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Are you up to date with the customs regulations?

Published
9.6.2015 at 06:00
It is always nice to bring back gifts from your travels, but keep in mind that customs regulations set some limits on them. 

Flight passengers are allowed to bring back gifts duty free and tax free for the maximum amount of 430 euros.

'This means that a small statue a couple buys together for 1,000 euros must be declared, for instance', explains Customs Chief Inspector Kirsi Taipale.

Any cash sums amounting to 10,000 euros or more must be declared at customs. The obligation to declare regards all passengers entering and leaving the EU area, even if they are only going through the terminal on a transfer.

Alcohol and tobacco products for your own use or as gifts

As a main rule, you are allowed to bring alcohol and tobacco products intended for your own use or as gifts.  If you want to import alcohol, check the airline rules for weight limits and packing instructions.

Duty-free and tax-free alcohol allowances

Arrivals from EU countries:

  • 110 L of beer
  • 10 L of other alcoholic beverages
  • 20 L of alcoholic beverages of up to 22%
  • 90 L of wine, of which max. 60 L is sparking wine (incl. fortified wine and ciders)

Arrivals from outside the EU:

  • 16 L of beer
  • 4 L of wine
  • 1 L of strong spirits or 2 L of other alcoholic beverages       

Import regulations for tobacco products

All tobacco product packages must bear appropriate health warnings in Finnish and Swedish. Otherwise, you are allowed to bring the following maximum amounts into Finland duty free and tax free:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 250 g of loose tobacco
  • 30 x 50 g of snuff

Legal drugs with a prescription

You can bring medicines only for your own use and only what you need for a period of up to three months.

The medicines must be purchased legally, and you must prove they are for you with a prescription.

'Some vitamin and mineral products freely available abroad cannot be imported into Finland without a prescription', Taipale points out.

Meat and dairy products from the EU and a few other countries

Any products of animal origin are allowed from the EU countries and Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland. Their value may not exceed 430 euros and they must be meant for your personal use.

The import of these products from other countries outside the EU is forbidden.

'We often find passengers carrying meat and dairy products, especially people from countries outside the EU. Once we found a suitcase full of meat with worms squirming in it', Taipale says.

You can bring small amounts of plants, plant parts, fruit, vegetables, and seeds from EU countries for your own use.

Be careful with animals

The regulations for the import and export of pets vary greatly by the species of animal and the countries of departure and arrival.

The import of dogs and cats into Finland requires a microchip for identification, a rabies vaccination, and a pet passport. Dogs must also be treated against tapeworm. 

Read more about the transport of pets

What to do at customs

When arriving in Finland from abroad, you can choose the red, green, or blue lane.

If you are carrying any goods that must be declared, choose the red lane. Otherwise, you can pick the blue or green lane if you are arriving from another EU country.

'If you are not sure about the regulations, opt for the red line and ask for advice from the customs officers', Taipale advises.