Introduction of the different language versions of the website tulli.fi – current situation
At the end of December 2016, Finnish Customs launched its new website. In connection with the website redesign, a new content management system was introduced and the entire website content in Finnish was rewritten to better meet the needs of the private persons and businesses using the site. Now the content in Finnish is almost complete, but the other language versions are still under production. The tulli.fi website redesign has not had any effect on the electronic services of Finnish Customs or on the different language versions of these services.
In connection with the website redesign, new content has been created for private persons and businesses, and the customer instructions previously published as PDF files have been, for the most part, edited into website text content. In Finnish, the website content for private persons and on e-services is complete. The content for businesses is still under production. Especially the editing of the customer instructions on import published as PDF files is still in progress. The content in the section “About us” is also being extended and deepened further.
The gaps in the content of the website in Finnish do not affect any transactions with Customs, because the instructions on customs declarations have been published on the website. The website in Finnish will be completed by the end of March.
The situation with the other language versions
The new website of Finnish Customs will be available in four languages: Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian. In connection with the redesign, the pages in Swedish and English will be extended to correspond to the pages in Finnish. Hardly any of the content published on the old website has been used. Instead, all the content published on the website (texts, infographics, structures etc.) are being translated as new content.
The pages in Swedish: The section for private persons” has been the priority. This section is almost completed. As for businesses, the section on authorisation is completed and the section on export nearly completed, but the rest of the content is still being translated.
For businesses, the customs forms, the customer instructions in PDF format published on the old website and the currency conversion rates 2013–current month were published in December 2016. On the front page for businesses, there are links to this information.
The pages in English: The section “E-services” is the priority. After that, the sections ”Private persons” and ”Businesses” will be translated. The last section to be translated is “About us”.
The pages in Russian: The structure has already been translated, but the content is still being translated. There is an identified need to supplement the pages in Russian with content designed for the target group. Identifying and producing this content in Finnish is still in progress.
Contents in all language versions are being published as translations are completed. Due to this, and in order to make the content production easier, the language versions now also have content in Finnish. Press releases, customer notices, customs information bulletins (THT) and newsletters will be published at the same time in Finnish and Swedish and, as needed, in English and Russian.
Customs Information Service and e-services
The Customs Information Service provides customer service to private persons and businesses in Finnish, Swedish and English on weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm. The e-services are normally available in Finnish and Swedish, some services also in English.
The guiding principle of the redesign of the Finnish Customs website has been to create a customer-oriented, device-independent and plain-language website. The website user data, customer feedback, questions to the Customs Information Service and the competence of the experts at Finnish Customs have been used when conceptualising the website content.
According to the original project schedule, the new tulli.fi website was to be launched in June 2017. The different language versions would have been introduced in their full extent at the same time. However, the introduction of the new website had to be moved forward due to the so-called VETO project, where car taxation and excise taxation were transferred to the Tax Administration as of 1 January 2017, on a tight schedule according to the Government Programme and the project set up by the Ministry of Finance.
The VETO project would have required extensive editing of the earlier website of Finnish Customs in all four languages to make the website correspond to the new situation on 1 January 2017. In order to save Customs’ resources and instead of editing the content of an old website – that would then have been in use for around six months – while also designing a new website, the project schedule of the redesign of tulli.fi was revised, and the new website was launched according to the VETO project schedule. This decision saved money, but unfortunately it also meant that the introduction of the other language versions was delayed. However, it is important to note that the unfinished language versions of the tulli.fi website do not prevent transactions with Customs in Swedish or English.