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:
- Import requirements for plants brought in by travellers
- Import of fruit and vegetables from non-EU countries
- Guides to phytosanitary certificates and import bans (in Finnish and Swedish only).
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.
A phytosanitary certificate is required for cones brought in from outside the EU, if they are brought in for propagation. Travellers do not necessarily know whether the cone that they have brought in contains seeds or not, and therefore the Finnish Food Authority and Customs recommend that cones not be brought in from outside the EU.
The new plant health legislation restricts travellers from bringing in plants and plant products from outside the European Union without a phytosanitary certificate. The new legislation will take effect on 14 December.
A phytosanitary certificate is required for:
- seedlings, potted plants, greenery,
- scions, stems, tubers, rhizomes and similar propagated materials,
- seeds for planting,
- cut flowers and branches as well as
- fresh fruits, berries, vegetables and root vegetables.
Of fruits, only bananas, dates durians, pineapples and coconuts are exempted from the certificate requirement.
You will still need to check for possible import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s Guide to Import Bans (in Finnish).
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.
Further information can be found on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage (in Finnish and Swedish).