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Frequently asked questions on restrictions
No, you’re not. Travellers must carry their own medicines in their own luggage. Medicinal products dispensed on prescription are always personal and must be in the possession of the person to whom they have been prescribed.
The use and possession of radar detectors in motor vehicles is prohibited in Finland. An unconnected radar detector in the car is considered possession. If you are guilty of this offence, the radar detector is seized and you will be fined. The seized radar detector will not be returned; it will be destroyed under Customs supervision.
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.
A phytosanitary certificate is required for cones brought in from outside the EU, if they are brought in for propagation. Travellers do not necessarily know whether the cone that they have brought in contains seeds or not, and therefore the Finnish Food Authority and Customs recommend that cones not be brought in from outside the EU.
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.
- Customs restrictions manual (in Finnish): Hyljetuotteet (seal products)
- Finland’s environmental administration
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
A medicinal product always has a retail package and an enclosed patient information leaflet and possibly also a blister pack. You shall take them with you when you travel, because of easier supervision and identification of the product.
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
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. However, you yourself have to request your doctor to issue to you a ‘Medical prescription for purchasing medication abroad’ accepted elsewhere in Europe. The medicinal product must also have a sales permit in the country where you are going to buy it.
As a traveller, you may bring medicinal products with you from the EEA in a quantity corresponding to no more than one year’s use. By mail you can only acquire medicinal products from the EEA in a quantity corresponding to no more than three months’ use.
You cannot send medicines to Finland, because sending medicinal products from one private person to another is prohibited.
Read more: Medicines
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.
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.
Each country has its own pharmaceutical legislation, so the traveller should always bring their medicine prescriptions along simply for this reason. Regarding medicines, the requirements for each country can be checked with the embassy of the country in question. When arriving in Finland you need the prescription, or a patient instructions sheet issued by your physician.
Read more: Medicines
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
Most countries have restrictions on imports of medicines. The traveller is responsible for finding out the import restrictions of the country of destination. You can get more information about the restrictions e.g. from the destination country’s authorities. Finnish Customs doesn’t provide information about the import restrictions of other countries.
Take your prescriptions with you. If necessary, with them you can prove that you have the right to have personal medicines with you. If you have an electronic prescription (eResepti), please take one of the following with you when you travel:
- A patient guide printed by a doctor, listing all the medicines you have been prescribed at the same time.
- A summary printout of your prescriptions, from the pharmacy.
- A summary of your prescriptions, which you can print from the National Archive for Health Information (Kanta) using your online banking ID codes.
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.
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
Prescriptions must be in Finnish or in Swedish, the official languages of Finland. In some cases, English may be accepted, if the official understands English. It's the customer's responsibility to give an account of the contents of the prescription.
Read more: Medicines
There are restrictions on bringing in veterinary medicines, and you may only bring them in if you have your pet with you. If the medicine is a prescription medicine in Finland, you have to have the prescription with you. No prescription is required for bringing in over-the counter medicines.
You can only bring in medicines in a quantity corresponding to one month’s use. If the product can be bought in a store, make sure that the product does not contain biocides. If the product is a biocidal product, it must be registered and it cannot be mentioned in the list of prohibited active biocidal substances.
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.
It is almost impossible for a private person to attach the health warnings to tobacco products.
The Tobacco Products Directive requires that all unit packets of tobacco products for smoking must have a health warning with both a text warning and a corresponding colour photograph. The requirements on health warnings also apply to unit packets of nicotine liquids in electronic cigarettes or refill containers and to unit packets of herbal products for smoking.
Private persons are allowed to bring in only a specific quantity of products lacking the warnings in Finnish and Swedish on the health hazards caused by such products, and, in the case of tobacco products, also lacking the corresponding picture warnings.
