This is how you declare a gift
Declare your gift as soon as you receive the notice of arrival from Posti or some other transport company. Most gifts can be declared in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. In order to receive your gift, you may first have to pay Posti’s handling fee.
If you receive a gift consignment, you must see 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. The notice of arrival says whether the consignment needs to be cleared through customs.
To declare the gift, you will need to know the content of the gift consignment and its value (e.g. “book, USD 20”). Ask the sender to provide this information before declaring the gift. You cannot declare the consignment without these details. If the gift is self-made, ask the sender to give an estimate of its value (e.g. “hand-knitted socks, USD 10”). The value can be the price for which the gift would be sold in the country of dispatch.
A gift transported by Posti needs to be declared within 20 days of the arrival of the consignment in Finland. For other transport companies, the time to declare is usually shorter. If you don’t declare the consignment on time, it will be returned to the sender.
How do I declare a gift?
To declare the gift, you need the notice of arrival of your gift, information on the content of the gift consignment and its value. In addition, Customs may ask for a separate written account of the contents and value of the gift. This can be a receipt or a free-form account provided by the sender of the gift.
A gift sent by a company can’t be declared as a gift, it must be declared in the same way as online purchases.
You can declare a gift in different ways:
- Declare the gift yourself or authorise another person to do it for you in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. If you can’t declare your gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, you can declare it with a form.
- Buy the customs clearance service from Posti or some other transport company that transports your gift.
- You can visit a customs office.
Which goods cannot be declared in the Import Declaration Service for private persons?
Declare a gift from a private individual at a customs office or with a form, or buy the clearance service from Posti or some other transport company in the following cases:
- The gift consignment also contains gifts to persons, who are not members of your family. Family members are:
- married couples, common-law spouses or registered partners as well as their underage children
- a parent and their underage children.
- The gift consignment contains both gifts worth no more than €45 and gifts worth over €45. The value of a single gift item can’t be divided; for example, the value of a camera worth €80 can’t be divided between two gift recipients.
- The gift consignment contains both gifts for which import duties and taxes have to be paid and gifts that are free from import duties and taxes. You may have to pay import duties and taxes for example for alcohol, tobacco products, coffee and tea. Read more about gifts for which import duties and taxes have to be paid.
Handling fee to Posti or decision on release to some other transport company
If the gift is delivered by Posti and if you paid import duties or taxes in connection with the declaration, you must also pay Posti’s handling fee. If you didn’t pay any import duties or taxes in connection with the declaration, you don’t need to pay Posti’s handling fee.
If the gift is delivered by some other transport company, check the notice of arrival to see if the transport company requires the decision on release. 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.
If you cannot declare the gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, you can ask another person to declare it on your behalf. Such a person may be e.g. a family member, friend, colleague or fellow student. The person must be able to identify himself by using his personal data when logging in to the electronic service.
The other person may declare a gift on behalf of the gift recipient in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, provided that he has
- Finnish online banking ID codes, a mobile certificate or a certificate card (one of these is needed for identification)
- an arrival notification for the parcel and information given on it
- information on the contents and value of the gift
- name and address details of the gift recipient
- the personal ID number or date of birth of the gift recipient.
If the gift recipient does not possess a Finnish personal ID number, enter the date of birth of the gift recipient.
Customs can also separately request written information on the contents and value of the gift. You should pass this written information on to the person who declares the gift on your behalf.
Please note:! Declarants of gift parcels cannot use the Finnish Authenticator app to identify themselves when logging in to the Import Declaration Service.
Who is responsible?
You are personally responsible for paying the customs duties and taxes, as well as for paying other payments retrospectively in cases of possible errors. If another person clears goods on your behalf, they are liable for it if they were aware or they should have been aware that the information provided in the declaration was incorrect. This is called direct representation.
Even if the consignment is declared by somebody else, it may be delivered to you directly. Posti delivers the postal consignment to the recipient stated on the consignment or to a pick-up point. Other transport companies deliver the consignments to the recipient as agreed.
A gift sent from outside the EU can only be tax free if you receive it free of charge from another private individual. Goods sent by a company must be declared and import duties and taxes must be paid for them, even though you have not bought the goods. The same is also true for, for example, gifts for magazine subscribers or free magazine samples.
When you declare the goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select that you wish to declare “purchased goods” on the start page. Enter as the goods value the price that would be charged for a similar product, for example, in an online store. You can also ask the sender (consignor) to provide information on the value of the goods.
If you have declared the gift consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons and you receive a request for additional information from Customs, this is what you should do:
- Log in again to the Import Declaration Service for private persons. You can find the declaration and the request for additional information on the page ”My declarations”.
- Follow the instructions in the request. For more specific instructions, see the message sent by the customs clearance team. You will usually be asked to upload and send the order confirmation or some other document. You can also send the documents by email to the email address provided in the service.
- Regarding gift consignments, you usually need to know what the gift contains and what the value of the contents is. Ask the sender (consignor) of the gift to provide this information in writing, for example by email or text message, and send the information to Customs.
Customs cannot process your declaration without the additional information.
The transport company returns the consignment after the retention period
Responding to a request for additional information has no effect on how long a transport company will store you consignment in Finland. If you reply to Customs’ request for additional information after the given time limit, please contact the transport company to check that is has not returned the consignment to the sender.
Please contact the transport company if you want to extend the retention period for the consignment. Customs cannot extend the retention period for consignments.
Exemption from customs duties on gift consignments is defined in Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009, 16 November 2009 (Official Journal of the European Union L324/23 10 December 2009) articles 25 – 27.