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Customs’ direct message exchange to be extended to import and transit in 2014

Customer Notice 27 September 2013
Business Information

Finnish Customs will implement direct message exchange in its import and transit systems. Direct message exchange will begin with customer testing with pilot companies at the start of 2014, and will be extended to other companies at a date to be announced later.

In direct message exchange, companies send XML messages from their data systems to Customs’ web service either themselves or through an authorised service provider and retrieve reply messages from Customs. Direct message exchange with Customs is based on general international standards, which enable the safe integration of data systems.

Advantages of direct message exchange for companies

  • Quick and cost-effective transactions
  • Faster message turnaround time and better operational reliability
  • Possibility for customers to implement the message notification service, which makes message exchange an almost real-time function

What does direct message exchange require?

Direct message exchange requires the use of XML messages. Message descriptions for XML messages will be published in October 2013.

Companies must always apply for authorisation for the use of direct message exchange. Authorisation must be applied for even if the customer uses a connection provided by an operator for message transactions. In import, companies are to be registered credit customers in order to submit customs declarations in message format. Companies must have a server certificate issued by the Population Register Centre for creating and transmitting messages.

If a customer transmits messages through an operator and wishes to implement direct message exchange, the data systems used by the customer need to be altered so that they can create an XML application message and a right type of frame message.

The implementation of direct message exchange requires approved customer testing with Customs. Instructions for testing will be sent to the company when agreeing on the testing time.

For more information on applying for an authorisation to use direct message exchange, testing and technical specifications, please consult the “Message exchange with Finnish Customs” guides available on the Customs website at 

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