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Old January 15th, 2016, 03:15 AM   #14141
Eulanthe
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Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
For example, there is a customs line inside Finland: The regional border of Ahvenanmaa and the mainland Finland. On the roads Hummelvik-Kustavi and Hummelvik-Korppoo, there are absolutely no indication on this border, and no customs offices. Still, if you have something to declare, you must find out how to manage.
From memory, isn't the Aland-Finland Customs border effectively meaningless because the VAT rate in Aland is identical to the mainland Finland one? So - as a result - there's no need to have customs offices on those roads as you can't buy the goods VAT-free anyway? I don't know where the border is between mainland Finland and Aland, but if it's always a maritime border, I assume the ferries simply don't bother to sell VAT-free goods on those roads?

There are VAT-free sales between Aland and Finland on the ferries, but you're required to make a declaration in the ports aren't you?

edit : just checked, and Alandstrafiken don't do VAT-free sales on their ferries. I assume that means that there's no need to make a declaration on the border between Aland and mainland Finland when using Alandstrafiken.

Is there any difference between Aland/mainland Finland when it comes to fuel taxes for instance?

edit2 : I was curious, so I tried to find some more information on the subject. It seems that Matti is correct - there's no sign of any customs stations between Finland/Aland, and the ordinary tourist would never know that he needs to declare imports from Aland. But how on earth can someone do so if there are no facilities for doing so? It's a very strange state of affairs. The only thing I can think of is that Aland has the same taxation as mainland Finland, so Finland isn't bothered by people buying stuff there and then importing it into Finland (as long as it's not on the sea/air routes).

edit3 : Found out how it works in practice. The Finnish customs authorities have set up a system in which you submit the documents either online before transporting goods, or you submit them in Mariehamn, Langnas, at Mariehamn airport or on the Aland ferries that cross the fiscal border to mainland Finland. There's a simplified control between Aland and the Finnish mainland, so bureaucracy is effectively minimal and hence no need for customs posts. In addition, the Finnish tax authorities collect the same taxes on Aland as in the Finnish mainland, so there's no real need for any customs posts except in the harbours (to deal with duty free sales on the ferries).

Last edited by Eulanthe; January 15th, 2016 at 11:09 AM.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #14142
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It's on purpose that Ålandstrafiken doesn't have tax free shops. They are a taxpayer-subsidised service for the minor island municipalities between Åland Proper and the Finnish mainland, that otherwise lack road connections; they don't want to compete with commercial services (namely Tallink Silja and Viking Line) directly between Åland Proper and the mainland. The ferries are relatively small and there should always be space for archipelago residents themselves, and that's why through-travelling tourists are not wanted.

As for Tallink Silja and Viking Line, there are customs posts in Helsinki and Turku harbours as well as Stockholm. Random checks occur.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 01:09 PM   #14143
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What's interesting is that no-one has established a ferry from the mainland to Aland for the sole purpose of selling duty-free booze and cigarettes. There already exists one such service between Poland and Russia that does exactly that - with on-board booze sales and tax free sales, people just get on board, get completely drunk on cheap-ish booze and try and smuggle stuff back into Poland.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 01:42 PM   #14144
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It's on purpose that Ålandstrafiken doesn't have tax free shops. They are a taxpayer-subsidised service for the minor island municipalities between Åland Proper and the Finnish mainland, that otherwise lack road connections; they don't want to compete with commercial services (namely Tallink Silja and Viking Line) directly between Åland Proper and the mainland. The ferries are relatively small and there should always be space for archipelago residents themselves, and that's why through-travelling tourists are not wanted.

