Ordering alcohol online
When you order alcoholic beverages from outside the EU, you must clear them through customs and, in addition to other import taxes and duties, you must also pay excise duties. If you order alcoholic beverages from the EU territory, check the instructions of the Tax Administration.
The customs clearance of alcoholic beverages depends on where they come from. Besides VAT and possible customs duty, you may have to pay excise duties for alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages arriving from inside the EU, for example, from Estonia or Germany
The alcoholic beverages usually do not need to be cleared through customs. Check the instructions of the Tax Administration for what you should do.
Alcoholic beverages arriving from outside the EU, for example, from Great Britain
The alcoholic beverages must be declared. VAT, possible customs duty and excise duties must be paid for them in connection with customs clearance.
Alcoholic beverages arriving from inside the EU customs territory, but from outside the EU fiscal territory, for example from the Åland Islands or Canary Islands
The Åland Islands and the Canary Islands are examples of areas that belong to the customs territory of the EU but not to its fiscal territory. Alcoholic beverages from such territory must be declared. You must pay VAT and excise duties but no customs duty in connection with customs clearance.
Is the region a part of the EU customs territory or the EU fiscal territory? You can check it from the EU customs and fiscal territory chart.
What are excise duties?
Alcoholic beverages are subject to excise duty, which consists of alcohol tax and excise duty on beverage containers. The Finnish Tax Administration is responsible for collecting the excise duties and for providing guidance in questions concerning the excise taxation. Read more about alcohol tax and excise duty on beverage containers (in Finnish) on the Tax Administration website.
Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to bring in alcoholic beverages. Persons under the age of 20 are only allowed to bring in mild alcoholic beverages. Spirits (more than 80% of ethyl alcohol) cannot be brought in without a permit.
Examples of taxes to be paid for different alcoholic beverages
When you order alcoholic beverages from outside the EU, you must pay not only the price of the product and possible transport costs, but also the taxes, namely VAT, possible customs duties and excise duties. The amount of taxes depends on the alcoholic beverage in question, among other things. Take a look at the examples provided below (for guidance only).
Example 1: Red wine
You buy a bottle of red wine with capacity of 0.75 litres. The alcohol strength of the wine is 13.5% by volume.
If the bottle of red wine costs 20 euros and there are no transport costs for the product, the total amount of import duties and taxes you must pay in addition is 9.32 euros.
The total amount you will pay for the bottle of red wine is €20 + €9.32 = €29.32.
Example 2: Whisky
You buy a bottle of Scotch whisky with capacity of 0.70 litres. The alcohol content of the whisky is 40% by volume.
If the bottle of Scotch whisky costs 40 euros and the transport costs are 10 euros, the total amount of import duties and taxes you must pay in addition is 29.89 euros.
The total amount you will pay for the bottle of Scotch whisky is is €40 + €29.89 + €10 = €79.89.
Example 3: A case of beer
You buy a case of beer with capacity of 8 litres. The alcohol content of the beer is 5.5% by volume.
If the case of beer costs 15 euros and the transport costs are 10 euros, the total amount of import duties and taxes you must pay in addition is 31.79 euros.
The total amount you will pay for the case of beer is €15 + €31.79 + €10 = €56.79.