Postal and parcel services

Postal services in Finland are subject to a universal service obligation. In addition to Posti, other distribution companies may also deliver letters. If you have problems related to the delivery of a letter or a parcel, you may have the right to compensation as the recipient or sender.  

Postal services are statutory universal services

Well-functioning postal services in Finland are secured by a universal service obligation. Posti is obliged to provide postal services and carry letters weighing up to two kilograms in mainland Finland. For parcels, the universal postal service obligation only applies to parcels weighing up to 10 kg sent from Finland to another country as well as registering and insuring these consignments.

Delivery of letters

Customers have a legal obligation to place their mailboxes in a location specified by Posti, the universal service company. If you cannot reach an agreement on the location of your mailbox with Posti, you can turn to your municipality’s building control department.

In addition to Posti, several distribution companies that deliver mail operate in Finland. An invoice you received may have been delivered by a company other than Posti. The distribution identifier found in the letter helps you identify the distribution company.

A notification of forwarding your mail or a change of address given in connection with your official notification of move will only apply to letters distributed by Posti and may not reach all companies that send you invoices.

Under contracts concluded with companies, the consumer is often responsible for providing a new billing address if they move house. If you do not notify a company of the change of address and the invoices are delivered to your old address, you may have to pay additional costs, including overdue interest and debt collection costs.

Delayed, lost or damaged letters

Under the law, the distribution company is liable for losses caused by a delayed, lost or damaged consignment. The compensation amount depends on the extent of the losses, up to maximum amounts defined in the law. However, it is often difficult to obtain compensation for ordinary letters, as the loss of a letter may be difficult to prove.

Delayed letters

If the delivery of a letter is delayed, the right to compensation belongs to the sender or recipient who has suffered losses because of the delay.

The amount of the compensation depends on the extent of the losses but, at maximum, it may be:

  • EUR 50 for an ordinary letter
  • EUR 85 for a registered letter or a letter for which proof of delivery is required
  • EUR 150 for other letters or parcels.


Lost or damaged letters

If a letter is lost, the sender has the right to compensation.
If a letter is damaged while it is being delivered, the right to compensation belongs to

  • the sender until the letter has been handed over to the recipient
  • to the recipient once they have taken delivery of the letter.

The amount of the compensation depends on the extent of the losses but, at maximum, it may be:

  • EUR 50 for an ordinary letter
  • if the consignment was insured, the agreed insured value
  • EUR 340 for other letters.


Receiving and sending parcels

Receiving parcels

The sender, for example an online vendor, is responsible for ensuring that the goods are delivered to you undamaged.

If you notice that your parcel has been damaged during transport, you should

  • document the damage, for example by taking photographs
  • contact the vendor.


Sending parcels

The carrier is liable for goods that are lost or damaged during transport and the losses caused by a delay in delivering the goods. The carrier’s liability is limited to EUR 20/kilogram under the law. This limitation does not apply to losses caused by the carrier’s gross negligence. However, the threshold for finding the carrier’s actions grossly negligent is relatively high.

As a sender, you are responsible for packaging the parcel well enough for the mode of transport you selected. The carrier is not liable for damage to goods if you packaged them carelessly or, for example, selected an unsuitable packaging material.

If you are sending goods that break easily, you should consider purchasing an additional service to ensure that the parcel will be handled as fragile.

When sending valuable items, you should also look into the possibility of insuring the parcel.  If items that are light but valuable, such as a piece of jewellery, are damaged or lost during transport, you may not receive much compensation because of the limitation of the carrier’s liability.

Delayed parcels

  • You should complain about a delay within a reasonable time after receiving the goods.
  • You can demand compensation for losses from the carrier if you can prove that the losses were caused by the delayed delivery. In principle, the compensation is limited to the amount that you paid for transport.
  • If you sent an appropriately packaged item that was spoiled because of the delay, the maximum compensation you can demand for this is EUR 20 per kilogram.

Lost parcels

  • You can complain about a lost parcel if a parcel transported within Finland has not been delivered in 14 days after the agreed delivery period ended. If no delivery period was agreed, a parcel is regarded as being lost if it has not been delivered within 28 days of the carrier collecting it.
  • You can demand compensation for a lost parcel based on the value of the item, however no more than EUR 20 per kilogram.
  • In addition to the value of the goods, you can demand compensation for the freight costs and other costs related to the transport of the goods.

Damaged parcels

  • You should complain about any damage within a reasonable time after receiving the goods. If you let more time pass, proving a causal link between the damage and the transport may be more difficult.
  • The compensation is based on the reduced value of the damaged item, but it cannot be more than the value of the entire consignment. The maximum compensation you can demand is EUR 20/kilogram.

International letters and parcels

Goods ordered from an online store in another country

Before placing your order, you should always read the delivery conditions of the online store and check the location from which the parcel will be sent. All purchases from outside the EU must be customs cleared, and you may have to pay value-added tax. Posti has the right to charge a handling fee for consignments that need to be customs cleared. You should note that a Finnish online store can also deliver goods from a warehouse located outside the EU. So-called dropshipping is becoming more common in online trade. This means that rather than delivering the order from their warehouse, the vendor purchases it from another supplier.

Follow these steps if you have problems with cross-border online purchases:

  • First contact the vendor company to find out what the situation is.
  • If you cannot solve the problem by negotiating, you can contact the European Consumer Centre if the vendor is a company located in the EU/EEA area.
  • The consumer protection authorities have limited possibilities of helping you to solve problems with non-EU companies.

International letters and parcels

In international postal services, designated operators are liable for the loss, theft of damage of registered and insured consignments and ordinary parcels as well as returns of undelivered parcels if no reason for non-delivery has been given. The designated operator in Finland is Posti.

If an international consignment is lost, damaged or stolen, the sender has the right to get compensation. The recipient can only claim compensation for losses if the sender waives their rights in writing for the benefit of the recipient.

Compensation related to international transport is indicated as special drawing rights. This is a currency created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for which the acronym SDR is used.  SDR 1 equals approx.  EUR 1.2 in value.

The liability of a designated operator is determined as follows:

  • a registered letter: at maximum SDR 30
  • an insured letter: at maximum the insured value of the letter
  • a parcel: SDR 40/consignment + SDR 4.5/kg
  • an express parcel: at most EUR 500/consignment.