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Questions frequently asked by private persons

This is our FAQ page. You can browse the questions or write the subject of your question in the field below, for example ‘nicotine’.


Ordering goods online

You declared a postal consignment that did not arrive in its entirety. Although you have already declared the entire consignment, you will receive a notice of arrival on the second delivery of your goods. What you should do depends on the total value of your consignment.

The total value of my goods is at most 150 euros

When you are notified of the arrival of your subsequent delivery, do this:

Call the Customs Information Service at 0295 5206 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4.15 p.m.).
If you are located in the Åland Islands, call the number 0295 527 018 (weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Before calling, make sure that you have all the necessary information and documents. You will need

  • the MRN of your customs clearance
  • an order confirmation or invoice on your goods
  • the arrival ID of the subsequent postal delivery, or some other form of tracking ID
  • your possible reclamation or, for example, an email from the seller or dispatcher informing you about a subsequent delivery.

The Customs Information Service will instruct you further on what to do.

The total value of my delivery is over 150 euros

When you are notified about the arrival of your subsequent delivery, do this:

  1. Declare the consignment yourself or use a representative for declaring it. In your customs clearance, give only the value of the goods that are delivered to you afterwards.
  2. Apply for a tax refund, i.e. revision of the customs clearance decision concerning the first customs clearance. In your application for revision, give the reference numbers (MRNs) of both customs clearances.

Read the instructions on how to apply for a revised decision.

Read more about customs clearance here: Declare your parcel.


Paying VAT in Finland depends, among other things, on whether or not the online store has an IOSS number.

  • If the seller has an IOSS number, you will pay the Finnish VAT when you purchase the goods. The postal company or the transport company, will usually declare the consignment on your behalf, and no VAT has to be paid in conjunction with the declaration. (However, this does not apply to products that are subject to restrictions, nor to products subject to excise duty, such as alcohol products. For these products, the import taxes are always paid in conjunction with the declaration.)
  • If the seller doesn’t have an IOSS number, you will usually have to pay the VAT again upon importation to Finland. You will still have to pay the import duties to Finland even though you have already paid the VAT of the selling country to the seller.
  • Some online stores have included the VAT to be paid to Finland to the price of the goods, even though they don’t have an IOSS number. The invoice from the online store may e.g. have the abbreviation ‘DDP’ or the text ‘Delivered duty paid’ written on it. Ask the seller if your order has been delivered by a transport company that does the declaration in Finland on your part and pays the Finnish VAT.

Read more on the IOSS number.


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.’


Previously, customers usually didn’t have to declare online purchases worth no more than 22 euros. However, the legislation has changed. From 1 July 2021, all online purchases arriving from outside the EU must be declared and VAT must be paid for them.


Import Declaration for private persons

- After you have personally lodged the customs clearance of your consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, your customs clearance decision, decision on release and customs invoice will be available for 90 days in the service.

  1. Log in to the Service.
  2. Go to “My declarations”. If you’re using a mobile device, you can find the heading by opening the menu in the top right-hand corner of the service.
  3. Select your customs clearance and documentation.

- You will also find the documentation on your customs clearances in the Customs Clearance Service. The Customs Clearance Service also contains the customs clearances you have done using the Service.

  1. Log in to the Service.
  2. Go to the “Finished” tab. If you know the MRN of your customs clearance, you can search your customs clearance on the “Declaration search” tab in the Customs Clearance Service.
  3. The clearance documents are on the “Summary and submission” page.

- When you have personally lodged the customs clearance of your consignment before 11 February 2020, the customs clearance decision and decision on release are available in the Import Declaration Service.

- When a transport company or a forwarding company has cleared your consignment on your behalf, ask them for the documentation.

MRN required for submitting a claim for a revised decision

You are not required to attach the customs clearance decision to an application for a revised decision if the customs clearance was completed in the Import Declaration Service for private persons on 11 February 2020 or later. However, the MRN of the clearance should be filled in carefully in the application for a revised decision.

As a private person you should keep the customs clearance documents for the current year and an additional six years following the clearance. Customs may ask you to present these documents.


If for example you have ordered multiple items, the arrival notification from Posti does not necessarily indicate which consignment has arrived. It is also possible that the tracking code of the consignment has changed, and therefore you cannot know what the specific consignment is.

For declaring your consignment, you will need an item tracking ID which can also be the original ID. You will also need to find out what consignment is in question, that is, the contents of the consignment and their value.

Check the order history in your online shop. Very often, the order history shows the price details and item tracking ID for each consignment.

Posti may issue a new tracking ID for the consignment. You can search for information on the consignment with both tracking IDs in the Posti item tracking service. You can also use other tracking services for finding out the location of your consignment and any possible changes in the tracking ID. For example, the weight details and the date of order can be useful in finding out the contents.

If the consignment is a gift, you should ask the sender to provide information on the contents and value.

Customs is not able to find out the contents of consignments. Customs does not store or transport consignments. Instead, consignments are kept in the storage facilities of transport companies.


A seller who has an IOSS number, charges the Finnish VAT at the time of purchase. The VAT is included in the price of the goods and you don’t need to pay any additional VAT in connection with customs clearance. The postal company will usually declare the consignment on your behalf, and no action is required on your part. Consignments from other transport companies will need to be declared by you, unless you have agreed with the transport company that they will clear the goods on your behalf.

IOSS sellers are registered for VAT within the EU territory. This means that the VAT is included in the price of the goods purchased and the seller accounts for the VAT to the EU. This has been possible since 1 July 2021.

