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Tulli

Number of customs offences remains high

Media release.
Published: 15-Mar-2016 12:16 pm
Publisher: Tulli

In 2015, Finnish Customs registered altogether 9 656 offences (9 789 offences in 2014).

The impact of customs crime prevention on society was 16 million euros. Of this amount, the amount of evaded taxes was 3.45 million euros (26.5 million euros in 2014). Recovered proceeds of crime amounted to 10.7 million euros, whereas the amount in 2014 was 17.5 million euros.

Increase in narcotics offences

In 2015, Finnish Customs registered altogether 2 312 narcotics offences (2 211 offences in 2014). Although the total number of narcotics offences increased, there were fewer aggravated narcotics offences. There were 199 aggravated offences in 2015, whereas in 2014 the number was 300. There was an increase in the number of basic narcotics offences.

The quantity of seized narcotics was at its lowest in five years. Customs seized altogether 1 277 kg of narcotics in 2015, which was over 2 000 kg less than in 2014. Seizures of khat dropped by exactly 2 000 kg in comparison with 2014, which explains the decrease in the overall quantity of narcotics. The drop in the number of khat seizures is partly due to fewer couriers delivering khat, and to dried khat having become an increasingly popular substance. Customs seized a considerable quantity of amphetamine; approximately 136 kg (187.8 kg in 2014). Cocaine was also seized in a considerable quantity; 5.86 kg, which is the highest quantity over a period of 13 years and about 100 g more than in 2014.

Rise in the number of tax frauds - the impact of economic crime prevention amounted to 14.24 million euros

In 2015, Finnish Customs investigated altogether 856 tax frauds, whereas the number in 2014 was 824. There were 69 aggravated tax frauds (82 offences in 2014). The cases of aggravated tax fraud classified as economic offences and investigated by Customs in 2015 mainly involved the illegal import of cigarettes, alcohol and snus as well as vehicle tax, excise duties, value added tax, anti-dumping duties and customs warehousing. The impact of economic crime prevention by Finnish Customs amounted to 14.24 million euros (the figure in 2014 was 23.34 million euros).

– As in previous years, Finnish Customs has emphasised the long-term investigation of economic offences. Our skills are highlighted especially in extensive investigations into economic offences with international dimensions, says Enforcement Director Hannu Sinkkonen.

Enhanced control of passenger imports and online trade of alcohol

In 2015, altogether 4 471 litres of alcohol was seized. The total quantity is smaller than in 2014, at which time it was 7 382 litres. In 2015, Finnish Customs seized 29 200 litres of alcohol, which was 6 118 litres less than in 2014. During 2015, Customs placed altogether 509 consignments of alcohol, i.e. 267 089 litres, under consideration of taxes. In July 2014, guidelines for alcohol imports were included in legislation in order to require appropriate proof and explanations concerning alcohol imports from passengers. After the amendment, Customs has supervised alcohol imports mainly in the traffic to and from Estonia through intensified controls and daily enforcement operations. In 2015, Finnish Customs was granted an additional funding of 900 000 euros for alcohol-related controls. These funds were used for obtaining additional resources for enforcement and excise taxation.

Finnish Customs has observed that online orders of alcohol have increased considerably in recent years, and that the payment of generally imposed taxes to Finland is neglected in the online trade of alcohol. Customs has charted out online alcohol sellers based in different EU countries, as well as their activities. Based on the examinations, Customs keeps contact with companies engaged in the online sale of alcohol to Finland, and strives to help them align their operations to comply with excise legislation. Within the time limit prescribed for tax reassessment, Customs can impose taxes on such distance sellers of alcohol who have sold alcohol to private individuals in Finland without paying the taxes imposed by law.

In customs enforcement, the emphasis in 2015 was on controlling the increasing online trade of alcohol and on controls of restrictions, prohibitions and counterfeit products.

Successful prevention of shadow economy by Customs

The Corporate Audit of Finnish Customs conducts operations aiming to combat the shadow economy and economic crime. Finnish Customs’ combat against the shadow economy has been successful when measured both in euros and in terms of the enhancement of enforcement and of activities aimed against the shadow economy. The share of the additional levy based on corporate audits and document controls in 2015 was more than 64.8 million euros. The prevention of economic crime resulted in recovered proceeds of crime amounting to 0.51 million euros. Taxes levied through cooperation between authorities and prevented tax losses amounted to 6.13 million euros. The impact of projects under the shadow economy programme in 2015 amounted to just under 55.33 million euros.

– Finnish Customs has paid a lot of attention and attached considerable resources to the prevention of economic crime. The prevention of economic crime is one of the societal impact objectives set out in the strategy of Finnish Customs. We have increased the efficiency of our operations through the shadow economy prevention programme, in addition to which we have enhanced customs controls and intensified the overall cooperation between customs crime prevention officers and corporate audit officers”, says enforcement director Petri Lounatmaa.

In 2015, Finnish Customs registered altogether 9 656 offences (9 789 offences in 2014).

The impact of customs crime prevention on society was 16 million euros. Of this amount, the amount of evaded taxes was 3.45 million euros (26.5 million euros in 2014). Recovered proceeds of crime amounted to 10.7 million euros, whereas the amount in 2014 was 17.5 million euros.

