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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

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.


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

 


No. A private person is not allowed to obtain or receive by mail, as a goods shipment or by any other means from outside Finland tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or nicotine liquids ordered from a trader by means of distance communication.

Read more: Ordering tobacco products online

 

 


Customs neither receives nor stores parcels or any other consignments. If e.g. the consignor or the freight carrier sends you a notification saying ‘Lähetys on tullissa’ or ‘Held by Customs’, it usually means that the consignment has to be cleared through customs before you can receive it.

The easiest way is to clear it yourself on the internet. You can also buy the customs clearance as a service from Posti or the carrier.

The consignment to be cleared is always held by the carrier company. If your consignment is a postal parcel, it is held by Posti. If some other carrier company transports the consignment, it is in the freight carrier’s warehouse. For more information contact Posti or the freight carrier.


Customs clearance

If you have received a notification from Posti of the arrival of a consignment that you don’t have to clear, ask for the parcel to be released as follows:

Submit

  • the order confirmation or invoice or receipt as well as any additional documents,
  • the arrival ID of the postal consignment (on the arrival notification from Posti) and
  • your contact details

by email to lentoposti(at)tulli.fi.


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.”

 


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

 


Travelling

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.


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 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 - 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 Evira website.

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

 

 


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 


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

As of August 2019, berries picked in European Russia do not yet require a phytosanitary certificate, and it is therefore permitted to bring in a maximum of 10 kilogrammes of these berries for personal use. From the parts of Russia that are outside Europe you can, for personal use, bring in a maximum of 3 kilogrammes of berries that require a phytosanitary certificate. These are berries such as blueberries, lingonberries, cranberries, bog bilberries, currants and gooseberries. With regard to other berries that do not require a phytosanitary certificate, such as strawberries, raspberries and cloudberries, you can bring in a maximum of 10 kilogrammes of these berries from this area. Remember that berries or mushrooms may not contain other plant parts, such as leaves. That is to say, the berries or mushrooms need to be cleaned.

However, changes to the Council Directive on Plant Health on 1 September 2019 will see changes to the passenger import of berries, fruits and vegetables from Russia. From the beginning of September until 14 December 2019, import from all of Russia for personal use without a phytosanitary certificate is restricted to 3 kilogrammes for, among others, the following items:

  • currants and gooseberries
  • raspberries and cloudberries
  • bog bilberries, lingonberries, cranberries and blueberries
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches
  • pears

The new list of goods that require a phytosanitary certificate can be found in its entirety, in Finnish, on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage.  You will still need to check for possible import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s Guide to Import Bans (in Finnish only).

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

There will be changes to the EU Plant Health legislation on 14 December 2019, once again causing changes to the rights of import.


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.


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

 


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


Import Declaration Service

The standard VAT rate for imported goods is 24 percent. Exceptions to this are, for example, foodstuffs (14%), books and works of art (10%) and periodicals that have standing subscriptions for at least one month (10%). If you declare a reduced VAT rate, Customs checks if the prerequisites have been met.


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.


                            

Contact us

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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