After your purchase
Lodging a customs declaration and clearing the consignment
Before you can obtain the goods you’ve ordered, you must lodge a customs declaration and pay any import duties that may be due on the goods. Bear in mind that the carrier will notify you of the arrival of a consignment that needs to be cleared by Customs. In the case of a postal consignment, the arrival notification will be sent by Posti.
- You must have the consignment cleared by Customs within the specified time limit or else it will be sent back to the consignor.
- Postal consignments must be customs cleared and the import duties paid within 20 days of the arrival of the consignment.
- Customs or Posti do not automatically clear consignments; it is the consignee’s responsibility to submit a customs declaration for the consignment received.
- You cannot have consignments cleared by Customs in advance. You can submit a customs declaration once the goods have arrived in Finland and you know the arrival ID of the consignment or once you have received a notice of arrival from Posti / the carrier.
- If an undeclared postal consignment that should be cleared is delivered straight to your home, you must lodge a customs declaration retrospectively.
How can I lodge the customs declaration?
The procedure depends on whether your goods are delivered to you by Posti or by some other carrier.
- If Posti transports your goods, the consignment is a postal consignment.
- If some other carrier transports your goods, the consignment is a freight consignment.
You can submit the customs declaration yourself, or authorise a forwarding company or some other person to clear the consignment on your behalf. From the alternatives below, select the option that suits you best.
Declaring your goods via the Import Declaration Service
Checklist for declaring goods online - you need the following details and documents:
- Arrival notification (sent by Posti / the carrier)
- The order confirmation, invoice or receipt (also needed in trade between private persons). A bank statement or bank receipt alone does not meet the formal requirements of a receipt, and cannot be accepted as an enclosed document in a customs declaration (as it is not sufficient proof of the value of the goods).
- The commodity code of the product. If you find your goods in the list provided, you need not find out the code. You don’t need to provide a commodity code if the consignment is delivered from the EU customs territory but from outside the EU fiscal territory (e.g. from the Island of Jersey or the Canary Islands).
- Even if the consignment is free of charge, you must have it cleared by Customs and pay any import duties due based on the actual value of the product. Ask the seller in advance for proof of the real value of the goods.
Logging into the service:
- You need a Finnish personal identity code to use the service. You can log into the service using your online banking ID codes, your mobile certificate or your certificate card.
- You can also authorise another person to lodge the customs declaration and to pay the import duties in the Import Declaration Service on your behalf. The authorisation can be given either verbally or in writing.
You cannot declare the following goods in the Import Declaration Service:
- removal goods, products, weapons, hunting trophies or live animals.
- You can clear a postal consignment containing these goods at the nearest customs office that handles postal clearances. Please note! Before you visit us, always check in advance where the nearest customs office that clears postal parcels is and when it is open. Go to our contact details
- A freight consignment containing these goods must be cleared at a customs office. Find out in advance where your goods are being stored and visit the customs office that is closest to that warehouse. Please note! Before you visit us, always check in advance where the nearest customs office for customs clearance is and when it is open. Go to our contact details
The Customs Declaration Service is in Finnish and Swedish. The user instructions for private persons’ postal clearances are also available in English.
- A postal consignment will be sent directly to your home or to your nearest post office once you have paid the import duties.
- When you have had your postal consignment cleared by Customs and paid any import duties that may be due, Posti will automatically deliver the consignment to you or ask you to retrieve it from your nearest post office. There is an online service for tracking postal items on Posti’s website.
- Please contact Posti if you have queries about the location or transport of your postal parcel. Customs cannot help you with such queries.
- In the case of freight consignments, you have to submit a release decision to the warehouse keeper before the goods can be delivered to you.
- When you have had your freight consignment cleared by Customs and paid any import duties due, the Import Declaration Service will issue you a release decision as proof that the goods have been cleared.
- You must submit the release decision to the carrier, for example as an e-mail attachment or as a printout. The warehouse keeper can only release your goods against presentation of the release decision. You should bring a printout of the release decision with you if you collect the consignment from the carrier’s warehouse.
- Please contact the carrier if you have queries about the location or transport of your freight consignment. Customs cannot help you with such queries.
Using the services of a forwarding company
If you don’t want to clear your consignment yourself, you can authorise a forwarding company to clear the goods and pay the import duties on your behalf. The companies will charge for their services according to their rates.
- The forwarding of postal consignments is handled by Posti.
- The notice of arrival sent by Posti contains instructions on how you can authorise a forwarding company to act as your agent. Posti will deliver the cleared consignment to your home or to your nearest post office. In the Åland Islands, the forwarding of postal consignments is handled by Åland Post.
- The forwarding of freight consignments is handled by a forwarding company.
Use of the personal identity code in customs declarations
- In order to be able to clear your goods, the forwarding company will ask you to provide your personal identity code in addition to the other details about the consignment.
The forwarding company will pay the import duties to Customs on your behalf
- The forwarding company will deliver the consignment to you, as well as a file copy of the customs clearance decision. Please note that if a forwarding company has cleared your consignment and paid the import duties on your behalf, you do not have to pay the import duties to Customs. The customs clearance decision delivered with the goods is a copy for your records and you do not have to pay the duties stated on it.
Clearing your goods at a customs office
Checklist when clearing your goods at a customs office
- Before you go to the customs office, check the opening hours
- Bring the arrival notification, order confirmation, invoice and your identification with you
- Accepted means of payment are cash, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro and cheque.
Clearance of postal consignments:
- Postal consignments can be cleared at any customs office that handles postal clearances. Please note! Before you visit us, always check where the nearest customs office where you can clear your consignment is and when it is open. Go to our contact details
- Bear in mind that you will not be able take your consignment with you from the customs office. All postal consignments are stored at Posti’s warehouse in Vantaa.
- Posti will automatically deliver your consignment to your home or your nearest post office once you have cleared the consignment and paid the import duties due.
Clearance of freight consignments:
- Note that you can only clear your freight consignment at the customs office that is nearest to the goods. If in doubt, you can ask the carrier for the storage location of your goods.
- Please note! Before you visit us, always check where the nearest customs office where you can clear your consignment is and when it is open. Go to our contact details
- The warehouse keeper can only release your goods against presentation of the release decision. You will receive the release decision once you have cleared the consignment and paid any import duties that may be due.
- Remember to submit the release decision to the warehouse keeper, so that your goods can be delivered to you.
Points to consider
Low-value postal consignments containing goods with a total value of no more than 22 euros
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.
- The relief as regards VAT is not applied to tobacco products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as these products are always subject to VAT on import and must always be declared. Note that excise duties are always imposed as well.
- Imports of perfumes and eau de toilette products must always undergo customs clearance.
If you have received an arrival notification from Posti of a consignment that you are not required to clear, ask for the postal 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 (can be found in Posti’s arrival notification)
- your contact details
by e-mail to lentoposti(at)tulli.fi for the parcel to be released.