Finnish customs, aim high!
In just a few years, the EU will transition to centralised customs and it will be possible to declare customs on goods imported to and exported from the EU in any EU country. But is this a threat or an opportunity?
It is good, at least, in that importers can receive goods delivered directly to their door without any customs delays, even in this remote north-eastern corner of the EU, far from large ports and air freight hubs. Labour also is a little more affordable in a few other EU countries. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that importers and exporters are responsible for the accuracy of their declarations, no matter who submits the declaration or where the declaration is made.
I would like to make Finland the centre of the EU’s centralised customs, and encourage the idea that customs declarations should be made where the customs and systems work best. Finnish customs actually works very well. No-one is perfect, but Finnish customs is excellent at both collaboration with companies and customs declarations processing. Importers and exporters can participate in the development of the authority’s operations and make their voices heard in various work groups. Customs declarations requests are processed smoothly and decisions are made in a relatively short timeframe. In some other EU countries, the situation is very different. The fact that Finland is a single customs area makes customs declarations easier and saves costs in logistics. In many EU countries, including in western Europe, internal transit from one customs point to another is required in order to carry out customs declarations.
Finnish customs could aim high and fight for its spot as the EU’s top customs. Wouldn’t it be great if your partner in centralised customs declarations were efficient authority, and if service and customs declarations and decisions were available in several languages – perhaps even in Finnish?