Exporting guide to Finland

Overview

Finland has an affluent, highly educated and technologically sophisticated population. British quality products are well received and UK brands are well known in the country.

Innovations in technology

Finland leads digitalisation in Europe. This can be seen in the digitalisation of services and society, as well as Finland’s vibrant start-up culture. In particular Finland is a leading developer of artificial intelligence, the internet of things, mobile apps and clean technologies.

Prosperous economy

Finland is a prosperous and stable economy, with a government focused on removing trade barriers and strengthening the multilateral trading system. Finnish consumers are interested in high quality, high tech innovations, and quality brands also appeal to the rapidly growing number of tourists visiting Finland.

Leadership in sustainability

Finland ranks number 1 in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development report 2021. Businesses and the policy environment in Finland are supportive of sustainable investments, making Finland an excellent market for sustainable goods and solutions.

Historic buildings in Finland

Finland: at a glance

Economic growth

-2.3%

Actual figure (IMF, 2020)
The UK is -9.3% (IMF, 2020, actual figure)

GDP per capita

$49,159

Actual figure (IMF, 2020)
The UK is $41,127 (IMF, 2020, projected figure)

Currency

Euro

Business language

Finnish, Swedish, English

You may need a translator

Time zone

GMT +2

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Opportunities for exporters

Finland is a world leader in telecommunications, digitalisation and sustainability. Its well-developed service sector includes business, tourism and financial services. There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Finland have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Finland

Preparing to export

Taxation

The UK and Finland have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Finland, provided certain conditions are met.

The general VAT rate in Finland is currently 24%, with some categories such as food and medicines taxed at a reduced rate of either 14% or 10% (Vero Skatt, 2019). You can find the exact breakdown of taxes from the Finnish Tax Authority.

Regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards. Labels must be in Finland’s official languages of Finnish and Swedish.

There are specific requirements for labelling and packaging of food in Finland. You can find more information about the requirements from the Finnish Food Authority.

Technical manuals should be translated into Finnish.

Services regulations

Information on rules for selling services and business travel to Finland is available on gov.uk

Operating in Finland

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Payment terms

Payment terms will depend on the sector, type of contract and the company you are trading with. Invoices are generally paid on time.

Business culture

Doing business in Finland is similar to the UK. If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance it will be successful in Finland.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.