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Transit simplifications

If you want to use the transit procedure regularly, it’s worthwhile to obtain an authorisation for various simplifications.

Comprehensive guarantee authorisation (CGU)

The comprehensive guarantee authorisation gives you the right to use a bank guarantee, which means that you don’t have to lodge a guarantee to Customs for the amount of taxes due for each transit operation. 

Authorisation for the status of authorised consignor (ACR)

you can operate from any warehouse approved by Customs. The authorisation requires a comprehensive guarantee authorisation.

  • Apply for the authorisation in the Authorisations and Decisions Service.
  • Read the instructions on the page Instructions for holders of authorisations

The authorised consignor must also obtain an authorisation to use seals of a special type.

Transit procedure started by an authorised consignor

An authorised consignor can initiate T transit procedures at all Customs-approved warehouses located in Finland. The list of warehouses is available on the Customs website.

The authorisation holder must submit a transit declaration before the transport of the goods begins. The authorisation holder receives an accompanying document from the Customs system for accompanying the goods to the customs office of destination or to the authorised consignee. 

When the authorisation holder receives an acceptance notification (FI028A), from Customs’ electronic transit system, this means that Customs has received the transit declaration message for processing. A new transit declaration message cannot be sent on the same goods to replace the previous transit declaration 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. Therefore, weekends and public holidays are not included the time limit. For example, 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. The time limit is therefore three days, during which the goods have to be presented at the destination.

Longer deadlines of 5 days may be given for T-transit operations opened or terminated in Åland. The extension is due to the share taken up by sea transport. In rail transport, a ten-day deadline may be given for transit.

Providing a longer time limit for transit is possible only for justified reasons. If the company provides a longer time limit, it must archive a written statement of reasons in the transport administration 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. It is voluntary to provide trade names at the level of six digits. However, the trade name does not replace an accurate description of 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 goods and sealing

Authorised consignors must always use seals as the primary means for identifying and verifying goods. 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. In such cases, you can replace seals by giving a sufficiently precise and detailed description of goods to facilitate their identification. A goods description entails the quantity and nature of the goods, as well as special characteristics such as serial numbers. Sealing goods does not remove the obligation to provide a detailed goods description. 

Under “Seal information” in your transit declaration, you can only indicate an authorisation holder’s own seals that Customs has approved. Your transit declaration must include the entire ID of the special design seal of an authorisation holder, that is, the EORI number of the authorisation holder and the individual seal ID number. When necessary, you can indicate other commercial seals under “Additional information” in your transit declaration. 

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 you wish to transit goods by passenger car, the transit procedure must be initiated at the customs office of departure under a standard procedure.

Cancelling a transit

Transit declarations that have not received an acceptance notification from Customs must be cancelled if the transit of the goods has already been initiated under a fallback procedure.

Lupa erityismallisten sinettien käyttöön (SSE)

Valtuutetun lähettäjän luvan lisäksi täytyy hakea lupa omien sinettien käyttöön. Sinetöinnillä helpotetaan tavaroiden tunnistamista rajatullissa tai määräpaikassa. Sinetöintiluvan haltija voi sinetöidä kuljetuksen tai pakkaukset itse, eikä sinetin kiinnittämiseksi tarvitse asioida tullissa. Sinettien täytyy olla kuitenkin Tullin vaatimusten mukaisia.

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.

Authorisation for the status of authorised consignee (ACE) and authorisation for the status of TIR authorised consignee (ACT)

If your company has a warehousing authorisation granted by Customs, you can apply for the status of authorised consignee. Then you can apply for unloading permission from Customs in the Customs Clearance Service or by message exchange, and you will not have to visit a customs office. 

You can also receive an authorisation for the status of authorised consignee, if you company has an authorisation for declaring goods with an entry in the declarant’s records (EIR). 

  • Apply for the authorisation in the Authorisations and Decisions Service.
  • Read the instructions for the authorised consignee on the page Instructions for holders of authorisations

Discharging a transit at an authorised consignee

The authorised consignee can receive consignments either as T transits or TIR transits, depending on the authorisation. An authorised consignee must send a reception message (FI007A) for all incoming goods to Customs before unloading the goods. The reception message contains information on the condition of seals or on a missing seal. The reception message is also used for notifying Customs about a transport that does not have any seals.

When the consignee receives an unloading permission, they can remove any possible seals and start unloading the goods. The goods should be inspected by comparing them to the data in the unloading permit or in the TIR Carnet. 

Unloading result

The authorised consignee must submit the unloading report to Customs without delay, however no later than on the third day from the receipt of the unloading permit. The unloading report must contain the following data: possible excess goods, missing goods as well as replacement goods and other possible breaches of regulations such as differences between the data in the TIR Carnet and the unloading permit. The authorised consignee must archive the TADs and appendices, pertaining to the received consignments, so that they are available to Customs. 
Control result codes:

  • ”A2 – As declared”, when both the quality and the quantity of the goods you have unloaded correspond to the details provided in the transit declaration.
  • ”A5 – Minor discrepancies/Overshipment”, when minor discrepancies that do not affect the discharge of the transit procedure or the customs debt have been detected.
    • Examples of minor discrepancies:
      • missing or incorrect identification number of a means of transport (for example “AUT-0”)
      • minor discrepancy regarding mass, kind of packages or package markings without any noticeable handling of the goods or changing of the goods
      • excess goods (same or different goods) have been unloaded and are entered or have been entered in temporary storage records or placed under a new customs procedure (e.g. release for free circulation).
  • ”B1 – Missing items”, when goods are missing (completely or partially) or the goods are different from the declared ones (type and quantity of the goods) or completely undeclared goods have been detected.

 “A1 – The control result corresponds to the declaration”, this code is only used by Customs. Customs uses this code to notify that Customs has inspected the goods and checked the data and has found that they are as declared. 

Discharging the TIR Carnet at Customs

The TIR Carnet 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 must 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.


At the carrier’s request, the authorised consignee must issue a receipt in accordance with Annex 72 - 03 in the Delegated Regulation of the Union Customs Code, for each consignment that has arrived within the time limit and in an unchanged condition.

The use of an electronic document as a transit declaration (ETD)

An airline or a shipping company can use an electronic transport document (ETD) as a simplification in order to place goods carried by sea or air under the transit procedure. Apply for an authorisation in the EU’s Customs Decisions System (CDS).

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 with which the goods loaded onto the vessel or aircraft are declared. 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 to 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 to clarify 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 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 a 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 some other customs procedure. 

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 a notification must contain a reference (LRN) to the document concerning the goods in question.

Authorisation to use a transit declaration with a reduced dataset (TRD)

Airlines, shipping companies and railway companies can apply for an authorisation to use a customs declaration that requires less information than a standard declaration.