Ordering goods online

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Frequently asked questions on ordering goods online

The import from outside the EU to Finland of products made from seals is restricted, and the importer must have a certificate issued by the authority of the state of origin. Products made from seals that are intended for the traveller’s personal use do not require a certificate of origin, but they do have to fulfil the criteria in Customs’ restriction manual.

In addition to the general restrictions, the import of some seal products is prohibited altogether. The importation of raw hides, treated skins and products made out of white seal pups of Greenland and hooded seal pups is prohibited, also from another EU country.

Read more


You can, under certain conditions. Acquaint yourself with the Tax Administration’s guide regarding Tax-free sales to travellers in Finland


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.”

 


You cannot order brass knuckles, a stiletto or throwing stars, because importing them is prohibited.

Read more:


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.

According to the tobacco Act, an electronic cigarette means a product as well as any component of that product, used for inhaling nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece. It makes no difference whether it is a disposable device already filled with nicotine liquid or refillable by means of a refill container. It is mentioned in the preparatory work of the Tobacco Act that even if the manufacturer claims that the product is meant to be used solely for consuming nicotine-free liquids, the product is still considered an electronic cigarette, if it by virtue of its characteristics also is suitable for vaporising nicotine liquids. On the other hand, a disposable device filled with nicotine-free liquid does not fulfil the definition of an electronic cigarette as defined in the Tobacco Act.

Electronic cigarette components are e.g. nicotine cartridges and a tank as well as a device without a nicotine cartridge or tank. Thus, in addition to complete devices, electronic cigarettes also include the spare components sold for them as well as components that the consumer can use to assemble an electronic cigarette.

There are many devices and components on the market, so Customs cannot know without investigating whether or not each vaporiser or its components fulfil the definition of an electronic cigarette. In unclear cases we will stop the consignment and investigate the case in cooperation with the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). Customs does not issue any advance rulings on whether a vaporiser or its components fulfil the definition of an electronic cigarette according to the Tobacco Act.


Vaporisers for healthcare purposes are not tobacco products. If the product has been classified as a medical device or accessory, it should fulfil certain criteria (the Finnish Medical Devices Act 629/2010). For example, such a device must have the CE marking.

A medical device or accessory is intended e.g. for:

a) diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease
b) diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of, or compensation for, an injury or disability
c) investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process or
d) control of conception.

Medical devices and accessories are supervised by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). If the device is electrically operated, it must also meet the requirements regarding electrical appliances. The supervisory authority for electrical appliances is the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes).

There are many devices and components on the market, so Customs cannot know without investigating whether or not each vaporiser or its components fulfil the definition of an electronic cigarette. In unclear cases we will stop the consignment and investigate the case in cooperation with the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). Customs does not issue any advance rulings on whether a vaporiser or its components fulfil the definition of an electronic cigarette according to the Tobacco Act.


You cannot order medicines and medicinal products from outside the EEA. Medicines corresponding to three month’s use and in packages with a maximum of 30 pieces, can be order from within the EEA without a prescription. When ordering larger amounts, you need a prescription.

Read more: Medicines


No. Nicotine liquid which has a nicotine concentration of no more than 20 milligrams per millilitre and which is not to be used for a purpose defined in section 3(1) of the Medicines Act (395/1987) is subject to the Tobacco Act. 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-containing liquids purchased from a trader by means of distance communication.

A private person is not allowed to import, obtain or receive by mail or by comparable means from outside Finland a nicotine-containing liquid intended for vaporisation using an electronic cigarette when the liquid contains more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre or when it is to be used for a purpose defined in section 3(1) of the Medicines Act.

 

 


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

Yes, you can. According to the Public Order Act, the import of knifes and swords is not prohibited, but the possession of knifes and swords in a public place is subject to restrictions.

Read more:


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

 

 


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 


When you order and download an admission ticket from the internet:

  • No custom clearance is required for tickets sent via the internet and no import taxes have to be paid to customs.

When the admission ticket is sent to you:

  • Customs duties and value added tax on import are only levied on goods, not services. For instance, when buying a concert ticket or a ticket to a soccer match, you only buy the right to partake in the event and the value is considered to be the paper it's printed on, not the price of the ticket. When the value of a consignment without transport or other costs does not exceed 22 euros, then the import is free from value added tax. Consignments considered of low value, i.e. worth under 150 euros, are free from customs duties.

