Importing plants and plant products from outside the EU

Find out the phytosanitary requirements and the import procedure before importing plants or plant products from non-EU countries. The purpose of these requirements is to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests. A phytosanitary certificate from the authorities of the sending country and an inspection on arrival in Finland are usually required. Imports of some plants are completely prohibited from outside the EU.

Follow the instructions below when you import plants or plant products from outside the EU:

1) Find out whether importing the plants or plant products is allowed

  • Certain plants and plant products are completely banned from non-EU countries as they present a high risk of spreading pests. The ban may apply to all non-EU countries, or only to certain regions. Many deciduous trees and bushes, coniferous plants, citrus trees and potato are subject to an import ban.
  • See all import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s instructions (in Finnish).

2) Find out whether a phytosanitary certificate is required for the consignment and what the import requirements are

A phytosanitary certificate is not needed for the following products:

  • dried seeds and nuts for food use
  • frozen, dried or preserved vegetables
  • other processed plant-based foods, such as coffee, tea, spices and preserves
  • edible mushrooms, mycelia and fungal spores

No phytosanitary requirements are related to importing these products. You can ask Customs for more information on importing plant-based foods:

3) Find out the transport route and place of inspection

  • A consignment requiring a phytosanitary certificate can be imported to Finland only through permitted border control posts. See the permitted border control posts for plants (in Finnish).

  • Consignments imported with a phytosanitary certificate are inspected before they can be declared and used. The inspection is carried out by a plant inspector from the Finnish Food Authority or the ELY Centre. The inspection is usually carried out at the border control point. Under certain conditions, the consignment may be moved to its destination for inspection. Read more about moving a consignment (in Finnish).

  • If a consignment arrives in the EU in another EU country, the inspection is usually carried out at the first EU border in question. A consignment inspected and approved in another EU country may arrive in Finland through any of the border control points. When the consignment arrives in Finland, the importer informs Finnish Customs of the CHEDD-PP number of the consignment in the Traces system. This number enables Customs to see in the system that the consignment has already been inspected. 

4) Register in the necessary registers

5) Start to use the Traces system

  • The importer records all consignments imported with a phytosanitary certificate or other approved certificate in the EU’s Traces system .

6) Notify the consignment in the Traces system

7) Inform the plant inspector of the arrival of the consignment


More information

Import processes for consignments imported with a phytosanitary certificate (in Finnish)

Plant health legislation (in Finnish)

Import instructions for passengers

Ordering plants for the home garden

Ordering seeds for the home garden (in Finnish)


Page last updated 10/12/2022