As for Tallink Silja and Viking Line, there are customs posts in Helsinki and Turku harbours as well as Stockholm. Random checks occur.
You are messing up with things. The customs line is there because Ahvenanmaa is excluded from the EU VAT Area. Any goods crossing the line is subject to regulations related to Non-EU export ant import and subject to customs declaration. The question whether the ferry operator sells booze or not, is irrelevant here.
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Old January 19th, 2016, 03:03 AM   #14145
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Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
What's interesting is that no-one has established a ferry from the mainland to Aland for the sole purpose of selling duty-free booze and cigarettes. There already exists one such service between Poland and Russia that does exactly that - with on-board booze sales and tax free sales, people just get on board, get completely drunk on cheap-ish booze and try and smuggle stuff back into Poland.
I love Polish culture
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Old January 19th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #14146
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This info fits here.




I was tasked with retrieving an English gentleman at the CPH/Kastrup Airport yesterday.
And on the way back only 2 of more then 10 pre-pay lanes where opened and there where 3 armed police officers at each lane, took 10 minutes with cues to clear..
They where opening all closed compartments and grilling all ppl in each car about intent for visiting etc.
My guy was surprisingly "grilled" even as he had a fancy name with British passport and his bag was still with the airport tag on it + a blonde Swede driving.
Anything to declare? Nah just got out of an airport stupid!
Schengen really is dead!!

Europeans getting caught human trafficking every day now, a 25 German lady was arrested for giving a 16YO girl a ride from Berlin to Trelleborg.
Danish taxi drivers try their luck and getting arrested as well.

Guy arrested for smuggling guy in stolen rubber dinghy

Refugees tried to cross Öresund bridge on foot
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Old January 19th, 2016, 04:27 PM   #14147
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What's interesting is that no-one has established a ferry from the mainland to Aland for the sole purpose of selling duty-free booze and cigarettes. There already exists one such service between Poland and Russia that does exactly that - with on-board booze sales and tax free sales, people just get on board, get completely drunk on cheap-ish booze and try and smuggle stuff back into Poland.
Well, not sole purpose, but the ferries between Finland and Sweden are for a large part used exactly for that.

The return trip Turku-Stockholm-Turku takes 23 hours. If someone doesn't want to go the whole way, it's possible to get off on Åland and change to the ferry going to opposite direction; this takes 11 hours in total.

A more expensive alternative is Helsinki-Stockholm-Helsinki, which takes 41 hours, involving two nights on board and a possibility to spend 7 hours in the destination. This is more expensive not only because of the longer time, but also because everything on board costs more. These services also stop on Åland, on a very unpleasant time though, but making tax free sales legal nevertheless.
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Last edited by OulaL; January 19th, 2016 at 04:41 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2016, 04:46 PM   #14148
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EDIT: off-topic, deleted
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Old January 19th, 2016, 05:31 PM   #14149
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Wasn't the Viking Line ship that runs between Stockholm and Helsinki nicknamed "The F*cking Boat", because of the booze and sex parties that take place aboard?
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 19th, 2016, 06:28 PM   #14150
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Wasn't the Viking Line ship that runs between Stockholm and Helsinki nicknamed "The F*cking Boat", because of the booze and sex parties that take place aboard?
I haven't heard, but that doesn't mean it isn't so.

What I have heard is "porauslautta", literally "drilling ferry", which is the actual term for an oil drilling platform but also used in the meaning which you refer to (though not necessarily Viking and not necessarily Helsinki route). Warning: not suitable for official or otherwise politically correct speech.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 03:00 PM   #14151
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Motaain-Batugade Border Crossing between Indonesia and Timor Leste

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Old January 22nd, 2016, 05:33 PM   #14152
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Well, not sole purpose, but the ferries between Finland and Sweden are for a large part used exactly for that.

The return trip Turku-Stockholm-Turku takes 23 hours. If someone doesn't want to go the whole way, it's possible to get off on Åland and change to the ferry going to opposite direction; this takes 11 hours in total.
That's what I mean - those ferries do it, but it's a long time to spend just to buy cheap alcohol. In comparison, Turku to the port in Vuosnainen (for Aland ferries) is only 90 minutes by car, and you'd think a non-landing booze cruise would make perfect sense there.

