Plants, parts of plants, plant products and flowers

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 Authority's website:

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 Finnish Food Authority 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. Until 14 December 2019 you can bring in up to 20 cut orchids without a phytosanitary certificate.

You’ll find more information and instructions on the websites of Finnish Food Authority and Finnish Environment Institute.

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.

Changes to the Council Directive on Plant Health on 1 September 2019 will see changes to the passenger import of berries, fruits and vegetables from Russia. From the beginning of September until 14 December 2019, import from the European parts of Russia for personal use without a phytosanitary certificate is restricted to 3 kilogrammes for, among others, the following goods (the restriction is applied for each product and each traveller):

  • currants and gooseberries
  • raspberries and cloudberries
  • bog bilberries, cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches
  • ·pears

The new list of goods that require a phytosanitary certificate can be found in its entirety, in Finnish and Swedish, on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage.  Berries, fruits and vegetables listed here cannot be imported by travellers at all from the Asian parts of Russia without a phytosanitary certificate.

You will still need to check for possible import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s Guide to Import Bans (in Finnish and Swedish only).

A phytosanitary certificate is not required for mushrooms, and it is therefore still permitted after 1 September 2019 to bring in a maximum of 10 kilogrammes for personal use without testing and radiation controls.

There will be changes to the EU Plant Health legislation on 14 December 2019, and this exception regarding travellers will then no longer apply.

Further information can be found on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage (in Finnish and Swedish).

The right of private persons to bring in seeds is subject to plant health requirements. Read more in Finnish Food Authority’s instruction Import requirements for plants b 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 Finnish Food Authority’s instruction for seed importers and marketers (in Finnish)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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