presentation of the authorised consignee’s unloading report.

Certificate of arrival

On request by the carrier, the authorised consignee has to present a certificate of arrival in accordance with Annex 72 - 03 in the Delegated Act of the Union Customs Code, for each consignment that has arrived within the time limit and in an unchanged condition.


Characteristics of customs seals

The seals must fulfil the ISO standard 17712:2013 or the requirements in article 301.1 of the Implementing Regulation of the Union Customs Code:

  • They remain intact and securely fastened in normal use.
  • They are easily checkable and recognisable.
  • They are manufactured so that any breakage, tampering or removal leaves traces visible to the naked eye.
  • They are designed for single use. If they are intended for multiple use, they are designed so that they can be given a clear, individual identification mark each time they are being used.
  • They bear individual seal identifiers which are permanent, readily legible and uniquely numbered.
  • The form and dimensions of the seals may vary with the sealing method. The dimensions shall be such as to ensure that identification marks are easy to read.
  • The identification marks of seals shall be impossible to falsify and difficult to reproduce.
  • The material used shall be resistant to accidental breakage and such as to prevent undetectable falsification or reuse.

The seals shall have these markings:

  • EORI number (for example: FI1234567-8)
  • unique identifier for the seal.

Before sealing the mode of transport, ensure that the cargo space is not accessible by breaking the seal. The cargo space should be such that hinges or other elements cannot be detached without leaving traces. Blind rivets, for example, cannot be used in the structure of the cargo space. For cargo spaces covered with tarpaulins, make sure that the angle straps have been sowed on and the cables run through eyelets that are set close enough to each other  to prevent openings to the cargo space.

Cargo spaces of means of transport are considered suitable for sealing if:

  • they can be sealed easily and effectively
  • their structure is such that goods cannot be removed from them without leaving visible traces or without breaking the seal
  • they do not contain spaces where goods can be hidden
  • they can easily be inspected by Customs

The driver must ensure that the seal remains intact during the journey. If the seal breaks, the driver must contact Customs or the Police, who also can confirm the event in the accompanying document (box 56). Check more detailed instructions in section ‘Incidents during the journey’.

The authorisation holder or their representative must affix the seals to the cargo space or the goods no later than when the goods have been released for the transit procedure. 


The electronic transport document (ETD) may be used as a simplification subject to authorisation in order to place goods carried by sea or air under the transit procedure. The authorisation can be granted by the Customs Authorisation Centre upon application by an airline or a shipping company.

The electronic transport document is a document drawn up by the carrier when a sea-going vessel or an aircraft leaves a port or an airport, and which establishes the goods loaded onto the vessel or aircraft. The electronic transport document can be used as a transit declaration, if it contains the data required by Annexes B (column D3) to the Delegated Regulation (DA) and the Implementing Regulation (IA) and the data is submitted to Customs’ system or Customs has access to the customer’s system.

Codes used:

The electronic transport document (ETD) may only be used as a transit declaration if one of the following codes is indicated on it for each goods item:

  • T1 – goods placed under the the external Union transit procedure
  • T2 – goods placed under the the internal Union transit procedure
  • T2F – union goods placed under the the internal Union transit procedure and moved across the border of a special fiscal territory. (DA Art. 188)

On the same transport document, the customs status of other transported goods can also be indicated with codes:

  • The code TD is used for goods for which there is a separate customs declaration.
  • The code C is used for goods for which the operators at the airport of departure have sufficient proof of union status.
  • The code X is used for goods that have been placed under the export procedure or for which there is an exit confirmation.

The customs office at the airport or port of destination can check the customs status of the goods from the place of departure with the form TC21 – Request for verification used e.g. for post-clearance controls.

For each goods item, the customs office of departure and the intended customs office of destination must also be indicated. 

Customs office of departure

Every ETD must have a unique reference number (LRN) issued by the airline or the shipping company. It can be the voyage number or any other number that is unique for the operator in question and with which the declaration can be found afterwards as well. 

Customs accepts the ETD transit declaration if the goods covered by it have been presented to Customs. Presentation does not mean that the goods actually are at the airport or port, but Customs must know that the goods are kept in a place agreed on with the operator (e.g. in a warehouse or in the cargo space of the aircraft or the vessel).

The declarant can make corrections in one or more details on the declaration. The information on the corrected details must be available to Customs in case there is a need to carry out post-clearance controls or look into observations, such as discrepancies, made by the customs office of destination. Special attention must be paid to corrections concerning the changing of non-Union transit goods into Union goods and vice versa. In such case, e.g. the previous procedure or function and must be checked and, when necessary, corrected.

When the ETD transit procedure is used, the electronic transport document has been accepted and the goods have been released for the transit procedure when the aircraft or vessel leave the airport or port and the ETD contains the codes required for initiating the transit procedure. The declaration can also be rejected, if Customs finds that the ETD has insufficient or incorrect details. In such case, Customs must notify the airline or the shipping company of the rejection.

If the transport of non-Union goods has been started without a transit declaration having been submitted or accepted, a customs debt is incurred through non-compliance in accordance with Article 79(1) of the Union Customs Code (UCC).

Customs office of destination

The details of the ETD transit must be the same at the customs office of departure and at the customs office of destination. The details must be available to the customs office of destination no later than when the goods arrive at the port or airport. In practice, when using the operator’s system, the details are already available when the goods are released for the transit procedure upon departure.

The legislation does not provide for any time limit for discharging the ETD transit procedure. The transit ends when the goods have been placed in temporary storage at the airport of destination, in another place approved by Customs or under a subsequent customs procedure. The unique reference number (LRN) of the transit declaration must be indicated as previous procedure in the records of the temporary storage facility, of the place approved by Customs or in the declaration for the subsequent customs procedure as.  

The transit procedure is considered as discharged directly after it has ended, unless the customs office of destination has not been informed of or found that the procedure has not ended appropriately (e.g. notification by the airline or the shipping company or an inspection of the goods). The airline or the shipping company has the obligation to notify Customs of all irregularities, violations or discrepancies observed. Such notifications must contain a reference (LRN) to the document concerning the goods.


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