Tax-exempt use of a vehicle registered for export

The temporary registration of a motor vehicle under circumstances listed below is called the export registration. It can be obtained for:

  • Vehicles previously unregistered that are delivered in Finland to a new owner, and then taken away from Finland for use in another country.
  • Vehicles to be transported, on a trailer, etc., from Finland to the country where vehicle registration will be sought.
  • Vehicles to be taken out of the country to be shown to prospective buyers, to participate in a racing event, or to fulfill a product-demonstration purpose.
  • Vehicles for which other special reasons require the export registration.

Applications must be submitted to Traficom, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency. Submit an application containing documentation on the vehicle’s ownership, its mandatory motor insurance contract, the location where it is delivered to a new owner, and the place of export. Further instructions for submitting the application (Traficom).

Business enterprises and individuals alike can submit an application for export registration.

You do not need to file a Declaration of tax-exempt use

When you are in Finland and you start operating the vehicle that has an export registration, there is no need to submit the Declaration of tax-exempt use to the Tax Administration. However, please note that you must submit a notice to the Finnish Customs at the place of export when you cross the border when taking the vehicle with you to a foreign country.

When can you operate a vehicle with an export registration without paying Finnish car tax?

A vehicle registered for export cannot be driven in Finland for other purposes than for moving it from the location of delivery to the place of export, or for first driving it to the owner’s domicile when he or she intends to move abroad and needs to travel to their domicile and then to the place of export.

To be accepted as tax-exempt use, export-registered vehicles can only be driven in circumstances that are temporary, and on the condition that the owner resides outside Finland on a permanent basis.

If you live in a foreign country on a permanent basis and you take an export-registered vehicle back to Finland with you, you are entitled to operate it for a temporary period. This requires that the operation is related to your temporary stay in this country, and that the reason for your presence here is a compelling reason, regular holiday trip, or a comparable short-term stay.

A further requirement for the tax-exempt vehicle use is that you, the owner or the driver, acquire the necessary entry and exit stamps on the back of their export registration certificate from customs officials.

However, the vehicle must not be used for one month immediately after moving from Finland or one month immediately before moving to Finland.

Validity of the export registration

Export registrations have the following periods of validity:

  • 12 months for new, unregistered vehicles (starting at the end of the calendar month when the vehicle was registered).
  • For decommissioned or used unregistered vehicles, the validity is for the time it takes to move the vehicle from Finland to the country of destination (1–30 days, depending on the destination country).

Please note that the legislation of the country of destination may limit the maximum operating period of your export-registered vehicle, and in some cases this period may be shorter than the validity of the export registration.

No extensions of time are available for the validity.