More information on customs duties

 

 


You can apply for repayment of the duties and taxes if, for example, you have sent the goods back to the seller outside the EU. 

Write a free-form claim for a revised decision and send it with the relevant enclosures to kirjaamo(at)tulli.fi.

How to submit a claim for a revised decision


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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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.

Bear in mind that the goods you ordered from Germany may be shipped by the seller from an area outside the EU, or from the EU as uncleared goods. If that is the case, the goods must usually be declared to Customs and the duties and taxes paid. The transport company will inform you when you need to declare a consignment.

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


If your order is delivered to you from the EU, you do not have to clear the goods nor pay any import duties to Customs.

Please observe that private importation of animal-based products for pets from outside the EU is forbidden. That is, a private person cannot order or receive pet foods from outside the EU.


From outside the EEA, you are allowed to order medicinal products only in a quantity corresponding to no more than three months’ use; ordering a larger quantity requires a prescription or a patient instruction sheet issued by a doctor. You are not allowed to order any medicines from outside the EEA. Also note the sizes of Finnish packages of over-the-counter medicines, i.e. you can only order Burana from within the EEA in packages of 30 tablets, because in Finland, packages with more than 30 tablets require a prescription. Make sure that you are ordering the products from an operator with a sales permit for the medicines.

Read more about ordering medicines on Fimea’s website: Internet trade in medicines

 


If you don’t know or you can’t find out the contents of the postal consignment even from its sender, you can make a forwarding agreement with Posti, in which case Posti takes care of the customs clearance. The service is subject to charge. You can contact Posti on 0600 94320 or huolinta(at)posti.com.

PLEASE NOTE. Customs will not find out the contents of consignments at the request of customers.

 


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


It is always the company that transports your goods that will send you the notice of arrival and that can give you further information.

Read more: Where is my parcel?

 


You will receive a notice of arrival of a consignment to be cleared from Posti or the transport company only regarding consignments that you have to declare to Customs. You have to pay the import duties and taxes that may be due before Posti or the transport company can deliver the consignment.

It is possible that the seller’s service does not cover Finland. Please contact the seller to clear up the matter.

 


Customs neither receives nor stores parcels or any other consignments.

If the seller or transport company 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 online. You can also buy the customs clearance as a service from Posti or the transport company.

The consignment to be cleared is always held by the transporting company. Ask Posti or the transport company for more information.


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.


Counterfeit products can pose a risk to health or public safety. Counterfeit medicines, foodstuffs, vehicle spare parts and electrical devices involve a particularly significant risk.

There is no reliable research available on the quality of counterfeit products. For example, a clothing item may catch fire or cause an allergic reaction, and children’s toys may contain harmful ingredients and parts that may come loose. Materials used in counterfeit products may even cause cancer. Counterfeit spare parts of vehicles may cause malfunctions and accidents, and counterfeit electronics products may cause short circuits.

There is no guarantee for counterfeit products, and the people responsible cannot be tracked down when the product breaks down or causes damage.

Vast amounts of money are involved in the counterfeiting business, and they are used to fund organised crime.

Counterfeits corrode the market for genuine products. As a result, around 100 000 jobs are lost annually in Europe.

Counterfeit products do not yield any tax revenue. The money must be levied by society from other sources, for example from your salary.

The selling of pirated copies of music, computer software, films and other similar products is depriving their makers of their income.

The maximum penalty for an intellectual property offence is two years’ imprisonment.

Read more: Counterfeit products and ordering online


  • Although the product has not been sold, the customs value must be determined for it.
  • To determine the customs value of the product, a document reliably indicating the value of the goods shall be presented.

In the notice of arrival sent by the transport company and in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, the indicated country of dispatch may be an EU country, even though the consignment was originally dispatched from outside the EU. This can happen if the goods have been intermediately stored as undeclared in the EU, for example.  Enter the actual country of dispatch in the Import Declaration Service, and then you can clear the goods. 

You may need to check with the seller from which non-EU country the consignment was sent. You can get more information in advance about customs declaration upon import from the seller or, for example, from the terms of delivery of the online store you are using.


