Frequently asked questions

This is our FAQ page.

You can browse the most popular topics or write your question in the field below.


Ordering goods online

You can submit a customs declaration in the Import Declaration Service on behalf of another person if you have a power of attorney. The authorisation can be given either verbally or in writing. You can fill in and print out a complete power of attorney here for signing: Open power of attorney.

Having been authorised, you commit to submitting the customs declaration and paying the import duties on behalf of the recipient of the consignment.

Instructions for the authorised person: Log into the Import Declaration Service using your online banking IDs. Submit the declaration in your own name and provide your own details as recipient details. Provide the name of the person whose consignment is in question in the field “Name of the recipient” e.g. Anna Anybody/Andy Anybody.

Posti delivers the postal consignment directly to the recipient stated in the consignment or to the post office closest to the recipient even though the customs declaration is lodged by an authorised person.

The warehouse keeper storing the freight consignment releases or delivers the consignment to the recipient.


You can authorise another person to clear a consignment and pay the import duties to Customs on your behalf via the Import Declaration Service. The authorisation can be given either verbally or in writing. You can fill in and print out a complete power of attorney here for signing: Open power of attorney

Instructions for the authorised person: Log into the Import Declaration Service using your online banking IDs. Submit the declaration in your own name and provide your own details as recipient details. Provide the name of the person whose consignment is in question in the field “Name of the recipient” e.g. Anna Anybody/Andy Anybody.

Posti delivers the postal consignment directly to the recipient stated on the consignment or to the post office nearest to the recipient.

The warehouse keeper storing the freight consignment releases or delivers the consignment to the recipient.


If you do not know or you cannot find out the contents of the postal consignment even from its sender, you can make a forwarding agreement with Posti, in which case Posti takes care of the customs clearance. Posti’s service is subject to a charge. You can contact Posti on 020 451 5900 or huolinta(at)posti.com.

Please note: Customs will not find out the contents of consignments at the request of customers.

Read more: The roles of Posti and Customs in online purchases


You can download games, computer games and music off the internet tax-free from any country you chose. They do not have to be cleared through customs either.


Customs clearance

The recipient of a consignment is always responsible for clearing the goods through Customs.

If you have a Finnish personal ID number and Finnish online banking IDs or a certficate card, we recommend that you use our Import Declaration Service, free of charge 24 hours a day. You save time and effort when you do not have to visit a customs office.

Apart from online banking IDs or a certficate card for online customs clearance, you will need the order confirmation or the invoice for your purchase, as well as the data on the notification of arrival, which is also available at Posti’s item tracking service.

You can clear your postal consignment as soon as the item tracking service displays a notification saying that the delivery has arrived at the customs warehouse. You have to carry out customs clearance within 20 days of the arrival date. You can also wait for the notification of arrival from Posti.


If you receive a gift you have to ask the sender to clarify what the gift is and how much it is worth, so that Customs can define whether it is a gift that can be released without customs clearance.

Gifts worth more than 45 euros are to be cleared through Customs, and import taxes are levied on them as for any other online purchase. 

Read more: Clearing gifts through Customs

Go to the Import Declaration Service


If you don’t wish to receive the postal consignment, you should not clear it. If the postal consignment is not cleared within 20 days, the consignment will be returned to the sender. In the case of ordered goods, inform the seller that you have cancelled your purchase.

Before the expiration of the storage time you may notify Posti that you refuse to receive the consignment and that you wish for it to be returned to the sender.


An EU-wide guarantee may be used in more than one Member State. The guarantee can be lodged in Finland and used for customs clearance in EU-countries where the guarantee is in force. Correspondingly, the guarantee can be granted in another EU-country and used for customs clearances in Finland.

The EU-wide guarantee can be granted for import, special procedures, transit and temporary warehousing.

However, the transit guarantee must be valid throughout the entire EU territory and in optional agreement countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Andorra and San Marino).

Read more: Guarantees

 


Customs control

Section 66 of the Tobacco Act provides for time limits on passenger imports of tobacco products and nicotine fluids from non-EEA countries. Similar time limits are implemented through alcohol legislation for restricting imports of alcoholic beverages by passenger on trips of short duration.

