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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

Consignments delivered by an express courier are “freight clearances”. When you clear the parcel, be especially observant regarding two things:

  1. declare the right parcel quantity and total weight and
  2. send to the express courier the decision on release, which you received from Customs. 

Without this information the express courier cannot deliver the consignment to you.


If the seller sends you a new product but you will not have to return the defective product to the seller:

1. Clear the new consignment through customs as usual. Import taxes have to be paid for the product. When clearing the product, declare the actual value of the product as the value. 

2. You can apply to Customs for a revision of the customs clearance concerning the defective product.

  • The customs value of the defective product can be revised, i.e. determined to correspond to the actual value of the product. The value can also be very low if the product is found unusable.
  • As proof of the refund offered by the seller, you have to present e.g. an exchange of emails or other documents indicating the grounds for the refund.

3. You can also submit a free-form application for revision to Customs.


  • Although the product has not been sold, the customs value must be determined for it. As the customs value, you can declare the price that would be paid for a similar product if it had been bought and would be imported.
  • To determine the customs value of the product, a document reliably indicating the value of the goods shall be presented.

To find out whether a species is endangered, you need to know its two-part scientific name and whether the specimen was born and bred in captivity. The seller should always be able to tell you from which species the product was derived and whether an import permit is required for it. As importer, you are always responsible for the goods you bring in.

If a permit is required, you will have to apply for it in advance. In Finland, the permits are issued by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Always check the import and export conditions in advance from the CITES permitting authority. 

Don't buy a product if you're not sure whether it is a plant, an animal or some other specimen that requires a permit. Read more about endangered species and CITES permits (Environment.fi).

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Customs clearance

When doing business with Customs you can pay customs duties and taxes or lodge guarantees with these means of payment:

  • cash
  • cheque
  • Visa Debit/Credit
  • Visa Electron
  • Mastercard Debit/Credit
  • Maestro and
  • V Pay.

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.


Consignments cannot be cleared through Customs in advance.

You can clear a postal consignment once you’ve received the notice of arrival. The notice of arrival can also be sent in electronic format.

The postal consignment can be declared once the following text is displayed in Posti’s item tracking service: “Delivery awaits for your customs declaration. Please handle the customs declaration within 20 days from arrival.”

 


It is always Posti or the carrier that will send you a notice of arrival or notify you of the arrival of a consignment that needs to be cleared through customs. You will need the information you have received if you clear the consignment yourself. Please contact Posti or the carrier if you have any questions about the notice of arrival.


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

Ask the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira 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.


Before you go:

  • Contact the Police and make sure that you have the required licences for transporting firearms and cartridges. Private individuals are required to have a private transfer permit issued in Finland for taking firearms or cartridges from Finland to Estonia. Alternatively, the holder of a European firearms pass may transfer, from Finland to Estonia, a firearm marked in a firearms pass, as well as the necessary quantity of ammunition to be used with the firearm and applicable to hunting. A person transferring a firearm and ammunition must also have a written invitation to participate in a hunting event.
  • You should contact the authorities or embassy of your country of destination and find out the procedures involving licences and declarations.
  • If you have the required licences, you do not need to lodge a declaration with Finnish Customs on transporting personal firearms or cartridges. However, if Customs asks you to present your firearm, cartridges and licence, you must do so.
  • If you are travelling with a hunting dog, you must contact Evira (the Finnish Food Safety Authority) to make sure that your dog has the required documents and valid vaccinations. You should also find out the requirements posed by the Estonian authorities for taking your dog to Estonia.

 

When you return to Finland:  

  • If you have the required licences, you do not need to lodge a declaration with Finnish Customs on transporting personal firearms or cartridges. However, if Customs asks you to present your firearm, cartridges and licence, you must do so.
  • You do not need to present your dog or any documents concerning your dog to Customs.
  • More information for passengers is available on the Customs website.

Help prevent the spread of African swine fever in Finland

Please note that, as per Evira’s recommendation, travelling to regions such as Estonia where African swine fever is prevalent is not advised. Information on African swine fever for hunters - Evira

Make sure also to clean and disinfect your equipment, as it may be contaminated by the African swine fever virus. If you are travelling with a hunting dog, you should also clean the dog’s fur and any related equipment. Specific instructions are available on the Evira website.

Read more about importing hunting trophies (in Finnish) and importing fresh meat on the Evira website.

 

 


To find out whether a species is endangered, you need to know its two-part scientific name and whether the specimen was born and bred in captivity. The seller should always be able to tell you from which species the product was derived and whether an import permit is required for it. As importer, you are always responsible for the goods you bring in.

If a permit is required, you will have to apply for it in advance. In Finland, the permits are issued by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Always check the import and export conditions in advance from the CITES permitting authority. 

Don't buy a product if you're not sure whether it is a plant, an animal or some other specimen that requires a permit. Read more about endangered species and CITES permits (Environment.fi).

.


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


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 or 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

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.


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.


Restrictions

Ask the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira 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.


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


Import Declaration Service

Consignments delivered by an express courier are “freight clearances”. When you clear the parcel, be especially observant regarding two things:

  1. declare the right parcel quantity and total weight and
  2. send to the express courier the decision on release, which you received from Customs. 

Without this information the express courier cannot deliver the consignment to you.


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.


It is always Posti or the carrier that will send you a notice of arrival or notify you of the arrival of a consignment that needs to be cleared through customs. You will need the information you have received if you clear the consignment yourself. Please contact Posti or the carrier if you have any questions about the notice of arrival.


                            

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Customs Information Service, Private customers
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