A private person may import alcoholic beverages for his/her own use without an import licence, but importing for commercial purposes is allowed only if the importer possesses a licence under the Alcohol Act for the purpose of use of the alcohol, such as a serving, retail sale or wholesale licence for alcoholic beverages.
The importer of alcoholic beverages is responsible for the alcohol it imports and for the product, its packaging labels and other presentation are in compliance with the alcohol and food legislation. The importer must make a product notification of the imported alcoholic beverages before they are placed on the market.
Import right of a wholesaler of alcoholic beverages
A wholesale licence for alcoholic beverages grants the right to import the alcoholic beverages specified in the licence.
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 right of a holder of a licence to use
A holder of a licence to use may import alcoholic beverages or spirits for its own use. Before commencing operations, Valvira must be notified of acting as an importer. Only the alcohols specified in the licence to use may be imported.
Import of spirits and alcoholic products
An import licence for spirits entitles the company to import spirits for commercial purposes from both EU and non-EU countries.
Private persons’ right to import
There are no restrictions on the right of private persons to purchase alcoholic beverages from abroad for their own consumption. However, the ordering, payment and transport of the alcoholic beverages must be arranged in such a manner that the import of the alcoholic beverages does not violate the provisions of the Alcohol Act concerning sale and delivery or the tax obligations related to import.