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Questions frequently asked by private persons

This is our FAQ page.

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


Ordering goods online

Yes, you do. Used or second-hand goods should be declared in the same way as goods bought as new. The taxes are paid based on the purchase price you’ve paid.


If you receive goods produced in Germany or goods cleared in Germany, then you do not have to pay any import taxes to Finnish Customs.

Note that goods you have ordered from Germany can be delivered from outside the EU. In that case, the goods have to be cleared through Customs, and taxes usually have to be paid. You will receive a message from the freight carrier, when the consignment has to be cleared through customs.

Remember also that Helgoland and Büsingen in Germany are not a part of EUs customs and fiscal territory.

If you order alcoholic beverages, please read the related instructions on our website.


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.


No. You can, for example, download games, computer software and music, and you do not have to submit a customs declaration for them to Customs. Customs will not collect any import taxes for them either. Read more about the taxation of electronic services (in Finnish) on the Tax Administration website: Tele-, lähetys- ja sähköisten palvelujen arvonlisäverotus


Import Declaration for private persons

If the customs clearance was done on your behalf, ask your representative for the decision. If you declared the goods yourself in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, your declarations from the last 90 days are available for you at the service. Log in to the service and view your declarations via the box “My declarations”.

As a private person, you are responsible for keeping a file of the customs clearance documents for the current year and for 3 additional years following the customs clearance. Customs may ask you to show these documents.

Note that a private person is not required to enclose the customs clearance decision with an application for revision. 


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. Phone or send an email to Posti’s customer service at huolinta(at)posti.com, and tell them about the situation. Write in the header; ‘I don’t wish to receive my incoming order.’


You can clear it in our import declaration service. The most convenient way to clear it is through online clearance: Customs clearance of a postal parcel after delivery.


Ask the sender for an account of the content and value of the gift consignment.

Read more: Clearing gifts through Customs


Gift consignments

Ask the sender for an account of the content and value of the gift consignment.

Read more: Clearing gifts through Customs


For declaring your gift, you need the following:

  • arrival notification from the transport company
  • information on the gift and its value, for example, a free-form account on the value or a receipt on the goods. (If necessary, ask the sender for the account in advance.)
  • Customs may also wish to see other documents.

 


You’ll find instructions on sending parcels abroad on Posti’s website. Posti’s website also has information on prohibited and dangerous items and country-specific bans and restrictions.

Many export restrictions also apply to gift consignments. Such goods include products derived from endangered animals and plants.

Please note that 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 the restrictions e.g. from the country’s embassy or authorities. Finnish Customs does not provide information about the import restrictions of other countries.


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


Travelling

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


Ask the Finnish Food Authority about the restrictions and regulations regarding the importation of pets.

Clear the pet through Customs when you enter the country. Present documents and the invoice for the pet in connection with the customs clearance. You can bring in the pet without paying duties or taxes as long as the value limit for imports by travellers is not exceeded. The value limit is 430 or 300 euros depending on which transport vehicle you use. If the value limit is exceeded, the amount of VAT payable is 24% of the purchase price plus transport costs and possible insurance costs. Read more about import duties and taxes.


Private persons are not allowed to bring fireworks to Finland from outside the EEA. The import of fireworks requires a licence, and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) does not grant licences to private persons. More information

  •  More information: Tukes

If you live in Finland and you arrive in Finland from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) other than by air and your journey has lasted no more than 24 hours, you are not allowed to bring in tobacco products or nicotine liquids.

Exception: You are allowed to bring in tobacco products and nicotine liquids if it is apparent that you obtained them before you left Finland. For instance, text warnings in Finnish and Swedish can be taken as an indication that the product was bought in Finland.

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

Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels 


Customs control

Customs supervises and controls arriving and departing goods and travellers. Customs supervises the compliance with time limits concerning imports of tobacco products and nicotine liquids in connection with other customs enforcement through control measures aimed the flows of vehicles and travellers in different traffic types.

Section 66 of the Tobacco Act provides for the time limits on imports of tobacco products and nicotine liquids by travellers from non-EEA countries. The time limits are implemented to prevent illegal trade in tobacco products, and to prevent the entry into the Finnish market of tobacco products that are in violation of the Tobacco Products Directive.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels 

 


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

 


No, they won’t.

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

Read more: Customs control


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.

 


Moving to or from Finland

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


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.


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


Import Declaration Service

Postal consignments can be cleared free of charge via Customs’ Import Declaration Service.


Yes, you can use the credit feature or the debit feature of your card (VISA debit/credit and MasterCard debit/credit).

Please note that the minimum payment amount in the Import Declaration Service is 0.65 euros.


The freight carrier only sends a notice of arrival for a consignment that needs to be cleared through Customs. On the arrival notice, the arrival ID for the postal consignment may end in an EU country code, even though the consignment originally was dispatched outside the EU.

Always declare the actual country of consignment.


Restrictions

Ask the Finnish Food Authority about the restrictions and regulations regarding the importation of pets.

Clear the pet through Customs when you enter the country. Present documents and the invoice for the pet in connection with the customs clearance. You can bring in the pet without paying duties or taxes as long as the value limit for imports by travellers is not exceeded. The value limit is 430 or 300 euros depending on which transport vehicle you use. If the value limit is exceeded, the amount of VAT payable is 24% of the purchase price plus transport costs and possible insurance costs. Read more about import duties and taxes.


The new plant health legislation restricts travellers from bringing in plants and plant products from outside the European Union without a phytosanitary certificate. The new legislation will take effect on 14 December.

A phytosanitary certificate is required for:

  • seedlings, potted plants, greenery,
  • scions, stems, tubers, rhizomes and similar propagated materials,
  • seeds for planting,
  • cut flowers and branches as well as
  • fresh fruits, berries, vegetables and root vegetables.

Of fruits, only bananas, dates durians, pineapples and coconuts are exempted from the certificate requirement.

You will still need to check for possible import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s Guide to Import Bans (in Finnish).

A phytosanitary certificate is not required for mushrooms, and it is therefore still permitted after 1 September 2019 to bring in a maximum of 10 kilogrammes for personal use without testing and radiation controls.

Further information can be found on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage (in Finnish and Swedish).


Private persons are not allowed to bring fireworks to Finland from outside the EEA. The import of fireworks requires a licence, and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) does not grant licences to private persons. More information

  •  More information: Tukes

You must first check the CITES restrictions on clams. For more information, go to the website of the Finnish Environment Institute.

For personal use you can bring in, without veterinary border control, no more than 20 kg of dead clams intended to be eaten. You can also bring in stones, but corals are subject to CITES restrictions.

Please note that it’s your responsibility to find out what restrictions and provisions apply in your country of destination. Finnish Customs cannot give advice on restrictions that apply in other countries.


                            

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Contact Customs Information

The Customs Information Service offers advice from Monday to Friday 8 am–4 pm. Have a look at the FAQ or contact us with your question.

Customs Information Service

 

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