What is customs clearance?
Customs clearance for online purchases means that when you have bought the goods you declare them to Customs and pay the import duties and taxes. The import duties and taxes are usually value added tax and customs duty. The transport company will notify you if customs clearance has to be done. It must be done within the given time limit. You can do the customs clearance online or buy it as a service from the transport company in question.
When can I clear my consignment?
You can clear the consignment as soon as you have received a notice of arrival or another notification of a consignment that needs to be cleared from Posti or some other transport company in Finland.
If you have received an item ID (tracking code, arrival ID) in the format AB123456789CD from the seller, sender or consignor, this means that the consignment is a postal consignment, which can be tracked in Posti’s Item Tracking. You can start the customs clearance as soon as the following text appears in Posti’s Item Tracking: “Delivery waits for your customs declaration. Please handle the customs declaration and Posti’s handling fee within 20 days from arrival.”
If you cannot see this text, wait and keep checking the tracking service or ask Posti where your consignment is.
Important: In Posti’s item tracking service the arrival ID is called item ID. Therefore, you use the item ID as arrival ID when clearing the consignment.
Clear within the time limit
Clear your consignment and pay the import taxes within the given time limit, otherwise, the carrier will return your parcel to the sender. Check the time limit in the notification from Posti or the transport company.
If a consignment is delivered directly to your home
If a consignment is delivered directly to your home, you must clear it after delivery, that is, do a post-clearance.
- Answers to the most frequent questions about online purchases are available here: What do I need to know about customs clearance?
Choose how to clear your goods
Clear goods online – use the import declaration service
The customs import declaration service is free of charge and available 24/7; i.e. always. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish or English. You can also authorise another person to take care of the customs clearance online on your behalf.
Get acquainted with the guides for the Import Declaration Service on Customs’ website, and in the declaration service itself. Frequently asked questions regarding the Import Declaration Service are available on the Customs’ website and in the import declaration service itself.
Log in to the declaration service using your online banking IDs, mobile certificate or certificate card. If you don’t have any of these, you can authorise another person to take care of the customs clearance on your behalf.
As payment method, choose online banking or card (VISA debit/credit and MasterCard debit/credit) or mobile payment. If you want to use the Siirto service, click the button for Nordea’s online bank. In Nordea’s service, click the Siirto tab and follow the instructions. The customers of Osuuspankki can also use Nordea’s Siirto service.
A postal consignment will be sent directly to your home or to a pick-up point, once you have cleared it and paid the import duties.
A consignment delivered by another transport company – you may have to deliver a decision on release
The transport company needs the decision on release. You get the decision on release from the Declaration Service. Deliver the decision on release to the transport company as instructed. The transport company then delivers the consignment to you or you can agree on a pick-up point with the transport company.
Other things to note regarding the service
The documents pertaining to the customs clearance transaction must be kept on file for the current year + the following six years. You must submit the documents to Customs when requested to do so. Customs has the right to inspect the goods without you being present.
The due date of a customs clearance decision provided by Customs is 10 days from the date of the decision. If the customs clearance decision is not paid by the due date, Customs will calculate an interest for the decision after the due date. This interest must also be paid before the goods can be released.
When can the declaration service NOT be used?
For example, live animals, removal goods, investment gold or goods you transport to Finland yourself cannot be cleared using the service.
Consignments that are transported by another company than Posti and that contain such goods can be cleared at any customs office with customer service.
Check where the nearest customs office for import clearance is and when it is open. Go to contact information.
Transactions on someone else’s behalf in the Import Declaration Service
Customs clearance may be carried out in the declaration service also on behalf of another person. You can give permission, i.e. authorise, another person to clear goods on your behalf. This authorisation may be given verbally or in writing.
If you are clearing goods on the behalf of someone else, you are acting on behalf of another person, but you are not solely responsible for the clearance. You are responsible for the customs debt only in situations where you were aware or should have been aware of the incorrectness of information provided in the customs declaration. Otherwise the person, on whose behalf you clearing the goods, is solely responsible for the customs debt and possible post-clearance. (direct representation). Read more on direct representation.
Posti delivers the postal consignment directly to the recipient stated on the consignment. Other transport companies deliver the consignments directly to the recipient specified to the transport company.
This is how you clear goods in the declaration service on behalf of another person
If you are clearing goods on behalf of another person, tick the box ‘I am declaring on behalf of another person’ on the page My details.
On the page My details, fill in the person’s name on whose behalf your declaring. Provide the person’s name and Finnish address. Choose nationality of the person that you represent. Fill in the recipient’s social personal identity code or birth date of a foreign person (dd.mm.yyyy).
Buy the declaration service from Posti or a forwarding company
You can also buy the customs clearance for your consignment. You can authorise Posti or a forwarding company to clear the consignment on your behalf.
- You can authorise Posti to clear your postal consignment for you. Instructions can be found e.g. in the notice of arrival sent to you by Posti. In the Åland Islands, the clearance of postal consignments is handled by Åland Post. Consult Posti or Åland Post for more information.
- You can authorise a forwarding company to clear other than postal consignments for you. Consult the transport company for more information.
Posti or the forwarding company needs your personal identity code in addition to the details about the consignment. The company will clear your consignment and pay the import taxes to Customs on your behalf. The company will deliver a file copy of the customs clearance to you.
Alternative way to clear your consignment
As a rule, private persons’ postal consignments must be cleared electronically, either in the Import Declaration Service for private persons or by buying the customs clearance as a service from a representative. Read more about alternative customs clearance of postal consignments.
Consignments transported by another company than Posti can be cleared at any customs office with customer service. The transport company can only release the consignment to you after you have provided them with the release decision for the customs clearance.
Alternative – this is how you clear the consignment at the customs office
- Bring with you: the notice of arrival, order confirmation/invoice/receipt and your identification and any other documents concerning the consignment.
- Accepted payment methods are: cash, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro and cheque.
- Check the opening hours of the customs office in advance. Go to contact information.
- You can also authorise another person to do the customs clearance on your behalf. The authorisation must be in writing.
Check the addresses and the opening hours of the customs offices. Go to contact information.
If you don’t know or you can’t find out the contents of the postal consignment even from its sender, you can make a forwarding agreement with Posti, in which case Posti takes care of the customs clearance. The service is subject to charge. You can contact Posti on 0600 94320 or huolinta(at)posti.com.
PLEASE NOTE. Customs will not find out the contents of consignments at the request of customers.
If the total value of goods in a postal consignment is 22.00 euros or less, you do not have to clear the consignment or pay any import duties on it.
- Remember that alcoholic beverages must always be cleared through Customs and are always subject to value added tax. These products are also subject to excise duties.
- Perfumes and eau de toilette products must also always be cleared through Customs.
If you have received a notification from Posti of the arrival of a consignment that you don’t have to clear, ask for the parcel to be released as follows:
- the order confirmation or invoice or receipt as well as any additional documents,
- the arrival ID of the postal consignment (on the arrival notification from Posti) and
- your contact details
by email to lentoposti(at)tulli.fi.