The Ministry for Social Affairs and Health has issued more detailed regulations on the health warning texts, pictures, font type and size, colour, framing, area, placement, rotation, fastening, intactness and other specifications. The main rule is that the health warnings must be irremovably printed, and they must be fully visible and must remain intact when the unit packet is opened. The health warnings shall in no way hide or interrupt the tax stamps, price marks, tracking and tracing marks, or security features on unit packets. It is almost impossible to meet these requirements e.g. by personally gluing the health warnings on the products.
Read more: Bringing back tobacco products from travels
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
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).
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).
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
CITES products are endangered animals and plants, their parts and products made of them. The import these products may is prohibited or requires a permit. Further information: Environment.fi
- Pets (e.g. parrots, tortoises and many reptiles) and plants (e.g. orchids)
- Cosmetics and medicines containing parts of CITES species
- Clothes and accessories (e.g. wolf fur coat or a crocodile skin bag)
- Hunting requisites and fishing tackle (e.g. bear hair fly)
- Fish and fishery products (e.g. sturgeon, caviar, eel).
According to the Finnish Tobacco Act,
- tobacco product is a product made wholly or partly of tobacco (nicotiana) and suitable for consumption. The nicotine-containing liquid used in electronic cigarettes is not a tobacco product, but a nicotine liquid in accordance with a special provision.
- smokeless tobacco product is a tobacco product not involving a combustion process, including chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco or any other tobacco product that is not smoked.
- tobacco product for smoking is a tobacco product other than a smokeless tobacco product. Tobacco products for smoking include e.g. cigarettes, cigars and roll-your-own tobacco. In accordance with the Tobacco Products Directive, waterpipe tobacco is also a tobacco product for smoking.
- smoking accessory is an accessory or implement used for smoking or for the preparation of smoking. For example, cigarette paper and pipes are regarded as smoking accessories.
- cigarette is a roll of tobacco as defined in section 4(1) of the Act on Excise Duty on Tobacco (1470/1994).
- cigar is a roll of tobacco as defined in section 3(1) of the Act on Excise Duty on Tobacco.
- cigarillo is a cigar that weighs no more than three grams.
- roll-your-own tobacco is tobacco which can be used for making cigarettes by consumers or retail outlets. Tobacco which can be used both as roll-your-own tobacco and via waterpipes is roll-your-own tobacco.
- pipe tobacco is tobacco that can be consumed via a combustion process and is exclusively intended for use in a pipe.
- waterpipe tobacco is a tobacco product which can be used exclusively for smoking via a waterpipe.
- chewing tobacco is a smokeless tobacco product exclusively intended for the purpose of chewing.
- nasal tobacco is a smokeless tobacco product that can be consumed via the nose.
- tobacco for oral use is a tobacco product for oral use, made wholly or partly of tobacco, in powder or in particulate form or in any combination of those forms, but it is not intended to be inhaled or chewed.
- herbal product for smoking is a tobacco substitute made of plants and intended for smoking. Instead of the tobacco plant, the product contains other plants, such as herbs or fruits. Herbal products for smoking include so-called herbal cigarettes as well as tobacco-free herbal mixtures for smoking via a waterpipe.
- electronic cigarette is a product used for inhaling nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece. Electronic cigarette also means any component of that product.
- nicotine liquid is a liquid containing nicotine which is intended to be vaporised using an electronic cigarette and 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).
- nicotine-free liquid for vaporisation is a liquid which is intended to be vaporised using an electronic cigarette or in another similar manner and which is not a nicotine liquid.
- refill container is a receptacle that contains a nicotine liquid, which can be used to refill an electronic cigarette.
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:
The importation of certain goods can be prohibited, restricted or may require a permit. Find out the import restrictions before you travel. If you need a licence or permit, it must be acquired before you import goods and must be presented in connection with import. Illicit import may result in criminal sanctions. Examples of restricted or prohibited goods are
- Plants, food supplements and foodstuffs. More information at www.evira.fi
- Brass knuckles, stilettos, electric stunners, electric batons
- Laser pointers. More information at www.tukes.fi
- Products infringing on copyright, such as Pirate-CDs or DVDs.