Subscriptions of newspapers and magazines and books

Please note: Change as of 1 July

From 1 July 2021, all parcels arriving from outside the EU must be declared, and VAT has to be paid for them. Read more: Everything must be declared

Did you order or buy a book, newspaper or magazine from abroad? The country where the book, newspaper or magazine is sent from determines whether your purchase has to be declared to Customs and import taxes paid. 

You don’t have to declare electronic books, newspapers and magazines that you read online. However, if the books, newspapers or magazines are delivered in a physical format (e.g. in CD format), they must be declared. 

Please note: 

Declaring newspapers and periodicals

  • A newspaper or periodical does not need to be declared when
    • it is delivered from the EU’s customs and fiscal territory and
    • it has been produced in the EU or cleared into the EU.
  • A newspaper or periodical must be declared when
    • it is sent from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU, or from the customs territory but outside the fiscal territory, or from within the EU without having been cleared.
  • The VAT rate for subscriptions of newspapers and periodicals is 10 % 
  • Exemption from customs duty is granted if the total value of the goods in the shipment, exclusive of transport costs, does not exceed 150 euros.

Declaring books

  • A book shipment does not need to be declared if
    • it is delivered from the customs and fiscal territory of the EU and
    • it the books have been produced in the EU or cleared into the EU.
  • A book shipment must be declared if
    • it is delivered to Finland from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU, or from the customs territory but outside the fiscal territory (e.g. from the Canary Islands) without having been cleared.
  • The VAT rate for books is 10 %
  • Exemption from customs duty is granted if the total value of the goods in the shipment, exclusive of transport costs, does not exceed 150 euros.

 

When you receive a newspaper or magazine from outside the EU

You must declare each newspaper or magazine individually to Customs and pay the VAT due for it. Even if you have subscribed for the newspaper or magazine for a longer period, each newspaper or magazine issue included in the subscription must be declared separately.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “goods I’ve purchased”.

If your newspaper or magazine subscription started before 1 July 2021, you will only have to pay VAT for the newspapers or magazines that arrive after that date. You can calculate the value of a single newspaper or magazine issue by dividing the total price of the subscription with the number of issues included in it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is USD 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, USD 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is USD 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67).

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

On the page “Goods details”, enter “magazine” in the search field and select “magazines and comics”. Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the individual magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

If an undeclared newspaper or magazine is delivered to you, be sure to submit the declaration afterwards.

When you receive a newspaper or magazine sent from another EU country to the Åland Islands

You can submit a declaration and pay the VAT for all newspapers or magazines included in the subscription period (or for remaining issues of the subscription period) at the same time.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “an undeclared purchase already delivered to me/a newspaper or magazine subscription”.

Under “Goods description”, enter the name of the newspaper or magazine, the invoice due date and the subscription period for which you are paying VAT.

Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the subscription period.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). As the price of the subscription period, enter only the value of the magazines delivered from July onwards, that is, 40 euros (6 x 6.67 = 40), and EUR as the currency.

Select “10% books, newspapers and magazines” as the VAT rate.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

You can also declare each magazine issue individually and pay the VAT for it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). Enter 6,67 as the price and EUR as the currency.

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

When you receive a magazine sent from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands

Many Finnish newspaper or magazine publishers will declare the newspapers or magazines you have subscribed to on your behalf. In that case, you don’t have to declare them or pay the VAT to Customs; instead, the VAT will be included on the subscription invoice.

If the sender has not declared the newspaper or magazine issues, you must declare them in the Customs Clearance Service. You can declare the issues for the whole subscription period at the same time or each issue individually. You cannot declare the magazine subscription in the Import Declaration Service for private persons.


Read more

  • The terms newspapers and periodicals, as well as prerequisites regarding subscription sales, are defined in the guide Verohallinnon ohje on the Tax Administration website.
  • Customs clearance options (submitting a customs declaration and clearing consignments through Customs)

 

Contact us

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