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Finns order less booze from abroad

Enforcement of excise duty liability may lie behind the reduced trade.

A trolley full of wine bottles
Only Alko can sell stronger drinks to take home in Finland. Image: Sakari Piippo / Yle
Yle News

People in Finland have been ordering less alcohol from foreign outlets, according to Finnish Customs and the Tax Administration.

The two agencies have monitored Finnish alcohol orders closely since last November. During that period, delivery of online orders from foreign companies declined by more than 60 percent.

Sami Peltola from the Tax Administration suggested that many people have stopped ordering drinks so as to avoid being liable for sales taxes left unpaid by the foreign firms.

"Desire to order these drinks has surely also been affected since the Tax Administration started sending taxation decisions to purchasers in situations where the excise duty should be paid by the buyer," said Peltola.

There does remain some uncertainty about who should pay the excise duty. The current government has promised to clarify the rules for online sales.

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