The retail sale and serving of alcoholic beverages to passengers on ships and aircraft (e.g. cruise ships and aeroplanes) operating between Finland and other countries or abroad is permitted to an actor who has notified Valvira of its operations at the point of sale in question.
However, retail sale within Finnish borders is only permitted on a moving passenger ship or an aircraft en route between a domestic and foreign port or airport. However, a ship on a regular route may make a stop in the Province of Åland.
Alcoholic beverages may be sold at an airport from a tax-free store to passengers travelling abroad to take with them, and alcoholic beverages may be served in an airport area used for international travel where only passengers have access by presenting a flight ticket, by an actor who has notified Valvira of its operations.
Submitting and processing of a sales notification
A sales notification for international transport is submitted using the international transport sales notification of alcoholic beverages form. The form indicates which documents must be attached.
The notification must include information on the premises on which alcohol is sold, control of sales and arrangements for maintaining public order. The notification must also describe where the retail sale and serving areas are located and how they are delimited, and a self-monitoring plan in accordance with the Alcohol Act must be attached.
Valvira must be notified of any changes to the sale of alcoholic beverages such as changes to the store premises and new cash desk arrangements.
The length of the processing varies on a case-by-case basis. The average processing time for new notifications is around two weeks. The processing fee is determined in accordance with the currently valid Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Obligations and monitoring related to sales
Valvira may prohibit the opening of a serving area or limit the serving area specified in the notification if the area does not meet the prerequisites laid down in the Alcohol Act for a serving area. Among other things, the size and structures of the serving area must allow monitoring by the authorities and the actor engaging in serving alcoholic beverages.
The provisions concerning the holders of retail and serving licences for alcoholic beverages and the retail sale and serving subject to licence are applied to the sales of alcoholic beverages in international transport. However, the retail sale and serving hours defined in the Alcohol Act are not applied to the sale of alcoholic beverages in international transport. If the sales take place within Finnish borders, retail sales and serving are prohibited between 4 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. Neither is the responsible manager of the point of sale required to have a certificate of knowledge of the Alcohol Act (serving pass).