Customs Customs feared customs rally over EU tax reform, but in reality small purchases collapsed

E-commerce outside the EU was lower than expected. The most significant reason has been the contraction in air traffic due to the corona pandemic.

EU external e-commerce was lower than expected last year, says Customs in a press release released on Thursday.

Last year, the largest non-EU import country for e-commerce was the United States. 28% of non-EU online trade was imported. Britain accounted for 26 per cent and China for 24 per cent.

“E-commerce outside the EU was lower than expected for a number of reasons. The most significant reason has been the contraction of air traffic due to the corona pandemic, due to which there are still significantly fewer flights than before the pandemic and, as a result, the volume of air cargo is still low, ”says the Director of Statistics. Olli-Pekka Penttilä in the bulletin.

In the EU VAT reform came into force at the beginning of July. Following the reform, all purchases from outside the EU will be subject to customs duties and VAT. Small consignments of less than EUR 22 previously ordered from outside the Union have not been subject to VAT.

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“The change was big for online subscribers, as a lot of goods are ordered that fall below 22 euros,” says customs inspector Nadja Painokallio in a press release.

According to Painokallio, the so-called Import-One-Stop-Shop system has made the customer easier. The idea is that VAT can be paid to the seller already at the time of purchase for shipments of up to 150 euros. This requires the vendor to be registered with the IOSS.

“Online stores then pay VAT directly to the EU,” Painokallio continues.

VAT reform there were fears of congestion in both incoming parcels and customer advice.

Read more: Work at the post sorting center was done overnight when EU tax reform came into force – Number of packages to be cleared up to 40 times

Prior to the entry into force of the amendment, Customs estimates that the number of packages requiring customs clearance will increase to ten million per year. The growth is tremendous, as approximately 250,000 e-commerce consignments worth more than 22 euros have previously arrived in Finland each year.

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According to customs, from July to the end of the year, more than 900,000 import declarations were made for consignments worth up to 150 euros.

The number of notifications decreased from the beginning of July to the autumn, but increased again in December. The vast majority, 92 percent of the reports were made by private individuals.

“The statistical value of import declarations for consignments up to EUR 150 has been just over EUR 5 million per month, compared to EUR 2,040-3,015 million per month in 2021,” Penttilä says in a statement.

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