Instructions from Customs to asylum seekers coming to Finland from outside the EU

These instructions are intended for asylum seekers arriving in Finland. In these instructions, we describe how you need to declare your goods to Finnish Customs when you move to Finland or a gift is sent to you in Finland. Not all goods can be sent to Finland because they involve restrictions or are prohibited. You need to pay tax on certain goods.

Removal goods from outside the EU must be declared

When you move to Finland from outside the EU, you usually do not need to pay import duties or taxes on your removal goods. However, you need to declare them, i.e. report them to Finnish Customs. Ask the sender to provide you with a list of goods before they are sent to Finland. You will need the list to declare the goods. Note that when tobacco or alcohol products are sent to you, you must always pay import duties and taxes on them. 

How to declare?

When your removal goods arrive in Finland, the transport company will provide you with a notice of arrival. The notice indicates that you need to declare your goods.

You can declare your goods in three ways. You can visit a customs office to declare your goods with a customer service employee. You can pay the transport company to declare your goods for you. You can also complete the forms yourself and submit them to Finnish Customs. 

In addition, you need to fill in a separate insurance form (form 45e). It proves that your goods meet the definition of removal goods. As a result, you do not need to pay import duties or taxes on your goods.

1. Visit a customs office

  • You can visit certain customs offices without any appointment. 
  • Some customs offices are only available by appointment. Book an appointment by calling or via email. 
  • When you are at a customs office, you can fill in the forms with a customer service employee. You need to fill in the form 1143e. In addition, you need to fill in the insurance form (form 45e).

Contact details of the customs offices

2. A transport company declares your goods on your behalf

  • Read the instructions provided in the notice of arrival you received from your transport company.
  • Pay the transport company’s fee.

3. Declare your goods by filling in the relevant forms

Forms on the Customs website

Insurance form 45e

Form 1143e and completion instructions

You cannot receive certain goods, not even as gifts

Restrictions and prohibitions apply to all goods sent to Finland, including gifts. You cannot receive a gift if it includes prohibited products.

Examples of goods you cannot receive:

  • pharmaceuticals sent from outside the EEA
  • snus
  • foodstuffs, such as meat, meat products, milk and milk products, sent from outside the EU (exceptions include milk chocolate, for example) 

The following goods also carry restrictions or are subject to an import licence:

  • plants
  • fruit
  • products obtained from threatened animals or plants

Note that if a gift includes tobacco products, you must always pay tobacco tax and value added tax. The amount of tax may be high, up to dozens of euros. 

Tobacco products as gifts

You can receive the following foodstuffs as gifts:

  • sweets, chocolates
  • biscuits and other confectionery products not mixed or filled with meat products
  • packaged broth and spices

Check which countries are EU and EEA countries

Points to consider

You can clear a postal consignment through the Import Declaration Service (available in Finnish and Swedish) or by visiting a customs office personally.

The recipient of a postal consignment is always responsible for clearing it through Customs. The recipient must clear the goods through Customs within the prescribed time period, and the payment must be visible on Customs’ bank account within 20 days of the date when the goods arrive. Otherwise, the postal consignment is returned automatically to the sender.

Terms of use of the Import Declaration Service

You need a Finnish personal identity code and a Finnish online banking ID, a mobile signature or a certficate card for using the service. If you do not have these, you can authorise another person to take care of the customs clearance on your behalf through the Import Declaration Service. You can also clear goods through Customs on behalf of another person Please note that for example removal goods cannot be cleared using the Import Declaration Service.

The Finnish postal service, Posti, transports and stores postal consignments, and sends the recipient a notification on the arrival of a consignment that needs to be cleared through Customs. All postal consignments remain in the Posti storage facilities in Vantaa until the recipient has cleared the goods and paid the import duties.

For any questions you might have regarding the transportation of the package, its location or the notification of arrival, please contact Posti, as Customs is not able to answer these questions. You can also the Posti item tracking service. The Posti telephone number is 020 451 5900.

Doing business with Customs

You can clear a postal consignment at any customs office that handles postal clearances. Be sure to check the opening hours of each office. See contact information.

You should have the following documents with you when you visit Customs:

  • the notification from Posti on the arrival of your goods
  • an order confirmation or a receipt of your purchase, or an account on the contents and value of the gift consignment
  • proof of identification or a possible document for confirming your identity.

If the combined value of the goods in a consignment does not exceed 22 euros or the consignment is a gift from a private individual and not worth more than 45 euros, you do not (with some exceptions) have to fill in a customs declaration or pay any taxes. However, the recipient of goods must send Customs the following:

  • a confirmation of the order, or an account on the gift and its value
  • the arrival ID from Posti, and
  • his/her contact information

by e-mail to lentoposti(at)tulli.fi for the parcel to be released.

Please note! Consignments that contain for example tobacco products or alcoholic beverages must always be cleared through Customs.


The recipient of a cargo consignment must always clear their goods through Customs on their own initiative. This means that Customs does not automatically clear consignments.

Before you are given the goods you have ordered, the consignment has to be cleared through Customs and possible import duties have to be paid.

Terms of use of the Import Declaration Service

You need a Finnish personal identity code and a Finnish online banking ID, a mobile signature or a certficate card for using the service. If you do not have these, you can authorise another person to take care of the customs clearance on your behalf through the Import Declaration Service. You can also clear goods through Customs on behalf of another person. Please note that for example removal goods cannot be cleared using the Import Declaration Service.

