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Retail licenses for tobacco and nicotine products

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

To retail tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids, you must apply for a licence from the municipality in which the retail site is located. The retail sales licence only concerns the place of sales for which it was applied.

For wholesale of tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids, you must submit a notification to the municipality in which the wholesale site is located.

There is a national application form and guidelines for applying for a retail sales license for tobacco products, which are maintained by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

The electronic and paper application form are both available on Valvira's website.

Do the following

Submit an application for a retail sales licence or a wholesale notification for tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids to the municipality in which the sales site is located. If the sales is carried out in a vehicle, submit the application to your home municipality.

The application must include

  • your or your company’s name and contact information in Finland, your personal identity code or business ID and the address of the sales site
  • an account of the products the licence application concerns
  • information regarding the compulsory own-check plan
  • an account of the number and location of sales points in the sales site
  • an account of the disposition of the tobacco products, tobacco substitutes, smoking accessories, electronic cigarettes and nicotine-containing liquids in the sales site.

To whom and on what terms

Prerequisites for granting a retail sales licence:

  • the applicant is of age
  • the applicant presents an own-check plan that fulfils the set regulations
  • the applicant has not had a licence in accordance with the Tobacco Act permanently revoked during the past two years
  • the retail site for which the licence is applied is not located in an area used by children and youths (for example at a school).

The licence for retailing tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids will not be granted for operations that contradict the Tobacco Act, or if the retail site cannot be supervised by the municipal authorities.

The wholesale of tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids requires submitting a wholesale notification to the municipal authority supervising the Tobacco Act.

The person selling the products under the Tobacco Act must be over 18 years old. However, a person younger than this is permitted to sell tobacco products, if the sales activity is carried out under the supervision of a person over 18 years of age. The person of age must have a constant visual contact to the underage salesperson.

Selling tobacco products, nicotine-containing liquids, tobacco substitutes, smoking accessories and electronic cigarettes to a person under 18 years of age is forbidden. An entrepreneur practising sales of products under the Tobacco Act must have an own-check plan to monitor the age limits.

If the entrepreneur has established itself in another country in the European Economic Area and temporarily offers services in Finland, the same permits are required as from entrepreneurs established in Finland.

A fee is charged for the service.

The municipality collects a fee for processing the licence application or notification as per the charge it has accepted. In addition, the municipality collects an annual inspection fee for each sales point as per the charge it has accepted.


Deadline

The application for the licence for retailing tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids must be filed in sufficient time before opening a new sales site. Tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids cannot be sold before the municipal authority has granted the licence for retailing. The wholesale of tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids can begin immediately after submitting the notification.

Processing time

The authority aims at processing the licence application approximately within a month. If the application is defective, an additional account will be requested and the processing prolongs.

Period of validity

The licence for retailing tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids can be granted for an indefinite or fixed term. The licence will be granted for a fixed term, if the nature of the operations so requires. The wholesale notification is valid for an indefinite term or until the entrepreneur notifies the municipal authority of terminating the operations.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 9/27/2020