Bringing alcohol and tobacco with you from trips outside Finland

The amount of duties imposed on the products, as well as possible import restrictions, depend on whether you are bringing in alcohol or tobacco from another EU country or from outside the EU.

Bringing alcohol or tobacco from outside the EU   

Which countries are in the EU? (tulli.fi) 

Bringing alcohol and tobacco from EU countries

Any alcohol or tobacco products that you bring to Finland for personal use or as gifts are exempt from duties if you transport them in the same vehicle that you travel yourself. If you travel by ship or aeroplane, you do not have to pay tax on any products that you carry as part of your luggage.

What amounts of alcohol can I import duty-free?

There are no fixed limits for how much alcohol can be imported.

However, you should pay attention to the threshold amounts for each product type. If you carry more alcohol than what is allowed within these thresholds, you must provide credible reasons for how these amounts can be considered personal use. 

Threshold amounts:

  • 110 litres of beer (over 0.5%)
  • 10 litres of other alcoholic beverages (over 1.2%, ethyl alcohols, e.g. spirits, long drinks made from ethyl alcohol)
  • 20 litres of intermediate products (22% or less, e.g. apéritifs and fortified wines like vermouth, sherry, bitters)
  • 90 litres of wine, of which 60 litres can be sparkling wine (includes fermented long drinks and ciders)

Ciders and long drinks are not treated as beers. You cannot replace beverages belonging to one product type with products of another type, even if you are not importing beverages of that type.

What is considered personal use?

Alcohol and tobacco products are considered to be for personal use if you have bought them in another EU country for personal use and you have brought them to Finland by yourself.

Personal use includes

  • use by yourself
  • use by your family members
  • use as gifts.

If you give alcohol or tobacco to someone in exchange for payment or work, then these products must be treated as commercial imports and you will have to pay duty on them.

Examples

If the bride’s cousin brings alcohol from abroad to be served at the wedding, these imports are not duty-free.

If you have had volunteers work for you, you are not allowed to offer imported alcohol to them as a reward.

If you bring imported alcohol to your colleagues at work, this is not considered personal use.

If you import alcohol for use at a company party, it must always be treated as commercial import and therefore subject to duty.

What amounts of tobacco can I import duty-free?

Any tobacco products that you bring to Finland for personal use or as gifts are exempt from duties if you bring them in the same vehicle that you travel yourself. However, please note that the tobacco products must include warning texts in Finnish and Swedish. If the products are not clearly labelled as harmful, you can only bring a limited amount of them to Finland.

Read more about bringing tobacco back with you from travels (tulli.fi).

For purposes of excise duties, family members include all individuals who live in the same address and belong in the same household.

If relatives in the direct line of ascent or descent (parents, children, grandparents) bring each other alcohol as gifts to a family celebration (such as a wedding, a birthday party or another major celebration), this is considered personal use even if the relatives do not live in the same address or belong in the same household.

Gifts are given and received without regularity and without compensation. If you receive any kind of remuneration for the alcohol you give, it cannot be considered a gift.

Gifts can only be received by private individuals. You cannot give gifts as promotional items or advertisements.

Remember to check whether you will have to pay gift tax.  

You must be able to carry or transport your alcohol products by yourself from ship to shore when arriving in Finland for the imports to be duty-free. How you got the products (pre-ordered, bought onboard, bought in another EU country) makes no difference. 

Read more: Alcohol brought by private individuals on a ship – carrying goods personally

If you give imported products to someone else in return for any kind of compensation, such as money, they must be treated as commercial imports. The products are considered commercial imports even if the price you receive is the same you originally paid for them.

Bringing alcohol or tobacco from outside the EU

Customs is responsible for imposing excise duties on alcohol and tobacco you bring to Finland from

  • outside the EU
  • the Åland Islands
  • through the Åland Islands
  • the Canary Islands.

If you are travelling e.g. from Germany to the Åland Islands, see the instructions for travellers on the Finnish Customs website.