Food supplements can be classified as foods, over-the counter products or medicines. Restrictions and prohibitions apply to the import of medicines.
- If you order food supplements online or bring them with you from a trip, it’s your responsibility to find out from Fimea, whether the product is classified as a medicine in Finland. By checking this in advance, you can be sure that you will not commit a medicine violation or a medicine offence.
You may have to pay excise duties, such as excise duty on soft drinks, on a food supplement you have ordered online, if it is not a food supplement in accordance with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Decree (in Finnish).
The classification of products as medicines varies in different countries
A product can be sold as a food supplement in some countries and as a medicine in others. In Finland, Fimea decides whether a substance or a preparation is classified as a medicine. A product can be classified as a prescription medicine, over-the-counter medicine or, based on international conventions, as a narcotic.
What are food supplements?
Food supplements include e.g. products designed for the intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre and fatty acids as well as certain herbal, algae and bee products.
Read more about food supplements on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.