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Customs: In future, you cannot bring in as much as an apple from outside the EU territory without a phytosanitary certificate

Article published
12.12.2019 at 16:32
Ihmishahmoja Helsinki-Vantaan Länsisiivessä
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 2019.

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.

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.

“Since it is almost impossible for a private person to get a phytosanitary certificate it means that fresh fruits, berries and vegetables can no longer in practice be brought into the country from outside the EU”, says Senior Customs Officer Tiia Sulander-Seppänen.

“The import conditions have been tightened so that we can prevent the spread of plant pests more efficiently in the EU territory”, says Senior Officer Sari Haikola from the Finnish Food Authority.

“Travellers should learn to think in a whole new way when it comes to bringing in goods. Some travellers are well aware of the fact that meat and milk products cannot be brought into Finland from outside the EU. Now the restrictions are expanding to include berries, fruits and vegetables among others”, Sulander-Seppänen points out.

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.

Source: Customs

Visit customs webpage.

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