Advance notice – Private individual ordering alcohol or tobacco or sending alcohol or tobacco to themselves from abroad (EU)

If you purchase products subject to excise duty, such as alcohol or tobacco, from another EU country for your personal use and request another private individual or an entrepreneur to transport them to Finland on your behalf, you must pay excise duty on the products to Finland.  

You must also submit an advance notice on the products to the Finnish Tax Administration and deposit a guarantee for the excise duty payments. 

What is an advance notice?

In an advance notice you report the estimated date of receipt, the product volume and the product group to the Tax Administration. As you file, you receive information about the amount of the guarantee and the excise duty to be paid (e.g. excise duty on tobacco or alcohol). The amount of the guarantee is equal to the amount of the excise duty. Your excise duty return will be prepopulated with the information you give in the advance notice. The guarantee will be later used for the excise taxes.

What products require an advance notice?

An advance notice is required for products such as

  • alcohol and alcoholic beverages
  • tobacco products, which also include cigarette paper and cigarette liquids
  • soft drinks
  • beverage containers.

A guarantee must be deposited for alcohol and tobacco products. Instead, no guarantee is required for products such as cigarette paper and cigarette liquids.

When do I have to file the advance notice and deposit the guarantee?

The advance notice must be submitted before the products are dispatched or before their transport begins. You can file the advance notice before or after you submit your order. 

You must pay the guarantee before the products are dispatched or their transport begins.

How do I file the advance notice and deposit the guarantee?

File the advance notice in MyTax and calculate the guarantee amount there. You can also pay the guarantee in MyTax, or you can pay it separately via your bank.

Fill in relevant information about the products ordered or dispatched on the advance notice. MyTax will calculate the guarantee amount based on the information you submit.

How to file an advance notice in MyTax

Go to MyTax

Alternatively, you can file the notice on paper.

Link to paper forms related to excise taxation

If you forget to file an advance notice

If you fail to file an advance notice, you may have to pay a negligence penalty later.

Please note that if you are liable to pay excise duty on alcohol or soft drinks, you may additionally have to pay excise duty on beverage containers. You must file an advance notice on the beverage containers as well. In other words, you must file two separate advance notices. However, you do not have to set a guarantee for the beverage containers. Read more: Ordering alcohol from abroad

Distance buying means that a private individual buys products that are released for consumption in another EU country for their personal use and makes arrangements for transporting the products to Finland without that the seller participates in the transport arrangements in any way. The excise duties are payable by the distance buyer.

Example:A Finnish private individual buys non-alcoholic beer in a Swedish web shop. The individual then asks an independent transport company, separate from the seller, to transport the beer to Finland. The buyer, i.e. the Finnish private individual, must file advance notices on soft drinks and beverage containers  before the transport from Sweden to Finland begins. 

Distance selling means that a company located in another EU country sells products to a private individual and transports them to Finland. The essential point is that the seller organises the transport or participates in it in some way. The excise duties are payable by the seller. Read more: Distance selling of products subject to excise duty to Finland (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)

Example:An Estonian distance seller receives a long-drink and cola order from their customer. An advance notice must be filed on the alcoholic beverages and a one-off guarantee must be paid. An advance notice must be filed on the soft drinks and beverage containers. The distance seller has to file the advance notices and pay the guarantee before dispatching the products from Estonia to Finland. 

Excise duties must always be paid when products are ordered from abroad, unless you bring the beverages with you as travellers’ imports.In the case of distance selling, the taxes are paid by the seller or the seller’s tax representative. In the case of distance buying, they are paid by the buyer. In practice, the taxes are paid by the party who organises the transport.

Read more: Distance selling of products subject to excise duty to Finland (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)