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Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards


Foreign Trade in Figures

Finland is a highly industrialised country whose economy relies heavily on foreign trade, which represented 76.6% of its GDP in 2017 (OECD).

The country's trade balance had traditionally been positive in the past, but contracted in recent years, turning negative in 2012, as imports reached their pre-crisis levels, while exports recovered more slowly. The deficit fell due to the resumption of exports, but the balance of trade deteriorated again in 2016, when the deficit increased to EUR 2.6 billion.

Finland exported USD 57.3 billion worth of goods in 2016, the main buyers being Germany (12.9%), Sweden (10.7%), the U.S. (7.4%) and the Netherlands (6.5%). Finland’s main exported product is paper and paperboard followed by refined petroleum oils. The top imports include crude oil and refined petroleum, together with cars and computers. The leading origins of Finland's imports are Germany (14.5%), Sweden (11.1%), Russia (11.1%) and China (7.4%).

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 76,46877,57076,74760,08960,398
Exports of Goods (million USD) 73,07774,43774,36159,44557,697
Imports of Services (million USD) 31,12531,50630,52325,75628,369
Exports of Services (million USD) 28,51229,34727,91624,18425,439
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.60.5-
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.21.1-
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.939.738.237.036.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 39.538.837.236.535.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -5073291,5122,165662
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,890-1,465-1,815-103-2,295
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 80.478.575.473.471.7

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2017; World Bank - 2017


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Germany 14.0%
Sweden 10.2%
Netherlands 6.7%
United States 6.5%
Russia 5.6%
China 5.5%
United Kingdom 4.3%
Belgium 3.2%
France 3.0%
Estonia 3.0%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Germany 15.2%
Russia 13.1%
Sweden 10.9%
China 7.3%
Netherlands 4.6%
France 3.7%
United States 3.1%
United Kingdom 2.9%
Estonia 2.9%
Italy 2.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2017


Main Products

67.3 bn USD of products exported in 2017
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 7.5%
Paper and paperboard, coated on one or both sides with kaolin china clay or other inorganic substances, whith or without a binder, and with no other coating, whether or not surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or in square or rectangular sheets, of any size (excl. all other coated papers and paperboards) 6.3%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.1%
Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, of a width of >= 600 mm, hot-rolled or cold-rolled cold-reduced 3.6%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or barked, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 3.0%
Chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate (excl. dissolving grades) 2.9%
Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments, n.e.s. 2.1%
Electrical transformers, static converters, e.g. rectifiers, and inductors; parts thereof 1.5%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 1.5%
Unwrought zinc : 1.1%
70.1 bn USD of products imported in 2017
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 7.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.3%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.4%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.5%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.2%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 2.0%
Tubes and pipes, having circular cross-sections and an external diameter of > 406,4 mm, of flat-rolled products of iron or steel e.g., welded, riveted or similarly closed 1.4%
Electrical energy 1.2%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2017


Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
Level of Currency Instability
Very limited exchange risk since the euro is a major currency.
Monetary Indicators 20132014201520162017
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.780.780.940.941.13

Source: The European Central Bank - Latest available data.


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
Main International Economic Cooperation
Finland is a member of European Union and European Monetary Union. The EU is firmly committed to the promotion of open and fair trade with all its trading partners and has multilateral agreements and bilateral agreements trade agreements with several countries.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
When importing from within the EU the value of goods more than EUR 10,000, the T2L document if should be presented at the Finnish customs.

From countries other than the EU the following documents should be presented:
- A customs declaration form endorsed by the National Board of Customs in Finland;
- A valuation declaration for imports exceeding the value of EUR 5,045.64;
- A copy of the commercial invoice.

Free Zones
- 4 free zones: Hangon Vapaasatama (Hanko Freeport), Haminan vapaa-alue (Hamina Free Zone), Lappeenrannan vapaa-alue (Free Zone of Lappeenranta), Turun vapaa-alue (Turku Free Zone).
- 4 free warehouse areas (Helsinki, Naantali, Kemi and Oulu ).
For Further Information
Finnish Customs
Ministry of Employment and Economy
Non Tariff Barriers
In accordance with its European Union membership, Finland complies by EU rules and regulations. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there are a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). The Common Agricultural Policy is an application of compensations on import and export of farm products, aimed at favouring the development of agriculture within the EU. It implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.

Restrictions apply to certain items such as products containing alcohol, pharmaceuticals, narcotics and dangerous drugs, explosives, etc. Beef cattle bred on hormones is forbidden to import. The BSE crisis (often called the 'mad cow disease') urged the European Authorities to strengthen phytosanitary measures to ensure good quality of meats entering and circulating in the EU territory. The principle of precaution is now widespread, in case of doubt, the import is prohibited until proof is made of the non-harmfulness of products.
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Agriculture and textiles (at the EU level)
Assessment of Commercial Policy
The Finnish commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

Learn more about How to Export to Finland on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.



National Standards Organisations
Finnish Standards Association (SFS)
Integration in the International Standards Network
The Finnish Standards Association SFS and its standards-writing bodies, the Finnish Electrotechnical Standards Association and Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority are members of the European standards organizations CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. On the international scale, SFS is also a member of the International Organization ISO and IEC.
Obligation to Use Standards
SFS Standards are voluntary documents and are drawn up by technical committees of SFS or its standards-writing bodies. The total number of SFS Standards amounts to over 17,000. The standards proposed by SFS are exclusively voluntary.
Classification of Standards
SFS (or SFS-EN) + 4 or more digits showing the technical area and the rank in the division.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
Respect of voluntary standardization is highly regarded in Finland; it increases sales potential on the market and the acceptance of the product by consumers.
Online Consultation of Standards
National SFS Standards can be acquired in Finland only by going through SFS. Distribution of SFS standards abroad is handled by national ISO member bodies. SFS standards can be viewed in the Catalogue of SFS Standards or downloaded from the online shop of SFS.
Certification Organisations
Finnish Standards Association (SFS)
Associations of Standards Users
Finnish Standards Association (SFS)


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Last Updates: May 2018