Extract from ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/eu-vat-rules-topic/territorial-status-eu-countries-certain-territories_en, and edited here (removed rows, added columns with Currency and Comments):
The tables below provide a list of the EU countries and certain territories where the EU rules regulating customs, VAT and excise apply or not apply.
|EU country / Territories related with EU countries||Territory
of the EU
|Customs rules apply||VAT rules apply||Excise rules apply||Currency||Comments|
|Denmark (excl. Faroe Islands, Greenland)||yes||yes||yes||yes||Danish Krone|
|yes||yes||yes||yes||Euro||Representative for a full-member EU country.|
|Finland / The Åland Islands||yes||yes||NO||NO||Euro, and NO Swedish Krona||Åland has special status – more also below.|
|Spain / The Canary Islands||yes||yes||NO||NO|
Bottom-line: Make SURE to arrange payment of MOMS (VAT) on the Åland side when things are shipped into the islands! It WILL get stuck in Mariehamn until paid. (There are some rules for gifts of lower amount but that research is for another day……)
Checklist for smooth shopping
- When you order goods to the Åland Islands from elsewhere in Finland, check the seller’s tax border number.
- When the seller has a tax border number and VAT is included in the selling price of the goods, you do not need to declare the goods or pay VAT. Instead, your parcel will be delivered to you as before. When a seller has a tax border number, they see to the payment of customs duty to Customs.
- If the seller does not have a tax border number, the goods must be declared and VAT must be paid in connection with customs clearance. This is the procedure regardless of whether the seller has included VAT in the purchase price or not. You can see to customs clearance personally in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, or you can use a representative.
- When you order goods to the Åland Islands from elsewhere in the EU, for example Sweden: remember that, as of the start of July, even small consignments worth no more than 22 euros must be declared and VAT must be paid for them.
This page focuses on taxes et c related to countries and territories in EU. For tourism and traveling, see Kökar – Åland – Finland – section.
Extracts from um.fi/the-special-status-of-the-aland-islands:
The special status of the Åland Islands
The self-governing province of the Åland Islands lies off the southwest coast of Finland. Åland is an autonomous, demilitarised, Swedish-speaking region of Finland. Åland consists of more than 6,700 islands, but the current population of 30,000 live on only 60 islands. Over 40 per cent of the inhabitants live in the only town, Mariehamn, which is one of Åland’s 16 municipalities.
The special status of the Åland Islands in the EU
When Finland became a member of the European Union in 1995, the Parliament of Åland expressed, in accordance with the Autonomy Act and after two separate referendums, its consent to Åland’s membership of the EU. Åland’s relationship with the Union is regulated in a protocol containing special provisions for purchasing of real estate and the right to conduct business in Åland, thus confirming Åland’s special status under international law.
The Åland protocol also states that Åland shall be regarded as a third territory with respect to indirect taxation, which enables the sale of tax free goods to passengers travelling between the Åland Islands and other EU Member States, even though the tax exemption in the traffic between EU Member States ended as of 1 July 1999.
This exception also makes tax free sales possible for passengers travelling between the Åland Islands and mainland Finland.
More extract from ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/eu-vat-rules-topic/territorial-status-eu-countries-certain-territories_en:
EU territories not covered by EU VAT rules
Which VAT applies to goods arriving from EU territories not covered by EU VAT rules?
Goods in free circulation coming from these territories are subject to the import VAT of the EU country they arrive in.
This is because EU countries are obliged to treat goods from these territories the same as goods coming from outside the EU.
(Articles 274-277 VAT Directive)
Which VAT applies to goods leaving to EU territories not covered by EU VAT rules?
Goods leaving to these these territories are subject to the export formalities and for VAT purposes are considered as transported outside the EU territory.
(Article 278-280 VAT Directive)
Which VAT rules apply in the territories not covered by EU rules?
In these territories, national rules apply: EU country may choose not to apply any VAT, to apply different VAT rates under different conditions than in the rest of its territory or to apply the same VAT rates as in the rest of its territory.
1 As defined in the provisions of the 2003 Act of Accession.
2 EU Treaties apply to a limited extent as set out in Article 355(5)(c) TFEU.
3 Rules only apply for transactions to and from these countries or territories.
4 EU Treaties apply to a limited extent as set out in Article 355(5)(b) TFEU.
More on EU, EEA, EFTA, Nordic Passport Union, …
|Area||EU||EEA||EFTA||Nordic Passport Union|
|Countries||27 countries (2021): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.||EU +
Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
(Switzerland has own agreements w/ EU)
|‘Parallel’ to EU, four countries NOT part of EU: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland||The Nordic countries: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland|
|Covers||Oh so many topics from travel, living, taxes, …||Economy, common market, free trade area||Economy, common market, free trade area||Free travel and living|
- EEA (EES in Swedish)
- Nordic Passport Union
- “The Nordic Passport Union allows citizens of the Nordic countries – Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland – to travel and reside in another Nordic country (and Svalbard) without any travel documentation (e.g. a passport or national identity card) or a residence permit.”