Finnish Customs levies taxes for Finland and the European Union
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In 2021, Customs levied taxes for a total amount of 294 million euros, of which 156 million euros went to the EU in the context of the European Union Customs Union. Customs collected 138 million euros in taxes for the state of Finland. The amount exceeded the revenue collected in 2020 by 42 million euros. The total amount of revenue levied by Customs was high especially because of Brexit and the VAT law amendment that took effect during the summer.
Largest tax revenues 2021 2022 Customs duties € 205 million € 174 million Fairway dues € 45 million € 47 million Import VAT € 40 million € 26 million Service charges etc. € 4 million € 3 million
– Of the total amount of taxes, the most significant part comprises customs duties which we collected for a total amount of about 205 million euros last year. The European Union received 156 million euros in customs duties, and Finland received a 25 % fee, that is, 50 million euros. Customs duties are an element of Union funds, and Finnish Customs is a part of the European Union Customs Union. The amount of customs duties increased by 31 million euros since 2020, especially due to Brexit, says Mr Tom Ferm, Director of Customer Relations and Tax Collection.
The amount of customs duty depends on the commodity code and the customs value of goods. Customs duties are usually not levied when goods arrive from within the EU or the customs territory of the EU, but from outside the fiscal territory of the EU, for example from the Åland Islands or the Canary Islands.
Notable increase in the amount of import VAT in 2021
In 2021, Customs levied about 40 million euros in import VAT.
– The amount of import VAT levied by Customs increased by 14 million euros since 2020. The increase was especially due to the lega amendment that took effect on 1 July 2021, removing tax exemption on parcels delivered from outside the EU with a maximum value of 22 euros, says Tom Ferm.
– The purpose of the legal amendment was to balance the competitiveness of businesses based in EU member states in relation to non-EU operators, and to obtain tax revenue for the state. The amendment has been successful in that regard, says Ferm.
In customs clearance, import goods are prescribed a customs value that usually comprises the purchase price and transport costs. VAT-payers who are registered based on customs value declare the amount of VAT to the Finnish Tax Administration.
Customs’ tax arrears unaffected by the COVID situation
The amount of fairway dues collected by Customs in 2021 dropped to 45 million euros, which is two million euros less than in the previous year. In comparison with 2020, Customs collected one million euros more in service charges. The arrears of the taxes and charges collected by Customs amounted to 0.5 million euros in 2021, and the tax arrears rate was 0.20 %. The COVID situation did not affect Customs’ tax arrears, as their amount of was lower than in 2019.
All EU countries are members of the Customs Union
Customs taxation is based on joint customs legislation which has, for the main part, replaced the national customs legislations of EU member states. Customs activity is indeed the most integrated field of administration in the EU.
The European Union Customs Union covers all trade in goods. The Customs Union has a common customs tariff that is applied to non-Union countries, that is, so-called third countries.