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Gifts

The gift recipient must see to the customs declaration of the gift. To declare the gift, you will need to know what the gift parcel contains. Please note that items received as gifts may be subject to restrictions and prohibitions.

Gifts are declared and the import duties and taxes are paid for them in a different way than for other consignments. If an item is sent to you, find out if it is a gift or some other consignment.

What is a gift?

A consignment is declared as a gift, when it meets all the following conditions:

  • The item is sent by a private individual to another private individual.
  • The item is intended for the personal use of the recipients or their families, not for commercial use. 
  • The gift recipient does not pay anything for the item.
  • The gift recipient receives items only occasionally.

What is not a gift?

A consignment is not a declared as a gift but as an online purchase in the following cases:

  • You order the item and give them as a gift later.
  • You order the item directly for someone else.
  • A company sends the item free of charge to a customer or to personnel.
  • A company sends the item as a prize or as free merchandise.
  • A company sends the item to a social media influencer.

Gifts may be subject to restrictions and prohibitions

Please note that items received as gifts are subject to restrictions and prohibitions if the gift contains e.g. alcohol, tobacco products, foodstuffs, plants or animals. Read more about the restrictions and prohibitions on goods in Finland.

To the recipient of the gift (consignee)

The gift recipient usually sees to the customs declaration of the gift. Gifts arriving from within the EU do not usually have to be declared. All gifts arriving from outside the EU must be declared.

  1. You are receiving a gift

    Whether the gift has to be declared and whether import duties and taxes have to be paid for it depends on from where the gift arrives.

     

    The gift arrives from within the EU, for example from Germany or the Netherlands

    You do not usually have to declare the gift, nor pay any VAT, customs duty or excise duty for it.

    The gift arrives from outside the EU, for example from Norway or the United States

    The gift must be declared. If the gift is worth no more than 45 euros, you do not usually have to pay any VAT or customs duty for it. If the gift is worth more than 45 euros, you usually have to pay VAT but no customs duty. If the gift is worth more than 150 euros, you usually have to pay VAT and possible customs duty. Please note that you must always pay VAT and excise duty for alcohol and tobacco products, regardless of their value.

    The gift arrives from the customs territory of the EU but outside its fiscal territory, for example from the Åland Islands or Canary Islands

    Åland and the Canary Islands, among others, are part of the customs territory of the EU but not part of the fiscal territory of the EU. Gifts arriving from such areas must be declared. If the gift is worth no more than 45 euros, you do not usually have to pay any VAT or customs duty for it. If the gift is worth more than 45 euros, you usually have to pay VAT but no customs duty. Please note that you must always pay VAT and excise duty for alcohol and tobacco products, regardless of their value.
    You can check here whether the area is part of the customs territory or the fiscal territory of the EU.

  2. Declare your gift

    The gift recipient usually sees to the customs declaration of the gift. When your gift arrives in Finland, Posti or some other transport company will send you a notice of arrival. If you don’t know what the gift contains, ask the sender before declaring the gift.

    When you are declaring the gift, Customs may ask for a written account of the contents and value of the gift. It can be a receipt or a free-form account provided by the sender of the gift.

    You can declare your gift once you’ve received a notice of arrival and know the contents and value of your gift parcel. Read the instructions on how to declare a gift.

     

     
  3. Handling fee to Posti or decision on release to some other transport company 

    If the gift is delivered by Posti, you may first have to pay a handling fee to Posti in order to receive the gift. If the gift is delivered by some other transport company, you may first have to send the decision on release to the transport company in order to receive the gift. You can keep track of your gift with Posti’s Item Tracking or with a similar service offered by some other transport company.

     

    The gift is delivered by Posti

    If you paid import duties or taxes in connection with the declaration, you must also pay Posti’s handling fee. Your gift will be delivered from Posti’s warehouse only after you’ve paid the handling fee to Posti. If you have questions about Posti’s handling fee, please contact Posti.

    If you declared the gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons but didn’t pay any import duties or taxes in connection with the declaration, you don’t need to pay Posti’s handling fee. Your gift will be delivered from Posti’s warehouse automatically. 

    If you declared your gift at the customs office or using the form but didn’t pay any import duties or taxes in connection with the declaration, the delivery of your gift from Posti’s warehouse will start only after you’ve sent a request for exemption from the handling fee to Posti and enclosed the customs clearance decision with the request. 

    The gift is delivered by some other transport company

    In some cases, you have to submit the decision on release to the transport company before you receive your gift. Check the notice of arrival to see if the transport company requires the decision on release. Your gift will be delivered from the transport company’s warehouse only after you have submitted the decision on release to the transport company.If you declared the gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, the decision on release is available in the section My declarations in the service.


Points to consider

Wedding gifts from outside the EU

The customs and tax treatment of wedding gift consignments is the same as that of other gift consignments, with the following exception.

When you change your permanent place of residence from a non-EU country (third country) to the customs territory of the EU, you can receive wedding gifts free of customs duty from persons who reside permanently outside the customs territory of the EU.

Each individual wedding gift that is to be exempt from customs duty must not exceed 1 000 euros in value. Furthermore, the following prerequisites and limits of customs duty exemption concern such gifts:

  • exemption from customs duty does not concern tobacco, tobacco products or alcohol products.
  • the recipient of a gift is to have permanently resided outside the EU customs and fiscal territory for a minimum period of 12 months prior to moving to the said territory
  • the recipient of a gift must present a marriage certificate in connection with customs clearance
  • the present may not be transferred to anyone else, whether against payment or not, during a period of twelve months without paying customs duty and value added tax.
  • Apart from exceptions, exemption from customs duty is only granted for goods declared for free circulation no later than two months prior to the anticipated date of marriage (for the exemption, you must present a special permit granted by Customs in connection with customs clearance, and lodge a guarantee), and for goods declared for free circulation no later than four months from the date of marriage (you must present a special permit from Customs in connection with customs clearance).
  • Goods deemed as exempt from customs duty are subject to a 12-month prohibition of transfer.

The importation of wedding gifts of this kind is exempt from value added tax.

A car or a motorcycle received as a wedding gift cannot be taken into use or registered in Finland before car tax is paid on the vehicle.

Transfer restriction

Until 12 months have elapsed from the date on which its entry for free circulation was accepted, personal property which has been admitted duty-free may not be lent, given as security, hired out or transferred, whether for a consideration or free of charge, without prior notification to Customs.

Any loan, giving as security, hiring out or transfer before the expiry of the period of 12 months 1 shall entail payment of the relevant import duties on the property concerned, at the rate applying on the date of such loan, giving as security, hiring out or transfer, on the basis of the type of property and the customs value ascertained or accepted on that date by Customs.

Gifts subject to tax

 




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Any questions?

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