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Holders of a serving or retail licence may import those alcoholic beverages they are entitled to serve or sell for their own serving or retail sale operations. Prior to commencing import operations, the licence holder must notify Valvira of acting as an importer. Import operations may be commenced once Valvira has confirmed reception of the import notification.
Making the notification
Valvira is notified in writing using the Notification of acting as importer form. The processing time varies on a case-by-case basis, but the intention is to process the notifications within 14 days of their arrival. The processing fee is determined in accordance with the Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The importer is responsible for the imported alcoholic beverages. The importer is responsible for the quality and composition of an alcoholic beverage it has released for consumption, and for the product, its packaging labels and other presentation complying with the relevant provisions and regulations.
The importer must report all products it has imported to Valvira’s product register before their serving/retail sale. As part of the supervision of alcoholic beverages, Valvira maintains a product register of all alcoholic beverages sold in Finland. The product register contains the basic information on the beverages on the market and the traders responsible for them.
Beverages imported from third countries (from outside the EU area) must have a first analysis certificate of the composition and quality of the product, issued by an approved laboratory. However, the analysis certificate is not required for beverages imported in a batch with a quantity less than 100 litres.
All imported batches must be reported to Valvira monthly, no later than the 18th day of the month following the import. The report is submitted using the import report form. For more detailed instructions on registering and reporting the products, see the Instructions for import reporting
Excise duty must be paid for alcoholic beverages upon import. Importing alcoholic beverages is considered illegal if the excise duty has not been paid for in Finland. Placing such a beverage on the market or failing to submit an import report may lead to the revocation of the serving or retail licence. For more detailed instructions on the excise duty, contact the Tax Administration/Customs. Upon import, a serving or retail licence and a confirmation of the reception of an import notification sent by Valvira must be presented.