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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

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


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.


A postal consignment with a notice of arrival sent by Posti

When you receive a notice of arrival of the subsequent delivery, call Customs on 0295 5206. Before calling, ensure that you have all the necessary details and documents on hand:

  • customs clearance number
  • order confirmation or invoice
  • arrival ID for a subsequent postal consignment. 

Customs clearance

You cannot use the Import Declaration Service if you do not have a Finnish personal identification number and an online banking ID, a certificate card or a mobile certificate.

Examples of items that cannot be cleared via the Import Declaration Service

  • removal goods
  • weapons
  • hunting trophies
  • live animals.

Read about our other service channels.


Ask the sender for an order confirmation, an invoice or some other credible proof of the value of the goods. Please note! A bank statement or bank receipt is not sufficient proof of the value of the goods.


You can visit a customs office that handles postal clearances or you can commission a forwarding company to handle the consignment. The import forwarding of postal consignments is handled by Posti.


The weight is usually declared with the notice of arrival. The Weight is mandatory information in customs declarations. If you don’t know or cannot find out the weight of your consignment, provide an estimate.


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


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


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.


Travelling

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 


A private person is allowed to bring into Finland no more than a total of 1 000 grams of chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco and tobacco for oral use (snus) in one calendar day for his or her personal use. These products cannot be brought in as gifts.

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

Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels 


Check them from the customs administration of the country you are planning to visit. At Finnish Customs, we only know the Finnish customs provisions.


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

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.


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.


Restrictions

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 and Swedish only).

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).


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.


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


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

 


                            

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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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