Åland Islands tax border and importing goods

The provisions on importing goods are also for the most part applied to goods imported from Åland Province and mainland Finland or the other way around. On the Åland Islands tax border, a shipping document or an invoice needs to be provided to the Customs and it serves as the customs declaration. The customs declaration approval date is the date on which the shipping document or invoice was provided to the Customs.

No customs duties are charged on the Åland Islands tax border. For this reason, Customs does not confirm the customs value of the imported goods; the importer must self-assess the customs value.

If an indirect representative submits the customs declaration, the party with tax liability is generally the principal. However, in certain cases, the indirect representative may be the party with tax liability when importing goods between the Åland Islands and mainland Finland. The indirect representative has the tax liability when the principal is a private individual or a legal person that is not in the Finnish VAT Register. The Customs will charge VAT for such imported goods. Exceptions include cases in which, for instance, an online shop or other vendor company acts as the agent of a private individual when importing goods to the Åland Islands from mainland Finland.

Exceptionally, goods imported from the Åland Islands to mainland Finland are declared in the VAT return for the tax period in which the liability to pay VAT for importion arose. As a rule, liability to pay and report import VAT arises when the customs declaration is approved. You can find that date under “Approval date” on the new customs clearance system’s clearance decision document.