Finland’s national mail carrier Posti has announced that recipients of parcels sent from outside the EU will from next February be charged a handling fee of 2.90 euros.
The levy is due to come into force on 31 January 2020 and will only apply to shipments worth over 22 euros. Currently the majority of deliveries arriving into Finland are below the 22 euro threshold, "which at this stage will not be affected by the charge," Posti said in a news release.
The payment is intended to cover the costs of the cost of "handling, reporting and storing" the increasingly high volumes of items bought online arriving into Finland.
"The cost of international e-commerce is thus borne by these activities. This is important for fair trade and for the competitiveness of domestic e-commerce," said Sami Finne, Director of International E-Commerce Services at Posti, in a press release announcing the introduction of the new charge.
Postal services in other Nordic countries, such as Sweden and Iceland, have also introduced similar charges for shipments from outside the EU.
Finnish customs must be notified of the value and VAT status of packages from outside the EU, which creates an administrative requirement for the delivery company.
In practice, customers will receive either a paper-based arrival notification or an electronic notification of the shipment via the OmaPosti online service.
This arrival notification will instruct the customer on how to pay the charge, which must be received by Posti 20 days after the shipment's arrival date.
Once the payment has been made, Posti says it will deliver the parcel to the customer. Non-payment of the charge will lead to the parcel being returned to the sender.