Finland is a highly industrialised nation, with an economy driven largely by exports, particularly of high tech goods and services, and forest industry machinery and products.
This heavy reliance on exports – the export market accounts for 50% of Finland’s GDP – coupled with the country going through something of an economic downturn in recent years, mean it’s not the best place to import to.
Even so, in 2014, exports of goods and services from the UK to Finland totalled £2.6 billion – so if exporting to Finland is on your to-do list, here’s everything you need to know…
What are the pros and cons of exporting to Finland?
The UK was Finland’s seventh largest trading partner in goods in 2014, and the top UK exports that year included:
- Machinery and components
- Chemical products and pharmaceuticals
- Electrical products
- Scientific and optical equipment
If you’re thinking of doing business in Finland it’s worth bearing in mind it’s a largely affluent and tech-savvy nation, and the strengths of the market include:
- global leaders in telecommunications and innovative technology applications
- stable economy
- government focused on building a global marketplace and removing trade barriers
- open business environment with low levels of corruption
As a result, the benefits of exporting to Finland are mainly:
- English widely used as the business language
- access to wider markets through geographical location
- stable political and economic situation
And the good news is that, being a fellow member of the EU means doing business in Finland is very easy and is, in fact, very similar to doing business in the UK.
So if you offer a product or service that is well received in the UK, the chances are it will do well in Finland.
And remember, you can now screen share and video conference, using Crankwheel.
How does tax work in Finland?
VAT is charged at 24% in Finland, but some categories, including food and medicines, are taxed at a reduced rate of 14% or 10%.
Corporation tax in Finland is charged at 20%.
As far as income tax goes, both employers and employees pay contributions towards pensions and social allowances.
For more information on taxes in Finland, visit the Finnish Tax Authority.
How will customs affect me when exporting to Finland?
The internal EU single market allows for the free movement of goods and services without any import duties being applied.
As far as export documentation goes, excise and controlled goods need documentation and you need to include normal commercial documentation with the export for dispatches to Finland.