Plants and flowers
Plants, parts of plants and plant products
The import of plants, parts of plants and plant products from within the EU, from European countries outside the EU and from outside Europe is restricted in order to avoid the spreading of plant pests and diseases. The requirements that apply depend on the plant species, product and the country of origin. There is a ban on the import of certain plant species from non-EU countries.
It is the importer’s responsibility to find out the import requirements. You’ll find the import requirements for plants and plant products on the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira’s website:
- Import requirements for plants brought in by travellers
- Import of fruit and vegetables from non-EU countries
- Fruit, berries and vegetables that require a phytosanitary certificate
Importers of products that require a phytosanitary certificate must be registered with Evira’s plant health register, and Customs inspects the import consignments.
When in doubt, contact Evira to find out if the product can be imported.
The import of endangered plants and products derived from them requires a licence
The import and export of endangered plant species and products derived of them requires a licence. A CITES import permit is required, for example, for hardwood timber products and many species of orchids and cacti.
As for imports from within the EU, a copy of the import permit or re-export certificate or a separate EU CITES certificate is sufficient. The permits must be obtained well in advance before the trip, because they cannot be obtained afterwards. You’ll find more information on the website of Finnish Environment Institute: International trade in endangered species of plants
Points to consider
Even when you bring in orchids for your private use, you’ll need a CITES export permit or a re-export certificate from the country of export as well as an import permit issued by the Finnish Environment Institute for some species of orchids. You’ll also need a phytosanitary certificate if you bring in more than 20 orchids.
A phytosanitary certificate is required for cones of the species pinus spp. and pseudostuga spp. brought in from outside the EU, if they are brought in for propagation. Other cones don’t require a phytosanitary certificate as long as they’re brought in for private use.
You may bring less than 10 kg of forest mushrooms and berries for personal use without sampling or measurement of radiation level.
The right of private persons to bring in seeds is subject to plant health requirements. Read more in Evira’s instruction Import requirements for plants brought in by travellers (in Finnish)
For personal use you can bring in 200 g of seeds from European countries outside the European Union. Both from EU countries and from non-EU countries you can freely bring in seeds for which a phytosanitary certificate is not required. Note that in accordance with the Seed Trade Act, it is prohibited to bring in any seeds from Russia. It is also prohibited to bring in any pine and Douglas fir seeds.
You can read about the requirements according to the Seed Trade Act in Evira’s instruction for seed importers and marketers (in Finnish)
- A private person doesn’t need to register as importer in case of a single import transaction where the total amount of the imported seeds doesn’t exceed 200 grams.
- A private person doesn’t need to notify Evira’s Seed Certification Unit of the import transaction if the amount of seeds doesn't exceed 200 grams.
- When private persons bring in seeds, they have to make sure that the import country’s seed certification system corresponds to the EU system according to point 2.2 in the instruction. If the amount of seeds exceeds 200 g, the seed varieties must be listed in the EU’s catalogue of varieties, see Annex 2 to the instruction.
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