Increase in narcotics offences

In 2015, Finnish Customs registered altogether 2 312 narcotics offences (2 211 offences in 2014). Although the total number of narcotics offences increased, there were fewer aggravated narcotics offences. There were 199 aggravated offences in 2015, whereas in 2014 the number was 300. There was an increase in the number of basic narcotics offences.

The quantity of seized narcotics was at its lowest in five years. Customs seized altogether 1 277 kg of narcotics in 2015, which was over 2 000 kg less than in 2014. Seizures of khat dropped by exactly 2 000 kg in comparison with 2014, which explains the decrease in the overall quantity of narcotics. The drop in the number of khat seizures is partly due to fewer couriers delivering khat, and to dried khat having become an increasingly popular substance. Customs seized a considerable quantity of amphetamine; approximately 136 kg (187.8 kg in 2014). Cocaine was also seized in a considerable quantity; 5.86 kg, which is the highest quantity over a period of 13 years and about 100 g more than in 2014.

Rise in the number of tax frauds - the impact of economic crime prevention amounted to 14.24 million euros

In 2015, Finnish Customs investigated altogether 856 tax frauds, whereas the number in 2014 was 824. There were 69 aggravated tax frauds (82 offences in 2014). The cases of aggravated tax fraud classified as economic offences and investigated by Customs in 2015 mainly involved the illegal import of cigarettes, alcohol and snus as well as vehicle tax, excise duties, value added tax, anti-dumping duties and customs warehousing. The impact of economic crime prevention by Finnish Customs amounted to 14.24 million euros (the figure in 2014 was 23.34 million euros).

– As in previous years, Finnish Customs has emphasised the long-term investigation of economic offences. Our skills are highlighted especially in extensive investigations into economic offences with international dimensions, says Enforcement Director Hannu Sinkkonen.

Enhanced control of passenger imports and online trade of alcohol

In 2015, altogether 4 471 litres of alcohol was seized. The total quantity is smaller than in 2014, at which time it was 7 382 litres. In 2015, Finnish Customs seized 29 200 litres of alcohol, which was 6 118 litres less than in 2014. During 2015, Customs placed altogether 509 consignments of alcohol, i.e. 267 089 litres, under consideration of taxes. In July 2014, guidelines for alcohol imports were included in legislation in order to require appropriate proof and explanations concerning alcohol imports from passengers. After the amendment, Customs has supervised alcohol imports mainly in the traffic to and from Estonia through intensified controls and daily enforcement operations. In 2015, Finnish Customs was granted an additional funding of 900 000 euros for alcohol-related controls. These funds were used for obtaining additional resources for enforcement and excise taxation.

Finnish Customs has observed that online orders of alcohol have increased considerably in recent years, and that the payment of generally imposed taxes to Finland is neglected in the online trade of alcohol. Customs has charted out online alcohol sellers based in different EU countries, as well as their activities. Based on the examinations, Customs keeps contact with companies engaged in the online sale of alcohol to Finland, and strives to help them align their operations to comply with excise legislation. Within the time limit prescribed for tax reassessment, Customs can impose taxes on such distance sellers of alcohol who have sold alcohol to private individuals in Finland without paying the taxes imposed by law.

In customs enforcement, the emphasis in 2015 was on controlling the increasing online trade of alcohol and on controls of restrictions, prohibitions and counterfeit products.

Successful prevention of shadow economy by Customs

The Corporate Audit of Finnish Customs conducts operations aiming to combat the shadow economy and economic crime. Finnish Customs’ combat against the shadow economy has been successful when measured both in euros and in terms of the enhancement of enforcement and of activities aimed against the shadow economy. The share of the additional levy based on corporate audits and document controls in 2015 was more than 64.8 million euros. The prevention of economic crime resulted in recovered proceeds of crime amounting to 0.51 million euros. Taxes levied through cooperation between authorities and prevented tax losses amounted to 6.13 million euros. The impact of projects under the shadow economy programme in 2015 amounted to just under 55.33 million euros.

– Finnish Customs has paid a lot of attention and attached considerable resources to the prevention of economic crime. The prevention of economic crime is one of the societal impact objectives set out in the strategy of Finnish Customs. We have increased the efficiency of our operations through the shadow economy prevention programme, in addition to which we have enhanced customs controls and intensified the overall cooperation between customs crime prevention officers and corporate audit officers”, says enforcement director Petri Lounatmaa.

See enclosure at the end of the message: The Internet still significant in customs offences (pdf)

Further information:
Sami Rakshit, Director of the Enforcement Department of Finnish Customs, tel. +358 40 332 2506
Hannu Sinkkonen, Enforcement Director, tel. +358 40 332 4389 (narcotics and economic offences)
Mikko Grönberg, Enforcement Director, tel. +358 40 332 2679 (seizures of alcohol)
Petri Lounatmaa, Enforcement Director, tel. +358 40 332 2149 (shadow economy prevention)
Ulla Sinkkilä, Enforcement Director, tel. +358 40 332 6489 (corporate audit)

Attachments

Finnish Customs is a part of the customs system of the European Union. Customs is a state agency supervised by the Ministry of Finance through management by results. Finnish Customs cooperates with the trade community as well as with domestic and foreign authorities. Finnish Customs has approximately 2 300 employees.

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