If the imported vehicle has valid licence plates issued in compliance with the legislation of the country of export, then, as a rule, it also holds a valid motor liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company in the country of export. Therefore, there is no insurance-related reason for not being allowed to use the insured vehicle.
A vehicle available for sale abroad, e.g. in Germany, has probably been struck off the register. In order to be able to drive the vehicle to Finland, it has to have temporary licence plates and motor liability insurance from the country of export.
When buying a car or taking motor liability insurance in the country of export, you should ensure that the insurance is valid for the whole period during which the vehicle is used temporarily without vehicle tax in Finland.
Subject to approval of the public authority in the country of export, the motor liability insurance can be taken in advance in Finland. In such a case, the insurance is valid from the moment the vehicle is purchased. The prerequisite for this is that the insurance company is provided with detailed identification data of the vehicle.
The driver of a vehicle registered abroad should always establish his/her insurance cover. The cover of motor liability insurance issued abroad is usually not as extensive as the statutory motor liability insurance issued in Finland, because it does not include cover for the driver. After an accident, the driver of the vehicle causing the accident may be left without compensation for his/her injuries unless he/she has the additional cover of a voluntary insurance.
If the vehicle's registration is not valid when the vehicle is imported, a transfer permit and Finnish motor liability insurance must be obtained for the vehicle before it is put to use.
By request, the customs can also grant a transfer permit for a vehicle registered in an EU or EEA country It may be necessary to take out Finnish motor liability insurance, for example, in order to ensure that the driver has injury cover.
When the vehicle is imported to Finland, a declaration of use must be submitted to Tax Administration. It allows the imported vehicle to be used in traffic under certain conditions before paying taxes (see the instructions issued by Tax Administration).
In addition to the declaration of use, using the vehicle in traffic also requires a valid Finnish transfer permit and motor liability insurance. Therefore, the insurance required for the transfer permit can either be temporary motor liability insurance or a motor liability insurance granted in advance by a Finnish insurance company.
If the vehicle is not intended for continuous use, the transfer permit and temporary motor liability insurance are taken at the same time for the corresponding period.
The transfer permit can also be obtained for a longer period. It can be obtained either from Customs or from vehicle inspection stations by the person who has already submitted the above declaration of use. The transfer permit can be granted up to the expiry date shown on the declaration of use form. When applying for the transfer permit the customer may use a motor liability insurance taken out in advance instead of temporary motor vehicle insurance.
Motor liability insurance taken abroad and granted for a vehicle fitted with temporary licence plates cannot be used even if it is still valid. This is because registering the vehicle in Finland (Finnish transfer plates) also requires Finnish motor liability insurance.
If the validity of temporary registration or licence plate expires before the vehicle is registered in Finland, a transfer permit must be obtained for the vehicle from a vehicle inspection station. In such a case, the insurance policy to be appended to the transfer permit is printed at an insurance company or at the vehicle inspection station.