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In 2023, the Finnish Customs Authority reported a collection of approximately €308 million in taxes, with €162 million remitted to the European Union as part of the EU Customs Union obligations. The remaining €146 million was collected for the Finnish state. This financial performance reflects the critical role of customs operations in national and European fiscal landscapes.

The largest portion of the tax revenue came from customs duties, totaling about €216 million last year.

Of this, €162 million was allocated to the EU, with Finland retaining a 25% "commission," amounting to €54 million. The decrease in customs duties by €81 million from the previous year was primarily attributed to a reduction in imports, according to Tom Ferm, the director of customer relations and tax collection at Finnish Customs. This change underscores the impact of global trade dynamics on local economies and the European Union's budget.

Customs duties are levied on goods traded from outside the EU, with the amount based on the value of the goods and their classification. All EU member states are part of the Customs Union, which operates under a unified customs legislation that has largely replaced national laws. The EU Customs Union applies a common customs tariff to third-country goods, demonstrating the extent of integration in the union's administrative areas.

In addition to customs duties, Finnish Customs collected approximately €38 million in VAT on imports, a slight decrease from the previous year. Other revenues, including fairway dues and service charges, also saw reductions compared to 2022. A significant drop in miscellaneous income was noted, largely due to the absence of a previous year's boost from the sale of virtual currencies seized in criminal proceedings, which added €46.5 million in 2022 alone.

Ferm highlighted the exceptional nature of the previous year's additional revenues, pointing out that the sale of virtual currencies contributed to the unusual spike in miscellaneous income. Such fluctuations underscore the variability in customs revenue streams and the impact of enforcement activities on fiscal outcomes.

The Finnish Customs' effective control over goods and financial transactions ensures low levels of outstanding tax debts, with the 2023 tax arrears amounting to only €0.89 million, reflecting a tax arrears rate of 0.29%. This efficiency in tax collection and enforcement highlights the agency's role in safeguarding fiscal resources for both Finland and the European Union, ensuring compliance and financial stability within the trade ecosystem.

HT

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