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Finland

Goods

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

This freedom to trade within the European Union is one of the EU's fundamental achievements. Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for matters concerning the single market.

Trade in foods is regulated by the Food Act.

In Finland, a trade may be pursued by a person who has a place of residence in the European Economic Area, by a Finnish company or foundation, or by a foreign company or foundation with a Finnish-registered subsidiary and which was established in accordance with the legislation of a Member State of the European Economic Area and has its registered office, central administration or headquarters in a Member State of the European Economic Area.

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland may also award a licence to others than those above.

Technical safety and reliability are monitored and developed by the Safety and Chemical Agency (TUKES).

The Trade Act relates to trade in movable property and partly also the exchange of movable property. It does not affect the transfer of a building, fixed facility or structure in another country if the right to use the land is transferred at the same time.

Restrictions

Food sector

The food sector has restrictions on foods that require a licence or declaration.

Regional State Administrative Agencies steer and monitor food safety in practise.

The Finnish Food Safety Authority monitors food safety.

Non-food sector

A declaration to the health protection authority must be made before commencing activities, in writing, to the health protection authority of the municipality in which it is intended to pursue the activity.

Excise duties

In the Member States of the European Union, alcohol and alcoholic beverages, prepared tobacco, mineral oils (liquid fuels), electricity, natural gas and coal are subject to harmonised excise duty under the Directives.

If commercial activity is subject to excise duty, the National Board of Customs may be applied to for a licence to act as an authorised warehouse keeper, registered trader or tax representative.

Appealing against trade barriers

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly monitor barriers to trade.

 

Administrative procedures

Permits and licences

An entrepreneur must have a licence before starting to pursue certain trades and professions in Finland, particularly those posing security, health or economic risks. The trade register, which is maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration, must be notified.

International VAT number

A VAT identifier or VAT number is required when trading with companies in other Member States of the European Union.

A company can check to see whether their external trading partner has a valid VAT number by calling 020 697 062 in Finland or by consulting the European Commission online service.

Trade of goods declaration

Information on the AREX public declaration system and on trade-of-goods declarations can be found on the Finnish Customs website.

Submitting statistics

Compulsory types of statistics are those required by Statistics Finland, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (TIKE) and the National Board of Customs.

Information about Finland's trade with other EU Member States is collected using the statistical declarations, or Instrastat system, provided by companies.

Statistical declarations on internal trade (Intrastat) may also be made using the electronic ItellaTYVI service form on the Internet.

Suspending tariffs or obtaining new tariff quotas

Customs suspension is a duty-free or reduced-tariff period in the EU.

Tariff quota means a duty-free or reduced-tariff period for a given quantity of imports.

Safety information regarding transport of certain goods

Safety information is provided on goods leaving the EU during the export procedure as part of the export declaration.

Resources

Information about trades and professions that require granting of permits or licences is available from Enterprise Finland.

Employers' services contain information about health and safety at work, accident insurance, occupational health services, data protection in the workplace and excise duty.

Standards contribute to removing obstacles to trade. The Finnish Standards Association (SFS) is the central standardisation body in Finland.

Regional State Administrative Agency regulates and awards the necessary licences.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration and EnterpriseFinland environment section and the Consumer Agency offer further information about other restrictions in this area.

Information on the AREX public declaration system and on trade-of-goods declarations can be found on the Finnish Customs website.

The "Self-Monitoring" website at Omavalvonta.fi has tips on how to carry out self-monitoring in the food and hygiene sector.

EnterpriseFinland and Finvoice provide companies with information on eInvoicing.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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