Not even a single apple allowed 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 entered into force on 14 December 2019.

A phytosanitary certificate is required for

  • seedlings, potted plants, greenery,
  • cuttings, scions, tubers, rhizomes and similar propagation 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.

This means that in future, a person cannot bring in or order as much as one apple or orange from an online store outside the EU without a phytosanitary certificate from the country of departure.

Since it is almost impossible for a private person to get a phytosanitary certificate it means that in practice fresh fruits, berries and vegetables can no longer be brought into the country from outside the EU.

The import conditions have been tightened in order to more efficiently be able to prevent the spread of plant pests in the EU territory.

With a phytosanitary certificate, a maximum of two kilograms of fresh fruits, vegetables and berries can be brought in as passenger imports. When the limit of two kilograms is exceeded, the same procedures are applied as when importing for commercial purposes. 

Customs monitors passenger imports – no sanctions for handing over goods voluntarily 

Customs monitors passenger imports at the border crossing points. Prohibited plants and plant products can be left in rubbish bins at the eastern border crossing points (meat and milk products have their own separate bins), and at the airports they can be handed to customs officials. No sanctions will be imposed for handing over goods voluntarily.   Repeated or serious violation of an import prohibition is punishable.

Points to consider

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