Arriving in Finland
You can bring personal gifts and passenger goods to Finland when you are returning from your trip to Finland, or when you arrive for a visit in Finland. Procedures regarding passenger imports depend on, for example, where you are coming from to Finland.
If you have travelled outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU and you return to Finland, e.g. by car, train or by bus, or by sea or by air in your own pleasure boat or aircraft, you can bring in purchases worth up to 300 euros and free from taxes and duties in your personal luggage. If you return home by plane or by ship, the tax and duty free value limit for the purchases is 430 euros.
The value of the goods brought in is the price paid for the goods. The traveller must be able to provide reliable proof of the price paid for the goods, for example by presenting receipts of purchase. In other words, you should keep the receipts of your purchases.
Goods can be brought in by travellers under the condition that the import is not commercial, i.e. the goods are not brought in to be sold. This means that all the following requirements are met:
- the imports are occasional
- the imports only include goods intended for the personal use of the travellers or their families, or to be given away
- due to their nature and quantity, the goods cannot be considered commercial imports.
All other imports are considered commercial imports. Import taxes and duties must be paid for goods imported for commercial purposes.
Personal luggage is luggage that the traveller can present to customs on arrival in Finland. Personal luggage is also luggage that the traveller presents to customs at a later stage, if the traveller can provide an account showing that the company responsible for transporting the luggage had registered the goods as accompanying luggage at the point when the traveller departed.
Remember the special import restrictions regarding alcohol and tobacco products
The value and quantity limits for tax free and duty free traveller imports are not applied on alcohol or alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarette tobacco or fuels for motor vehicles. The tax-free import of these products from outside the EU is restricted by time limits and by import quantities.
Example 1. If you arrive from Russia to Finland by car, you can bring in a camera worth 290 euros free from taxes and customs duties. In addition to this, you can bring in the permitted quantity of tax and duty free alcohol and tobacco products, for example, 4 litres of wine and 200 cigarettes, if your trip to Russia has exceeded 24 hours and your age permits the import.
Example 2. If you arrive from Thailand to Finland by plane, you can bring in a suit worth 420 euros free from taxes and customs duties. In addition to this, you can bring in the permitted quantity of tax and duty free alcohol, for example one litre of cognac and 50 cigars.
Example 3. You bring a camera worth 500 euros from your trip. The value of a single item cannot be divided into a taxable and a non-taxable part, so the VAT is collected on the entire value of the goods, not the amount exceeding the value limit of 300/430 euros.
Example 4. Spouses bring in a camera worth 500 euros. The right of import is personal, which means that the value of the goods cannot be divided between several people. This means that spouses cannot jointly bring in the camera, it must be cleared through customs and customs duties and import taxes must be paid.
Important things to remember
Traveller import values do not include the value of the following goods:
- the travellers’ personal luggage that they temporarily bring in or take out of the country
- personal medicines needed by the traveller.
- If you carry luggage or import goods belonging to another traveller, you should go through Customs together with the owner of the goods.
- If you have purchased goods in Finland or elsewhere in the EU and taken them with you outside the EU, but you are bringing them back to Finland either to be returned to the seller or to be repaired or replaced, then the goods imported by you are not exempt from customs duties or VAT.
- An aircraft or vessel is deemed to be in recreational use if its owner or holder uses it for non-commercial purposes. Commercial purposes are the transport of goods or persons or the performing of services in return for compensation or for authority purposes.
As a traveller, you can bring in goods without value restrictions.
However, do take note of the restrictions that apply to alcohol, tobacco products and fuels.
If you import alcohol products for commercial purposes or send alcohol consignments from your trip to Finland, you must lodge a tax declaration with the Tax Administration and pay the excise duty due.
A traveller arriving in the Åland Islands from mainland Finland or from another EU member state, or arriving in mainland Finland from Åland, or arriving in Finland via Åland, or for example from the Canary Islands, can import goods up to the same amount and value as a traveller arriving from outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU. Read the guidance under “I’m arriving from outside the EU”.
The Åland Islands and the Canary Islands belong to the customs territory of the EU but not to its fiscal territory.
If you purchase goods abroad to be delivered to you later (for example a carpet or a pair of glasses), the goods are to be cleared as normal by Customs and the import duties and taxes are to be paid just as for any online purchase.
The goods can be imported free of duty and tax only if the traveller personally brings the goods into the country.
- Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to bring in alcoholic beverages, and persons under the age of 20 are only allowed to bring in light alcoholic beverages.
Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to bring in tobacco products or nicotine-containing liquids.
You must declare goods arriving in Finland from outside the EU to Customs. This requirement also applies to your own personal used belongings that you have taken out of Finland in your luggage. Goods that are taken out of Finland and later returned to Finland are called returned goods.
Please note that goods or gifts obtained on a trip are not considered returned goods. Removal goods cannot be declared as returned goods either. Read about how to declare removal goods.
You’ve been on a holiday outside of the EU, and the hotel is mailing you some luggage that you’ve left behind.
You don’t have to pay customs duty or VAT for returned goods. However, you can’t declare products subject to excise duty, such as alcohol and tobacco, as returned goods.
You must be able to prove that the goods have previously been taken outside the EU. Customs requests, for example, tickets or a receipt of a hotel reservation as proof of a holiday trip. Customs may also ask you to show when the goods have been bought and what their value is.
How do I declare returned goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons?
- On the start page, select that you wish to declare luggage items you’ve left behind when travelling.
- On the page “Consignment details”, explain why the goods are being returned. Enter an explanation such as “I left my sunglasses behind at a hotel. The hotel is returning them to me.”
- On the page “Goods details”, look for the goods by entering a search word in the goods search. If you can’t find the goods using the goods search, provide the commodity code on the tab “Commodity code”.
- Enter the rest of the required details and submit the declaration.
- When you have sent the declaration, upload the attachments to your declaration on the “Done” page before you continue. Customs requires that you enclose, for example, tickets or a receipt of a hotel reservation. Speed up the processing of your declaration by uploading the attachments right after sending the declaration to Customs. If you do not upload the attachments right away and close the page, you can upload the attachments only after Customs has sent you an additional information request.
Legislation applied to goods imported by travellers:
- Regulation on reliefs from customs duty, Article 41
- Value Added Tax Act (1501/1993), sections 95c, 95-95 e
- Act on exceptions concerning the Province of Åland regarding value added tax and excise duty legislation (1266/1996), section 18
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 (Official Journal of the European Union L324, 10 December 2009), Article 41 (Goods contained in travellers’ personal luggage)
- Act on Excise Duty (182/2010), section 72 (495/2014), sections 84–86, section 87(1) (311/2016) and section 87(2)
- Alcohol Act (1143/1994)
- Tobacco Act (549/2016)
Further information on, for instance CITES restrictions, are available in the Customs restriction manual (in Finnish)
- The EU countries and the EU’s customs and fiscal territories