According to the government proposal for a Tobacco Act, time limits are implemented for preventing illegal trade in tobacco products, and for preventing the entry into the Finnish market of tobacco products that are in violation of the Tobacco Products Directive.

Customs supervises and controls arriving and departing goods and passenger traffic. Customs supervises compliance with time limits concerning imports of tobacco products and nicotine liquids in connection with other customs enforcement through passenger and goods control measures aimed at different forms of traffic.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


No, they won’t.

The radiation from Customs’ x-ray scanners has no effect on either foodstuffs or film materials.

Read more: Customs control


No. Before the vehicle is scanned, the driver assures Customs in writing that there is no one in the vehicle. Nevertheless, the radiation dose received during a scan is so small as not to pose any danger to humans. A normal medical x-ray examination gives a higher radiation dose to a patient.

Customs does not under any circumstances scan people. Customs can order a person to undergo a bodily search that is performed in the form of an x-ray examination. The x-ray examination of a person is a medical procedure and is always undertaken under the supervision of a doctor.

Read more: Customs control

 


To carry out a customs inspection of a person does not require any evidence or suspicion of any offence. The selection is based on a risk assessment or other observation made by Customs.

According to a decision by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, stopping a person and discussing with him or her does not yet constitute a customs inspection.

Read more: Customs control

 


Travelling

A person residing in Finland who arrives in Finland from outside the European Economic Area by means other than by air and whose journey has continued for no more than 24 hours is not allowed to bring in tobacco products or nicotine-containing liquids. However, an exception to this general rule allows the person to bring in tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids if it is apparent that they were obtained before the person left Finland. For instance, warning labels in Finnish and Swedish can be taken as an indication that the product was bought in Finland.

To bring in tobacco products or nicotine fluids you must be aged 18 or over.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


The right to bring in personal medicines depend on whether you are bringing the medicines from another EU country or from outside the EU. There are separate regulations on bringing in medicines classified as narcotics.

Read more: Medicines


If retail packages of tobacco products do not bear the required health warning images in Finnish and Swedish, you are not allowed to bring more than 200 cigarettes to Finland even by paying taxes.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


A private person is allowed to bring to Finland no more than a total of 1 000 grams of chewing tobacco, nasal snus and oral tobacco (snus) in one calendar day for personal use. The said products cannot be brought to the mainland as gifts. It is prohibited to acquire and receive chewing tobacco, nasal snus and oral tobacco from outside Finland by mail or in any other corresponding way.

To bring in tobacco products you must be aged 18 or over.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco


Åland

You are allowed to bring in two litres of beer free of tax from or to the Åland Islands. Otherwise, the same quantity limitations that apply to imports from outside the EU also apply to imports from Åland, as well as from the Canary Islands.

Read more: Bringing back alcohol

 


There are no quantitative restrictions on alcohol released for consumption (i.e. taxes have been paid).

Tax-free import allowances on alcohol bought from a tax-free shop are 1 litre of strong alcoholic beverages (over 22%) or 2 litres of other alcoholic beverages (max 22 %), 4 litres of still wine and 2 litres of beer.

Read more: Bringing alcohol from your trip


Moving to/from Finland

You may, if your permanent residence has been outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months before moving to Finland, and the other conditions for exemption from customs duties and value added tax are met.


You can bring in your removal goods to Finland free from customs duty and value added tax within 12 months after your move.

Read more: Moving to Finland from outside the EU customs and tax territory


If you are moving from outside the EU to Finland, your permanent residence will have to have been outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months, then you can be granted exemption from customs duties and value added tax if the other conditions are met.

If you are moving from outside the EU to another EU country, you will have to clear your removal goods through customs in that country. Then, if you move from that EU country to Finland, your move takes place within the EU and your removal goods will not have to be cleared in Finland.

Read more: Moving to Finland from outside the EU customs and tax territory


Gift consignments

If you receive a gift you have to ask the sender to clarify what the gift is and how much it is worth, so that Customs can define whether it is a gift that can be released without customs clearance.

Gifts worth more than 45 euros are to be cleared through Customs, and import taxes are levied on them as for any other online purchase. 

