Releases > Releases for businesses > Releases - eServices > Latest news from Finnish Customs > Decision by the National Board of Customs on introducing the electronic declaration procedure for goods entering or exiting the Community as a voluntary procedure as of 14 December 2009 and as an obligatory procedure as of 1 January 2011 at the latest
Decision by the National Board of Customs on introducing the electronic declaration procedure for goods entering or exiting the Community as a voluntary procedure as of 14 December 2009 and as an obligatory procedure as of 1 January 2011 at the latest
Date of issue
9 December 2009
Regulation (EC) No. 648/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1875/2006, (EC) No. 312/2009 and (EC) No. 273/2009, section 4 of the Finnish Customs Act
Period of validity
Until further notice as of 14 December 2009
Customs districts, companies referred to in the Customs Code and the Implementing Regulation which transport or move goods that enter or exit the Community or are transported through the Community, other operators referred to in the legislation and their representatives
1. General introduction
The legislation concerning the partial reform of the Customs Code and the Implementing Regulation (the so-called safety and security amendment) entered into force on 1 July 2009 (Regulations No. 648/2005, No. 1875/2006 and No. 312/2009). The legislation obliges economic operators to submit the data listed in annex 30A of the Implementing Regulation electronically to Customs within the time limit for each mode of transport prior to the goods entering or exiting the Community. In order for economic operators to adjust their activity to conform to the legislation, a transitional period ending on 31 December 2010 has been set for the introduction of the new declaration procedure. Until that date, economic operators can submit the declarations required by EU legislation using the currently available methods.
Customers can start submitting electronic declarations to Customs before 1 January 2011, as even though the EU-wide obligation to submit declarations will not enter into force before that date, Finnish Customs is ready to receive and process arrival and exit declarations as of 14 December 2009. The declarations are processed by the AREX and ELEX data systems of Customs.
A declarant who has voluntarily entered the electronic declaration procedure according to Customs’ specifications must, however, from then on comply with all the regulations which become obligatory as of 1 January 2011 in the customs clearance of transactions subjected to the said procedure.
2.1 Declarations submitted upon arrival
The following declarations for goods arriving from third countries must be submitted to Customs no later than after the transitional period has ended:
– Entry summary declaration
– Notification of the actual arrival of the means of transport at the customs office of first entry
– Subsequent arrival notification
– Unloading report of temporary storage.
The entry summary declaration and the notification on the arrival of the means of transport combined with an arrival notification constitute a subsequent arrival notification. In other words, a separate subsequent arrival notification is not required in these situations in Finland. The notification on the arrival of the means of transport combined with an arrival notification must be submitted electronically.
When goods which have not undergone customs clearance arrive from another Community country, a subsequent arrival notification is required. A notification on the arrival of the means of transport in which the goods are loaded combined with an arrival notification is also required.
The party obliged to submit declarations or the agent of such a party is obliged to submit the information regarding the goods to be unloaded from the means of transport, along with the MRNs (Movement Reference Numbers) issued by the Customs system, to the temporary storage operator into whose warehouse the goods in question are to be unloaded. The MRN and the related goods item number are used as the temporary warehouse entry number. The temporary storage operator must submit the unloading reports for the goods electronically to Customs.
Parties obliged to submit declarations
The party primarily responsible for submitting declarations is the transport company operating in sea, air, railway or road traffic that has undertaken the transport of the goods in accordance with a transport agreement.
2.2. Declarations submitted upon exit
An electronic exit summary declaration must be lodged for all goods exiting the EU for which a customs declaration containing security data has not been provided in the EU. Exit summary declarations are to be submitted no later than after the above-mentioned transitional period has ended, that is, as of 1 January 2011. However, Finnish Customs is ready to receive exit summary declarations as of 14 December 2009.
In addition, the following electronic declarations are to be submitted to Finnish Customs for goods exiting the EU:
– Notification of the arrival of the goods at the place of exit (however, this notification is not required for goods for which only an exit summary declaration is lodged)
– Export manifest presentation related to loading the goods onboard a ship
– Exit notification regarding the exit of the goods from EU territory.
The obligation to declare goods that exit the EU by sea and rail enters into force on 3 May 2010. However, Customs agrees on the schedule for implementing the electronic declaration procedure separately with each message declarant.
For goods exiting by air, the said declarations are to be submitted as of 1 January 2010 at the latest.
Parties obliged to submit declarations
"Arrival at Exit" notification
A notification on the arrival of the goods at the place of exit must be submitted to Customs. The exporter is ultimately responsible for providing the declaration. If the declaration is submitted to Customs by some other party than the operator responsible for loading a train, aircraft or maritime vessel, the said party is obliged to notify the operator responsible for loading about Customs’ decision of approval without delay. This is a requirement for the goods to be considered legitimately loaded onboard a vehicle in which the goods exiting Finland can also be regarded as exiting the EU under a customs procedure.
The notification on the arrival of the goods at the customs office of exit can be issued by a party which has Customs' prior authorisation to submit the above-mentioned declarations.
A specific “Arrival at Exit” notification need not be lodged for goods exiting Finland by road, but instead the transporter of the goods presents the goods to Customs by showing the documents concerning the goods to the customs officer at the customs office of exit.
The National Board of Customs will issue separate instructions concerning the notification procedure for arrivals at customs offices of exit in January 2010 which provide more specifically for the above-mentioned authorisation and the details of the procedure.
Export manifest presentation and exit notification
The party primarily responsible for submitting these declarations is the transport company operating in sea, air, railway or road traffic that physically transports the goods from the place of exit, accordant with EU legislation and located in Finland, to another country.
3. Procedure for submitting declarations
The electronic declarations referred to in this decision are to be submitted to Customs either in message format or via the online Customs interface. Submitting message format declarations to Customs requires that the party submitting messages to Customs has implemented its declaration system according to Customs’ specifications and that Customs has granted an authorisation for transactions. The requirements for granting an authorisation, the other specifications for electronic transactions including the customers’ declaration messages to be taken into use now, and the reply messages of Customs are described in enclosures 1 and 2 of this decision.
Using an agent
A party obliged to submit declarations can use an agent. Only a direct representative can be used in declaration procedures.
Declarations provided in other ways, for example the cargo data submitted to the PortNet system for sea traffic, will no longer be used as summary declarations for customs clearance as of 1 January 2011.
Procedure in exceptional situations
If it is not possible to submit declarations electronically in exceptional situations, the holder of the electronic declaration procedure is to obtain an authorisation from Customs for using an exceptional procedure. After receiving the authorisation, the party responsible for declarations is to submit the declarations required on the basis of regulations and this decision in a way to be agreed upon with Customs. The time limits concerning exceptional situations are to be complied with.
If it is not possible to submit an electronic declaration for a transaction due to exceptional circumstances, and instead, the declaration is made on paper or in some other way approved by Customs, an electronic declaration is still required for the transaction once the exceptional situation is over and when it is again possible to submit electronic declarations. In these instances, the reference given for the transaction subjected to an exceptional procedure is to be used in the electronic declaration. Authorisation for an exceptional procedure is applied for according to separate instructions.
4. Consequences of violations
If the declarations required by EU legislation and this decision are not appropriately submitted before entry in or exit from the Community, the declarations are to be made immediately upon entry in or exit from the EU customs territory. Carrying out the necessary customs measures may cause delays in transports of goods. In addition, Customs can issue a penalty fee for a procedure in accordance with national legislation.