But come to think of it, isn't there some law about how long you have to be out of Finland for before you can benefit from tax free sales?
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 05:35 PM   #14153
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Wasn't the Viking Line ship that runs between Stockholm and Helsinki nicknamed "The F*cking Boat", because of the booze and sex parties that take place aboard?
Silja Line does. Had all the booze and sex in the world the number of times I used it...
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 09:17 PM   #14154
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I've done that route once in each direction on the Viking line, I didn't see anything like that but I did see lots of Japanese people playing cards in the corridors.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 12:20 AM   #14155
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But come to think of it, isn't there some law about how long you have to be out of Finland for before you can benefit from tax free sales?
20 hours, but it doesn't apply to Åland, and it doesn't apply to any place of departure when flying.

Even if it is not explicitly stated, this practically means that it only applies to Russia. All other countries close enough to be reached within 20 hours by means other than flying are members of EU or EEC.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 01:23 AM   #14156
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In this case, isn't there a huge market opportunity for someone to open up a ferry route to Aland from Vuosnainen to take advantage of tax free sales?

There's another comparable situation with the German island Heligoland - http://www.dw.com/en/bargain-hunting...and/a-17792274

I seem to remember seeing daytrips to Aland being offered in Stockholm as well, and it was clear that they were booze cruises. So why on earth hasn't anyone set up a ferry connection on the shortest route between mainland Finland and Aland?

(interestingly - there's also Customs control in Eckero harbour on Aland - https://www.google.com/maps/@60.2251...8i6656!6m1!1e1 ) - and the boat to Grisslehamn sells plenty of tax-free booze.

Last edited by Eulanthe; January 23rd, 2016 at 01:29 AM.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 01:39 AM   #14157
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Silja Line does. Had all the booze and sex in the world the number of times I used it...
Is it good sex or the other kind
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 09:41 AM   #14158
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In this case, isn't there a huge market opportunity for someone to open up a ferry route to Aland from Vuosnainen to take advantage of tax free sales?
One reason could be that the price difference is not so high. The only tax we are talking about is VAT, which is 24 %. Since Åland belongs to Finland, all the other taxes (particularly alcohol tax itself) are the same.

As far as I know the only countries where booze is more expensive than in Finland are Sweden and Norway, and indeed, there is some degree of "vodka tourism" on the borders of these. For some part the Eckerö-Grisslehamn line takes advantage of this. However, it is also the shortest connection between Åland and Sweden and useful as such.

(EDIT: typo corrected)
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 10:21 AM   #14159
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One reason could be that the price difference is not so high. The only tax we are talking about is VAT, which is 24 %. Since Åland belongs to Finland, all the other taxes (particularly alcohol tax itself) are the same.

As far as I know the only countries where booze is more expensive than in Finland are Sweden and Norway, and indeed, there is some decree of "vodka tourism" on the borders of these. For some part the Eckerö-Grisslehamn line takes advantage of this. However, it is also the shortest connection between Åland and Sweden and useful as such.
Norwegians get drunk in Sweden, the Swedish in Denmark and the Danish in Germany. Germans get drunk anywhere...
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 09:56 PM   #14160
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Wasn't the Viking Line ship that runs between Stockholm and Helsinki nicknamed "The F*cking Boat", because of the booze and sex parties that take place aboard?
The ferries between Finland and Sweden have zillions of nicknames. They are a very important part of the Finnish folklore.

In reality, they are not ferries but luxury cruising ships carrying cargo and vehicles. As they are for 2000-3000 people, there are activities for everyone: silent travelers, truck drivers, disco youngsters, families, elderly explorers, bar flies, gourmet hawks, etc.

The Turku-Stockholm trip takes about 10.5 hours one way. Thus, it is possible to make a one-day cruise without landing at the opposite city. The Helsinki-Stockholm route takes longer, and the cruise needs two nights. The time table allows a few hours's visit at land.

Most of booze-intensive partying has moved to the Helsinki-Tallinn route.
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