On 19 April 2021, Finnish Customs plans to introduce its new import clearance system for companies, the UTU system. From that date, Åland Island companies will be able to clear their consignments from third countries, other EU countries and consignments sent from and to mainland Finland using the new Finnish Customs e-service for businesses. The introduction of the system entails changes to customs procedures for the Åland Islands; in particular for imports from the mainland Finland and exports to the mainland Finland by companies registered for VAT.
The planned introduction date of the UTU system by Finnish Customs is only provisional and may change.
Changes to the handling of companies’ domestic shipments
The introduction of the UTU system means that Åland Island companies will have to clear their domestic shipments electronically. The content of declarations is simpler than for import declarations for international consignments.
As a starting point for incoming domestic shipments, a tax border declaration is to be submitted before goods can be released to the recipient on the Åland Islands. However, companies registered for VAT may choose to apply a simplified two-step procedure for declaring postal and freight consignments from the mainland Finland. This two-step procedure involves the importer first submitting a simplified declaration to Finnish Customs, either physically or by e-mail, in the form of a transport document or other document that can be linked to the delivery and to the importer’s book-keeping. Thereafter the importer is to submit a complete tax border declaration to the Finnish Customs system within ten days.
Consignments sent by companies from Åland to the mainland Finland are also to be cleared through the new Finnish Customs system. According to Finnish Customs, the tax border declaration is to be submitted prior to the consignment leaving the Åland Islands.
However, following agreement with Finnish Customs, Åland Post will introduce the new system and customs procedures at a later date, though no later than 31 May 2021. Goods transported by Åland Post do not therefore have to be cleared electronically until a later date, to be notified by Åland Post.
Changes to imports by companies of international consignments
When it is introduced, consignments from other EU countries and third countries to Åland Island companies are also to be cleared using the new Finnish Customs e-service. According to Finnish Customs, the simplified two-step procedure, that companies registered for VAT can already use when importing consignments from other EU countries, will continue unchanged until at least the spring of 2022. The two-step procedure for EU consignments means that those consignments can be released to the receiver after submission of a transport document or other document to the Customs authorities upon arrival. The importer then has a period of ten days in which to submit an electronic import declaration in the UTU system.
Åland Post will help you with the simplified declaration
The importer is responsible for submitting both the simplified and the full import declarations. To make it easier for you, and to speed up the delivery of the consignment, Åland Post will submit a simplified declaration on your behalf on its arrival, provided that we have the information required by Finnish Customs. We collect this information when the delivery is booked, or ask the carrier dispatching it to collect and provide us with the information. If any information is missing, we will contact you when the goods arrive. It is important that you inform your suppliers how important it is to provide this information when booking a shipment to the Åland Islands through one of Åland Post’s partners.
At this stage Åland Post will not charge you any additional fee for the simplified declaration. When the consignment arrives, Åland Post will notify you of the reference number and other details of the simplified declaration, so that you can include them in the final, electronic declaration and in your book-keeping.
The easiest way to access the details of the consignment and simplified declaration is through the Åland Post customer portal.
Åland Post can clear the goods on your behalf
Åland Post can act as an agent for your company and submit electronic tax border declarations for both incoming and outgoing domestic consignments. Do you want us to deal with customs for you? Please email us at email@example.com or give us a call at +358 18 636727.
Do you have any questions?
Questions about customs processing by Åland Post? Contact Åland Post Customs by phone at +358 18 636727 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about Finnish Customs regulations and systems? Contact Mariehamn Customs by phone at +358 295 52333 Mon-Fri 9:00-15:00
Questions about shipments and freight tariffs? Contact Sales Manager Thomas Fagerstedt by phone at +358 18 636683 or via email at email@example.com
More information is available on the Finnish Customs website
- Finnish Customs aims to deploy the new import declarations on 19 April 2021
- Changes to import declarations by businesses from April 2021
- Changes to customs clearance between the Åland Islands and the rest of Finland (text in Swedish)
- Does your business engage in imports and exports with the Åland Islands? Watch our online recording!
- Union goods imported to Åland from another EU country can also in the future be released with a consignment note