Yes, you can, but the quantity is limited. 

•    When you order them online: You can order nicotine pouches from the EEA in a quantity corresponding to no more than three months’ use. You cannot order nicotine pouches from outside the EEA. Read more about ordering medicines online on Fimea’s website.

•    When you bring them back from a trip: You can bring in nicotine pouches from the EEA in a quantity corresponding to 12 months’ use and from outside the EEA in a quantity corresponding to three months’ use. 

Nicotine snus, i.e. a pouch containing nicotine, is in Finland classified either as legal over-the-counter medication or as prescription medication based on its nicotine content. The maximum import quantities of over-the-counter medications are calculated based on the dosage marked on the package and of prescription medication according to the prescribed quantity and the user instruction. 

The nicotine pouch is classified as over-the-counter medication if its nicotine content is a maximum of 4 mg (daily dosage a maximum of 96 mg, i.e. one 4 mg pouch per hour). Nicotine pouches with a nicotine content of over 4 mg require a prescription.

Please remember that importing medication is always personal. As a private person, you cannot bring in or send medications to another private person. Advice for travellers


Yes. According to the Tobacco Act, nicotine-free liquids intended for electronic cigarettes and disposable devices that resemble electronic cigarettes and that are filled with nicotine-free liquid can be ordered from abroad to Finland. It should be noted, however, that the nicotine concentration may not always be appropriately marked on products ordered from abroad. If, upon import, Customs suspects that the nicotine concentration of a product has not been appropriately marked, the product may be examined by the Customs Laboratory.

Both nicotine-containing and nicotine-free liquids for electronic cigarettes are subject to excise duty. For more information, go to the website of the Finnish Tax Administration.

Read more: Ordering tobacco products online 

Tax Administration: Excise duty on tobacco products 

 

 


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

 


Tobacco-free herbal mixtures for smoking via a waterpipe are considered herbal products for smoking under the Tobacco Act. They can be brought in from another EU countries and from outside the EU within the quantity limits.

You can bring in

  • no more than 200 units of ready-rolled and 250 grams of loose herbal products for smoking in packets which do not carry the required health warnings in Finnish and Swedish.

There are no restrictions in the Tobacco Act regarding herbal products for smoking, when they are brought into mainland Finland by travellers from the Åland Islands. The products can also be ordered online, there are no restrictions in the Tobacco Act on acquiring or receiving these products by mail, as a goods shipment or by any other means from outside Finland.

You can bring in 250 grams of waterpipe tobacco tax and duty free to Finland from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU as well as from within the customs territory but from outside the fiscal territory of the EU. It makes no difference whether the mixture to be smoked in the pipe contains nicotine or not. This is also the case when bringing in these products from the province of Åland to mainland Finland and when bringing them into the province of Åland from other EU Member States and Mainland Finland.


You cannot order waterpipe tobacco containing tobacco online from abroad. 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.

According to the Tobacco Act, waterpipe tobacco means a tobacco product which can be used for smoking exclusively via a waterpipe.

Waterpipe tobacco can be brought into Finland by travellers. There are, however, time limits for imports by travellers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). For more information on the time limits, see ‘Import from outside the EU’ on this page.

You can bring in 250 grams of waterpipe tobacco tax and duty free to Finland from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU as well as from within the customs territory but from outside the fiscal territory of the EU. It makes no difference whether the mixture to be smoked in the pipe contains nicotine or not. This is also the case when bringing in these products from Åland to mainland Finland and when bringing them into Åland from other EU Member States and mainland Finland.

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

Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels 


If you have to clear the goods you have ordered, Customs will collect import duties and taxes, usually customs duty and VAT, for them in connection with the customs clearance. Certain products, such as alcoholic beverages, are also subject to excise duty.

You don’t have to pay VAT for a consignment if the value of the goods it contains is 22 euros or less.  However, this value limit is not applied to tobacco products, alcohol, alcoholic beverages or perfumes.

If the value of the goods in the consignment exceeds 22 euros, but is no more than 150 euros, you don’t have to pay any customs duty for the goods. However, you must pay VAT if the amount of VAT due is five euros or more. When it comes to tobacco products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages, VAT is always levied.

The VAT levied on import is calculated by multiplying the taxable amount for VAT by the applicable tax rate (24%, 14% or 10%).