Doing business with Customs

You can clear a cargo consignment at the customs office closest to the place where the goods are stored. Customs does not store consignments. When necessary, you can ask the cargo transporter for the storage location of your goods. Note that the offices have their own separate opening hours! See contact information.

You should have the following documents with you when you visit Customs:

  • notification on the arrival of your goods from the cargo transporter
  • an order confirmation or a receipt of your purchase, or an account on the contents and value of the gift consignment
  • proof of identification or a possible document for confirming your identity.

 


As a rule, the consignee has to submit a customs declaration for the goods ordered and pay the due import duties, which often comprise customs duties and value added tax. Note that, additionally, excise duty is levied on goods subject to excise duty in Finland, such as alcohol.

Note also that import for sale or for release in return for compensation is always subject to taxation, and Customs must be notified of such activity.

Useful further information on for example restrictions, removal goods and online purchases is available on the Customs website.


In order to clear your consignments using the Web Import service (customs clearance, submitting a customs declaration) through the Import Declaration Service, you need to have a Finnish personal identity code and a Finnish online banking ID, a mobile signature or a certficate card. The Import Declaration Service is available in Finnish and Swedish.

If a consignee does not have a Finnish personal identity code and a Finnish online banking ID, a mobile signature or a certficate card, an authorised person can take care of the customs clearance and payment of taxes through the Import Declaration Service. The authorisation can be given either verbally or in writing. You can also print out and fill in a power of attorney for signature.

Example 1: If an under-aged child does not have an online banking ID or a mobile signature, the child’s parent can clear the goods through Customs on the child’s behalf.

Example 2: If the recipient of a consignment does not have a Finnish personal identity code, another person can clear the goods through Customs on behalf of the recipient.

A person authorised to clear goods through Customs logs in to the Import Declaration Service with their own banking ID, and gives his or her name and personal identity number as the recipient details.

The name of the actual recipient of the goods is added next to the name of the person who clears the goods through Customs.

Posti will deliver the consignment to the designated recipient or to the post office nearest to the recipient also when the customs declaration is submitted by an authorised person. The warehouse keeper storing the cargo consignment releases or delivers the consignment to the recipient.


Please note that the restrictions and prohibitions valid in Finland concern all consignments to be sent to Finland. This means that prohibited products cannot be received even as gifts.

Products that are prohibited altogether include

  • medicines and medicinal products from outside the EEA
  • narcotic substances
  • snus
  • foodstuffs such as meat, meat products, milk and milk products from outside the EU (apart from exceptions)
  • copyright-infringing products such as pirated CDs, DVDs, computer games and software
  • dangerous objects such as knuckledusters, stilettos, shurikens, electrical tasers and electrical batons.

Please note that also the import of plants and fruits involves restrictions. Products derived from endangered animals and plants are often either prohibited or subject to licence.

For example, the following foodstuffs can be received for personal use without restrictions:

  • biscuits, chocolate and other confectionery products (including sweets) that are not mixed or stuffed with meat products 
  • soup stocks and flavourings packaged for the final consumer.

Finnish Food Authority: Food for private use


Recipients usually do not have to pay tax on gift consignments of a value of less than 45 euros sent by private individuals. The amount of customs duties and taxes is based on the purchase price of the goods that is valid abroad. It is a good idea for the sender of the gift to give purchase receipts to the recipient, so that the recipient can prove the value of the gift to Customs when necessary.

If the gift consignment is worth more than 45 euros, you must pay import duties for the consignment in the same way as for any online purchase.

Please note that gift consignments involve restrictions, and excise duties and value added tax, which may be of significant amounts, are always levied on for example tobacco and alcohol products.


The taxable value of a cigarette carton sent as a gift can be over 90 euros

For example, you have received one cigarette carton as a gift from Iraq. Customs duty, tobacco duty and value added tax is levied on the cigarette carton sent to Finland, that is, for 200 cigarettes. To some extent, the amount of taxes levied on tobacco products depends on the cigarette brand that is imported to Finland.

Depending on the cigarette brand, the applied customs value of a cigarette carton is the average import price of 12.45–16.80 euros. The basic supposition is that there is no information available on the purchase price of the cigarettes. The postage fee is five euros which is added to the customs value amount.

The amount of general customs duty levied on cigarettes is 57.60 per cent, which is based on the customs value.

The amount of customs duty is 57.60 per cent of the value of the cigarette carton:

 (12.45 € + 5 €) x 0.576 = 10.05 euros.

  • The amount of customs duty for one cigarette carton sent from Iraq is at least 10.05 euros.

Tobacco duty is levied based on the carton retail price confirmed by Finnish Tax Administration. The retail price between 1 July and 31 December 2022 is 88,99 – 101,00 euros per carton, depending on the cigarette brand.

  • A minimum tobacco duty of 66.56 euros is always levied on a cigarette carton sent to Finland.

The amount of value added tax is 24 % of the import VAT basis. If the consignment to be declared is transported by Posti, then Posti’s handling fee is added to the taxable amount for VAT. The handling fee in our example is 2.90 euros.

The VAT basis comprises the customs value and the amount of customs duty, tobacco duty and Posti's handling fee:

(17.45 € + 10.05 € + 66.56 € + 2,90 €) x 0.24 = 23.27 euros.

  • A minimum tobacco duty of 23.27 euros is always levied on a cigarette carton sent to Finland.

The total amount of tax levied on a cigarette carton sent as a gift is at least 99.88 euros.

Further information:


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