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Retail sales of alcoholic beverages are subject to licence. You must apply for, and be granted, a license before you can begin retail sales of alcohol. The licence is specific to the retailer and the premises.
The retail sale of beverages with an alcohol content of more than 5.5% alcohol by volume is reserved for the State Alcohol Monopoly (Alko Inc). Exceptions to this are that in certain cases a retail licence may be granted, and beverages with an alcohol content of maximum 2.8% alcohol by volume may be sold without a licence.
The retail licence entitles the licence holder to sell alcoholic beverages that contain a maximum of 5.5% alcohol by volume. Manufacturers of farm wines or craft beers can apply for an own limited and location specific retail trade license. This license entitles the licence holder to sell self-produced alcoholic beverages that contain a maximum of 13% alcohol by volume (for farm wines) or a maximum of 12% alcohol by volume (for craft beers) from a retail premise/shop located in the winery or in the brewery or in close vicinity of it.
If alcohol is sold to passengers onboard a Finland-registered vehicle operating between Finland and other countries or at an airport from a tax-free store, the operator must submit a written notification to Valvira before commencing sales (see International transport).
Providing guidance on alcohol licensing and supervision to the Regional State Administrative Agencies forms part of Valvira’s tasks. Through guidance, we seek to ensure that legislation is consistently applied throughout Finland.
More guidance on the retail sale of alcoholic beverages can be found on Valvira’s websites in Finnish and Swedish.