Arriving in Finland to study
Goods imported by a student arriving in Finland
When you arrive in Finland to study from outside the EU customs territory, you can bring in your own goods without paying any customs duties. The term “student” also applies to a pupil, and studying also applies to going to school.
Your goods are exempt from customs duty under these conditions:
- You have been granted student status for full-time studies at an educational establishment in Finland.
- The goods are your property and are to be used by you during your studies.
- The goods are used, such as items necessary for your studies (computer, etc.).
- The goods comprise ordinary personal items, furniture or other loose goods.
Clothing accessories such as clothes and bed linen are also exempt from customs duty. Clothes can also be new, although your other goods must be used.
You can receive the above-mentioned items a few times during the academic year.
If you bring for a purpose other than personal use, you must pay taxes on them. When necessary, Customs assesses if goods are brought for personal use based on their quantity and type.
Present your residence permit to Customs for ensuring exemption from customs duty
In connection with customs clearance, you must present Customs with your residence permit that states the reasons for you stay in Finland. The residence permit can be a separate document or entered in your passport.
If you do not have a residence permit, you can prove your status as a student with an entry certificate from your educational institution.
Internet purchased are taxed in the normal way
When you make Internet purchases, they are subject to the same rules as online purchases made by other private individuals.
Goods purchased on the Internet must be cleared through Customs, and any possible import duties must be paid on them. Import duties must be paid even though your stay in Finland might be temporary.
Points to consider
If you are bringing a means of transport to Finland for the duration of your studies, have a look at the instructions on the Tax Administration website.
The goods of a student arriving in Finland from within the EU customs territory, but from outside the EU fiscal territory, are exempt from customs duty in the same way as the goods of a student arriving from outside the EU. When the conditions for exemption are met, value added tax is not levied on the student’s goods.
When the necessary requirements are met, imports of student goods from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands, and vice versa, are exempt from tax in the same way as imports of goods by students from outside the EU.
More information on value added taxation when importing student goods to Åland and from Åland to mainland Finland:
- Mariehamns tull, PB 40, 22101 Mariehamn
- tfn 0295 5200 (växel), 0295 52 333
- e-post: atp.skattegrans(at)tulli.fi.
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty, articles 21–22
- Value Added Tax Act (1501/1993), section 94 subsection 1 (12) and section 94 subsection 2
- Act on exceptions concerning the Province of Åland regarding value added tax and excise duty legislation (1266/1996), section 18 (in Finnish and in Swedish)