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Some letters from outside the EU must also be cleared - customs clearance is the responsibility of the recipient

From 1 July 2021, all goods from outside the European Union have had to be cleared through customs. The change is the result of an amendment to the EU-wide VAT Directive.

The VAT change also applies to letters sent from outside the EU in cases where the consignment has been given a monetary value in the dispatching country. The systems in the countries of dispatch often require a value for the letter/document to be set, which means that the consignment must be cleared through customs in Finland. 

The recipient of the letter/document is responsible for the customs clearing and the paying of any VAT. The sender should always make sure that the recipient is aware of the customs clearance obligation.

The VAT change also applies to newspapers and magazines from outside the EU

The VAT change also applies to newspapers and magazines. Newspapers and magazines may arrive to Finland in large, customs cleared batches made on behalf of the subscriber by the media company, but the recipient may still have to clear the individual magazines ordered and pay VAT on them either at the time of purchase or at the time of customs clearance.

Consignments from outside the EU awaiting customs clearance

Posti will inform the consignee indicated by the sender of the consignment that needs to be cleared through customs. Customs clearance and possible VAT payment is made to Customs, after which the consignment is released for delivery by Posti.

If the letter or magazine is not cleared within the required time, it will be returned to the sender. Incomplete electronic information provided by the country of dispatch may delay the sending of the customs declaration to the recipient.

For more information on customs clearance, please see Finnish Customs website.