Where can I find the IOSS number?

The IOSS number is in the order confirmation or the invoice. If necessary, request it from the seller.

When do I need the IOSS number?

Generally, you don’t need an IOSS number.

You only need the IOSS number if you have paid the VAT when you purchased the goods and the following text is not shown in the Import Declaration Service for private persons on the page ‘Consignment details’ ‘The VAT has been charged at the point of purchase, but you must still declare the consignment.’ In that case, enter the IOSS number in the service.

How do I provide the IOSS number?

In the Import Declaration Service for private persons, you are asked ‘Have you paid the VAT for the consignment already at the point of purchase?’

Only choose ‘Yes’ if you have bought the goods from an IOSS-seller and you paid the VAT at the point of purchase. You should also consult the postal company or other transport company to find out if they will clear the parcel on your behalf or if you need to do it yourself.

The service asks you to provide the IOSS number. The IOSS number is in the order confirmation or the invoice. If necessary, request it from the seller.

You can read more about the topic on our page on IOSS identifier.


When you receive a newspaper or magazine from outside the EU

You must declare each newspaper or magazine individually to Customs and pay the VAT due for it. Even if you have subscribed for the newspaper or magazine for a longer period, each newspaper or magazine issue included in the subscription must be declared separately.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “goods I’ve purchased”.

If your newspaper or magazine subscription started before 1 July 2021, you will only have to pay VAT for the newspapers or magazines that arrive after that date. You can calculate the value of a single newspaper or magazine issue by dividing the total price of the subscription with the number of issues included in it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is USD 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, USD 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is USD 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67).

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

On the page “Goods details”, enter “magazine” in the search field and select “magazines and comics”. Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the individual magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

If an undeclared newspaper or magazine is delivered to you, be sure to submit the declaration afterwards.

When you receive a newspaper or magazine sent from another EU country to the Åland Islands

You can submit a declaration and pay the VAT for all newspapers or magazines included in the subscription period (or for remaining issues of the subscription period) at the same time.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “an undeclared purchase already delivered to me/a newspaper or magazine subscription”.

Under “Goods description”, enter the name of the newspaper or magazine, the invoice due date and the subscription period for which you are paying VAT.

Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the subscription period.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). As the price of the subscription period, enter only the value of the magazines delivered from July onwards, that is, 40 euros (6 x 6.67 = 40), and EUR as the currency.

Select “10% books, newspapers and magazines” as the VAT rate.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

You can also declare each magazine issue individually and pay the VAT for it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). Enter 6,67 as the price and EUR as the currency.

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

When you receive a magazine sent from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands

Many Finnish newspaper or magazine publishers will declare the newspapers or magazines you have subscribed to on your behalf. In that case, you don’t have to declare them or pay the VAT to Customs; instead, the VAT will be included on the subscription invoice.

If the sender has not declared the newspaper or magazine issues, you must declare them in the Customs Clearance Service. You can declare the issues for the whole subscription period at the same time or each issue individually. You cannot declare the magazine subscription in the Import Declaration Service for private persons.


Gift consignments

Relief from customs duty and taxes regarding gift consignments is only granted for goods that a private individual sends free of charge from a third country to another private individual within the customs and fiscal territory of the EU. 

This means that tax exemption does not apply to gift consignments sent by a company. These consignments must be cleared through Customs and import duties must be paid on them. Read more about customs clearance.


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

Read more: Clearing gifts through Customs


Declare the gift consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. Choose that you wish to declare a gift sent by a private person.

For the declaration, you’ll need to know the content and value of the gift, and you’ll need the notice of arrival.

However, if the gift is exempt from customs duty and tax, you do not need to pay any import duties or taxes.

What kind of gifts should be declared?

 

 


Declare the consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. The most convenient way to clear it is through online clearance: Customs clearance of a consignment after delivery


Restrictions

Mosquito repellents, e.g. mosquito repellent mats, can only be imported to Finland by registered operators. Mosquito repellent refers to a biocidal substance that repels mosquitos. When you obtain repellents, they need to be authorised by the Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). In other words, there needs to be an authorisation number by Tukes on the packaging of the repellent. 

Private persons can bring in mosquito repellent devices as passenger imports or order them online, as long as mosquito repellent mats without an authorisation number by Tukes are not included.

Learn more about mosquito repellents on the Safety and Chemicals Agency website


No. It is prohibited to acquire and receive oral tobacco (snus), chewing tobacco and nasal tobacco 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.

 


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


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

 


Moving to or from Finland

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


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


Travelling

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 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 the Finnish Food Authority's recommendation, travelling to regions such as Estonia where African swine fever is prevalent is not advised. Information on African swine fever for hunters - Finnish Food Authority (in Finnish)

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 Finnish Food Authority's website.

Read more about importing hunting trophies (in Finnish) and importing fresh meat on the Finnish Food Authority's website.

 

 


In matters concerning border crossing by private persons, instructions are provided by the Finnish Border Guard. Follow the instructions on the website raja.fi.


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 


If the unit packets of tobacco products do not bear the required health warnings – text warnings in Finnish and Swedish and the picture warnings – you are not allowed to bring in more than 200 cigarettes to Finland even if you pay the taxes.

Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels 



                            

Contact us

Contact Customs Information Mon–Fri 8 am–4.15 pm

Please have a look at the frequently asked questions.

If you have a question about the arrival of parcels, its contents or the handling fee, please contact Posti.

Customs Information Service