African swine fever occurs in pigs and/or wild boars in territories close to Finland including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Serbia. The disease also occurs elsewhere in the world such as in Africa and China.
What foods may not be imported into Finland?
Import of meat, meat products, milk and dairy products from non-EU countries to Finland by private persons is prohibited
Travellers may not import into Finland food, milk or products made from these from Russia or other non-EU countries. Prohibited items must either be consumed or disposed of before entering to Finland. The same restrictions apply to pet food. Controls to enforce the import prohibition are carried out at Finnish border crossing points.
As an exception to the above, import from Norway, Iceland and Switzerland is subject to the same requirements as import from the EU Member States.
There are restrictions on the imports of the following products of animal origin to Finland:
- infant formula, infant food and special foods required for medical reasons. The maximum permitted import is 2 kg. The products must be packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer, the packaging must be unbroken (unless in current use) and the products must keep in room temperature;
- fresh, prepared or processed fish, shellfish and fish roes. The maximum permitted import quantity is 20 kg. Alternatively, one eviscerated fish may be imported without a weight restriction;
- the maximum permitted combined weight of other products of animal origin, such as honey, frogs’ legs, snails and eggs is 2 kg.
The following foods may be freely imported without restriction for personal or family consumption:
- confectionery (including sweets), chocolate, bread, cakes, biscuits and other bakers’ wares not mixed or filled with meat product;
- food supplements packaged for the final consumer;
- meat extracts and meat concentrates;
- olives stuffed with fish;
- pasta and noodles not mixed or filled with meat product, such as pelmeni without meat or cheese filling;
- bouillons and spices packaged for the final consumer;
- any other food product not containing any fresh or processed meat or dairy and with less than 50% of processed egg or fishery products.
Can foodstuffs be sent through the post from outside the EU?
It is not allowed to freely import consignments of foodstuffs from outside the EU. The above restrictions and recommendations applying to foodstuffs brought personally into the country also apply to foodstuffs intended for the recipient’s personal use that are sent by post and/or ordered online.
Handling and disposal of food and food waste
Never leave any food waste in nature or accessible by wild animals. Also make sure you never feed any farm animals or pet pigs with food waste. If you have accidentally brought prohibited foodstuffs over the border to Finland, you can eat them. Dispose of any prohibited foodstuffs, their scraps, wrapping paper and packaging as mixed waste. Never place these in a biowaste container or compost them.
If you have been in contact with pigs or wild boars or have visited a farm
If you have visited a farm or domestic animal park in a non-EU country or if you have come into contact with wild boars anywhere do not visit a farm or domestic animal park in Finland or hunt or feed wild boars in Finland until at least 48 hours have elapsed since your return to Finland. Since the ASF virus is easily transmitted by people and goods, you should wash and clean clothes, footwear and equipment worn or used abroad when visiting a farm, for example. Besides cleaning, it is a good idea to keep equipment in a sauna or drying cabinet for a few hours at a minimum of 60°C to eradicate any viruses. Do the same if you have been in an area where other easily transmissible animal diseases occur. Remember to take fire safety into account when doing so.
If you have farm animals or you work on a farm, the Finnish Food Authority advises you to comply with the instructions relating to trips abroad issued by the Association for Animal Health (ETT ry).
For more about the subject:
- Instructions on disease prevention in pig farms (ETT)
- Stop swine fever (ETT)
- Farm visits in Finland (ETT)
If you hunt in non-EU countries
The Finnish Food Authority advises against wild boar hunting trips in areas where African swine fever occurs. The disease occurs in Russia, for example. Hunters should consider other options to hunting wild boar or choose a hunting destination free of African swine fever.
Cleaning of hunting equipment
Pay particular caution and attention when returning to Finland from wild boar hunting trips in Russia, countries in other eastern parts of Europe or in Africa, for example. African swine fever or some other easily transmissible animal disease may spread to Finland because of dirty equipment. The risk of animal diseases spreading applies also to the hunting of other animals than wild boar. The Finnish Food Authority recommends anyone who has been on a hunting trip abroad to thoroughly clean hunting clothes, equipment and dogs before returning to Finland.
Imports of quarry into Finland
Private imports into Finland of meat from game are not allowed. Only meat that has undergone a veterinary border inspection may be imported into Finland from non-EU countries. Likewise, all commercial imports of meat are subject to veterinary border inspection.
Hunting trophies or souvenirs such as horns or hides may be imported into Finland subject to certain restrictions. Trophies must have undergone complete technical treatment to ensure their preservation at ambient temperatures. It is not allowed to import untreated hunting souvenirs. Imports must take into account the requirements of CITES, which regulate trade in endangered animal species. Restrictions due to animal diseases may also prevent import.