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Traveller imports and online orders of food supplements

Food supplements comprise dietary additions such as vitamins, fatty acids and lactic acid bacteria, as well as herbal, algae and bee products. 

Food supplements can be classified as foods or medicines. The classification determines if you are allowed to import or order a food supplement to Finland.

If the product is a medicine, study the restrictions involving medicines. If the product is not a medicine, study the instructions on food supplements on the Finnish Food Authority website (in Finnish).

If you order food supplements online or bring them with you from a trip, it is 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. 

Note that acquiring food supplements from abroad is not necessarily safe. For example, it may difficult to know the contents and effect of a food supplement that you order on the Internet.

Classification varies in different countries

There are differences between various countries as to what products comprise food supplements and medicines. A product that may be advertised as a food supplement in another country or on the Internet may be a medicine in Finland. In Finland, Fimea decides whether a substance or a preparation is classified as a medicine.

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The concise instructions on this page are meant to answer only the most frequently asked questions. Check the Food Authority and Fimea websites for detailed instructions. 

Other things to note