When the value of the goods in the consignment exceeds 150 euros without postal costs, you must pay customs duty for the goods. The amount of customs duty is calculated based on the customs value determined for the goods. Customs duties are generally ad valorem duties, meaning that they are calculated as a percentage of the customs value.

Read more: What are import duties and taxes?


The standard VAT rate for imported goods is 24 percent. Exceptions to this are, for example, foodstuffs (14%), books (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.


Send a request for a repayment of the double payment by email to Customs’ Tax Ledger at veroreskontra(at)tulli.fi. In the repayment request, provide the

  • reference number (MRN)
  • payment total
  • name of the payee
  • account number IBAN and BIC for the repayment
  • name and contact information.

The situation can be rectified. Contact Customs’ Online Declaration Support, private customers, tel. +358 (0)295 5206.


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.’


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.


Contact the transport company to find out if your consignment has already been sent back to the sender (consignor). If your consignment has not been sent back, contact Customs to find out the amount of interest on arrears due.

Before you can get your consignment delivered to you, you must also pay the interest on arrears. Please note that you cannot pay an invoice in the declaration service if its due date has passed. Pay for the clearance in your online bank the same day that you find out the amount of interest on arrears. Keep in mind that it can take 2–3 days for the payment to reach Customs.


Declare the new consignment normally and pay the import duties and taxes due. In the declaration, enter the actual value of the goods as the value. 

You can submit a claim to Customs asking for a revision of the original customs clearance involving 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 may 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.

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


What you should do when the notice of arrival was 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:

  • Reference number (MRN)

  • order confirmation or invoice

  • arrival ID for a subsequent postal consignment. 

Only such radio equipment that fulfil the EU requirements can be sold and used within the EU. Radio equipment sold in countries outside the EU and EEA, may not satisfy these requirements. The equipment might work on the wrong frequency or with too much power or be otherwise incompatible with radio equipment and radio systems used within the EU. High powered radio equipment or equipment working on the wrong frequency, can interfere with radio equipment of other users. Foreign online stores can provide equipment that use the wrong frequency or too much power, but importing them to Finland and distributing and using them in Finland is prohibited.

The CE conformity marking shows that the manufacturer has ensured that the product fulfils the EU requirements. When you order radio equipment from outside the EU, make sure that the equipment has the CE conformity marking. Moreover, check the packaging, the user instructions or ask the seller if there are restrictions regarding the use of the equipment in Finland.

More information from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency:


If the total value of the goods in a consignment is no more than 150 euros, the consignment is free of customs duty. 

Exception: Customs duty must always be paid on tobacco and tobacco products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages as well as perfumes and eau de toilette products.    

More on customs duties


When the total value of the goods in a consignment without the transport costs is no more than 22 euros, the consignment is free of VAT.

Exception: tobacco products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages as well as perfumes and eau de toilette products are always taxable.  

The minimum amount of VAT levied is 5 euros. 

Exception: For imports of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products sent to private persons, this minimum amount levied is not applied, rather VAT must be paid also when it amounts to less than 5 euros. The minimum levy of 5 euros is also not applied to imports of these products by travellers or to imports of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products brought in by crewmembers of a vehicle in professional traffic between Finland and a country or region outside the EU.

Read more: Examples of calculating import duties and taxes


It is always Posti or the transport company that will send you a notice of arrival or notify you of the arrival of a consignment that needs to be cleared through customs.


The customs duty due for the goods is calculated based on their customs value. The customs value is usually made up of the purchase price and the transport, loading and insurance costs paid.

Value added tax is levied based on the value added tax on import, which includes the purchase price and the transport costs and customs duties on the goods, among other things.

Read more: What are customs duties?


The new Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) was implemented through a comprehensive reform of the national Tobacco Act.

The Tobacco Act (549/2016) was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which is entrusted with the general administration and steering related to the Tobacco Act. The Tobacco Act provides that Customs is the executive authority responsible for supervising compliance with the import prohibitions and restrictions laid down in the Tobacco Act. Customs is also responsible for controlling and supervising intra-EU movements, as well as imports from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland.


Customs does not send separate customs invoices. Pay for the clearance when clearing your goods in the Import Declaration Service.


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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.

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