Read more: Clearing gifts through Customs

Go to the Import Declaration Service


Gifts sent from outside the EU from a private individual to another that are worth up to 45 euros, and meant for the personal use of the consignee or their family members, are usually duty free and tax exempt, given that the nature and quantity of the goods does not imply commercial intent. Exceptions to the exemption from duty/tax: gift consignments containing alcohol products and tobacco products, perfumes, eau de toilette products, coffee or tea.

Value added tax and excise duty are always collected when the gift consignment arrives from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU and contains cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarette tobacco, alcohol or alcoholic beverages. Detailed information: Receiving gifts


Goods that arrive from outside of the customs and fiscal territory of the EU, or from the EU’s customs territory but from outside of its fiscal territory, are usually to be cleared through Customs. As a consignee, you always have to clear any gift worth over 45 euros, since it is subject to tax. Read more about other gift consignments that need to be cleared through Customs. Even if the consignment is a gift, you must provide a receipt, invoice or other credible proof for the customs clearance, so that the value of the gift can be confirmed. 

Read more about clearing gifts through Customs.


You can find guidance on sending parcels abroad on Posti’s website. Furthermore, Posti’s website also has information on prohibited consignments and country-specific prohibitions and restrictions.

Please note that many export restrictions also apply to gift consignments. Restricted goods include drugs that are classified as narcotics, goods made from endangered plants and animals, firearms and firearm supplies and cultural goods. The sender is responsible for finding out what the current export restrictions are, as well as the import restrictions of the country of destination. You can get more information about such restrictions e.g. from the embassy of the destination country or from its authorities. Finnish Customs does not provide information about the import restrictions of other countries. Read more about sending postal parcels on www.posti.fi.


Restrictions

You may bring less than 10 kg of forest mushrooms and berries for personal use without sampling or measurement of radiation level.


Some snakes are restricted by CITES, thus liquor containing snakes cannot be brought in without the appropriate CITES permits.                    

More information from Finland’s environmental administration


It is prohibited to acquire and receive oral tobacco (snus), chewing tobacco and nasal snus from outside Finland by mail or in any other corresponding way.

Read more: Ordering tobacco products online


Customs controls alcohol brought in by travellers from within the EU and can inspect such alcohol. Even when you can take the alcohol products with you after the inspection, the inspection may lead to tax consideration. As of 1 January 2017, the tax consideration will be performed by the Tax Administration. When necessary, the Tax Administration may contact you, and you have the responsibility to account for the purpose of use of the alcohol products even after the import.

According to section 103 of the Act on Excise Duty, Customs has the right to detain excise products if there is any ambiguity about for example the liability to pay taxes, taxability, application of excise regulations or the purpose of import, or if there is some other justified reason for detaining the goods.

Excise duty is levied on products imported for some other purpose than a private person’s personal use. As of 1 January 2017, the Tax Administration is responsible for the taxation. If Customs has detained excise products you have brought in, wait for the Tax Administration to contact you.

 


Import Declaration Service

If you don’t wish to receive the postal consignment, you should not clear it. If the postal consignment is not cleared within 20 days, the consignment will be returned to the sender. In the case of ordered goods, inform the seller that you have cancelled your purchase.

Before the expiration of the storage time you may notify Posti that you refuse to receive the consignment and that you wish for it to be returned to the sender.


Check with the post office in which stage of the transport the parcel was lost.

1. If your parcel was lost during transportation after customs clearance in Finland, the import taxes will not be refunded by Customs; you should claim damages from Posti.

2. If Posti has returned the parcel to the sender, you may apply for correction with a free-form application or with Customs’ form 643 (pdf, in Finnish)

Ask Posti to give you a verification on the return of the parcel to the sender or print out the return verification yourself from the tracking service on Posti´s website. More information on submitting appeals.


You can apply for repayment of the import duties and taxes if, for example, you have sent the goods back to the seller outside the EU or if the value of the goods was incorrectly declared.

Send the free-form application for a revised decision to the Customs registry office by email to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi, or by post to Finnish Customs, Applications for a revised import decision, P.O. Box 512, 00100 Helsinki.

Enter all required information in the application for a revised decision and attach copies of all documents.  

 


                            

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