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.

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

  • A phytosanitary certificate is required for all live plants and parts of plants imported from outside the EU. The phytosanitary certificate is issued by the authority of the sending country if the products sent meet the EU requirements.

  • A phytosanitary certificate is required for all
    • living plants (seedlings, potted plants, house plants etc.)
    • cuttings, grafts, tubers and other plant propagating material
    • perennial flower mats, forest floor turf, etc.
    • seeds for sowing
    • cut flowers
    • fresh fruit, berries, vegetables, root vegetables and herbs
      • the following fruit are an exception as they do not require a phytosanitary certificate: pineapple, banana, durian, coconut, dates

  • Wood: see the list below of products requiring the Phytosanitary Certificate.

  • Pay attention to the special requirements for plant propagation material
  • Additional information on products requiring a phytosanitary certificate and the requirements when imported to the EU:

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. 

  • Import as express cargo is allowed through the following companies: DHL, Posti, UPS.

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

  • Use the form for ordering an import inspection (in Finnish) to notify the plant inspector of the consignment that is imported.
  • Please note that an import inspection is performed for all live plants, propagating material and other goods that require a Phytosanitary Certificate, if a reduced inspection level has not been approved for them. The inspection is a subject to a charge.
  • Enter the CHED number obtained from the Traces system to the notification.
  • You will find the inspection fees in the price list (in Finnish). See kasvinterveys ja taimiaineistot > tuonti- ja vientitarkastukset.


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 1/10/2024