Taking plants into the European Union
There are strict rules and controls on the plant products that can be bought into the European Union (EU). This is because of potentially harmful pests and diseases that could be bought into the region and devastate environment, landscapes, crops and agriculture.
Travelling within the EU
You can bring any plant products into a European country, providing they were grown in an EU country, and are free from pests and diseases and are for your own use and consumption.
The following plants are prohibited if they are intended for planting:
- Plants and seeds of Fraxinus (Ash)
- Pants and seeds of Castanea (Sweet chestnut)
- Plants of Platanus (Plane)
For the purposes of this guide, the following countries are classed as EU countries:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Channel Islands, Cyprus (but only goods from areas effectively controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of), the Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the Vatican City.
For these purposes, Gibraltar and the Canary Islands do not count as being part of the European Union.
Travelling to the EU from a non-EU country
Some products are banned completely, or are restricted by weight and quantity. If you wish to bring in a restricted product, you must obtain the relevant phytosanitary documents from the country where the plant was grown.
Seeds for planting
Does not include potato seeds.
You are allowed to bring 5 x retail packed packets of restricted seeds. However, some seeds are not restricted, but you can contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency for a complete list.
Seeds of Fraxinus (Ash) and Castanea (Sweet chestnut) for planting
These seeds are prohibited to bring into an EU country for planting.
Soil is not permitted into an EU country from a country outside the EU.
Ash, Citrus and Vine plants
These plants are not permitted in any EU country.
Other trees and plants with or without soil
These plants are not permitted in EU countries unless it is a country listed below:
Bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes for planting (excluding potatoes)
From certain countries (listed below), you are permitted 2kg of combined weight per person. If a country is not listed, then they are not permitted.
Cut flowers and foliage
You are permitted one bouquet, of up to 50 stems, of restricted cut flowers. For details of which flowers are restricted, see the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
Parts of trees used as decoration (e.g. wreaths, Christmas trees)
You are limited to a maximum of restricted foliage forming 1 spray, wreath or 1 cut in the countries listed below. Also a Christmas Tree up to 3m in height. In all other countries, this is not permitted.
Natural wood and non-manufactured wood
For the listed countries, you are permitted 5 pieces without bark, each measuring no more than 1m in length. However, certain wood types are restricted - contact the Forestry Commission for more information. If the country is not listed below, you are not permitted it.
The restricted countries for this section are:
Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canary Islands, Ceuta, Cyprus (the area not effectively controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus), Egypt, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamrahiriya, Liechtenstein, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), Melilla, Moldovia (Republic of), Morocco, Norway, Russia (but only parts of – please check), Serbia and Montenegro, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine