Sea traffic

Regular vessel traffic

Goods to be transported in regular vessel traffic approved by Customs are considered to be Union goods, unless otherwise indicated. Union goods are exempted from customs formalities at the port of destination.

The shipping company can apply for an authorisation from Customs for regular vessel traffic if it only transports goods regularly between ports within the customs territory of the Union. The place of exit of the goods, the destination or port of call on route, cannot be outside the territory of the Union or in a free zone in the customs territory of the Union.

The export procedure of goods placed under an export procedure and transported in regular vessel traffic, is not ended when the goods are loaded into the vessel. Under certain circumstances, the export is ended when the rule regarding one transport contract is invoked, or when an electronic loading list or transport document is used as a transit declaration.

Non-regular vessel traffic

Goods transported in non-regular vessel traffic are considered to be non-Union goods unless otherwise indicated, and normal customs formalities are applied at the port of destination.

There are separate instructions on proving the customs status of Union goods transported in non-regular vessel traffic: Proving the Union status of arriving goods

When goods placed under the export procedure are loaded into a vessel in non-regular traffic, the export procedure is ended based on exit declarations submitted for the goods. Read more: Goods exiting the EU

Points to consider

Bunkering, i.e. filling out a ship’s fuel tanks, is always subject to authorisation from Customs. The Customs Sea Traffic Centre (MEKE) must be notified about bunkering from ship to ship by email to

The Sea Traffic Group (MEKE) of the Electronic Service Centre is open for customer service on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. In urgent matters, you can contact the on-duty officer at the Electronic Service Centre by email: .

Prior to the arrival of a ship, a declaration must also be submitted to the “port@net” system.

Fairway dues must also be paid on an arriving ship.

Entry and exit declarations to be submitted for bunker fuel

Transport operators are responsible for providing the entry summary declaration, temporary storage declarations and exit declarations to Customs. If a transport operator so wishes, it can also use a representative for submitting the declarations.

  • For undeclared goods arriving directly from a non-Union country, Finnish Customs requires an entry summary declaration IE315, followed by an arrival notification and presentation IE347
  • When a ship arrives from another Union port and unloads goods on Finland’s territorial waters or at a port in Finland, Finnish Customs requires a declaration for temporary storage (FI337) and a presentation notification (FI332) for the goods to be unloaded
  • Exit declarations IE547 and IE590 are also submitted for an exiting ship
  • If fuel is bunkered from one Finnish ship in commercial traffic to another, declarations on arriving and departing traffic are not submitted

Bunkraus kansainvälisessä liikenteessä olevaan alukseen

Additional information on bunkering to be given on declarations

In the entry summary declaration, the name of the port where bunkering takes place is to be entered in the “Place of unloading” field, along with the text: ”unloading to ship X”. The letter X stands for the IMO number of the ship to be bunkered.
In the temporary storage declaration, you should provide A – Designated location as the type of location, V – customs office and the identifier of the customs office at which the bunkering will take place. Enter the additional information code FISSL – Direct transhipment and the description “bunkering and the name of the port where the bunkering takes place”. Enter the additional information code FIXXX – Other additional information and the description “unloading to ship X”, where X stands for the IMO number of the ship to be bunkered.

As soon as bunkering to the fuel tank of another ship has taken place outside the port, the ship that has received the fuel, or a representative of that ship, must submit exit manifest presentation IE547 to Finnish Customs, indicating the summary declaration MRN and consignment number. After the exit manifest presentation, exit declaration IE590 must also be submitted.

Regulation (3/2018) issued by Finnish Customs on the notification procedure for vessels arriving at and departing from Finnish ports

Arrival and exit

Goods can also be transported in non-regular vessel traffic under a transit procedure. In that case, the transit procedure is suspended during the transport at sea. An entry summary declaration (FI315) or temporary storage declaration (FI337) must still be submitted to Customs for all goods to be unloaded at a port of destination in Finland. This is why goods placed under the transit procedure must also be presented at the vessel’s port of destination. The transit declaration must be presented before the transport can continue to the customs office of destination. When the transit declaration is presented, Customs registers the goods as cleared in its system.