Frequently asked questions

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions concerning the import of plants and plant products from non-EU countries.

1. Which plants can be imported to Finland?

Answer: Plants and plant products not prohibited from import to Finland can be imported from non-EU countries. Imported goods must not host harmful plant diseases or pests. If you are planning to import plants or plant products, you should determine well in advance whether the import of the goods in question is permitted and which plant health requirements apply.

2. Which plants cannot be imported to Finland?

Answer: For instance, the import of fire blight host plants (such as apple trees, pear trees, cotoneasters, rowans, hawthorns, juneberries, and flowering quince), conifers, potatoes, citrus trees and soil is not permitted to Finland from non-EU countries. A full list of import prohibitions is available via the links on the right (import instructions).

3. What is a phytosanitary certificate?

Answer: A phytosanitary certificate is a document granted by plant health authorities in the country sending the goods, whereby the authority certifies that the shipment meets the requirements of the destination country and is free from harmful plant diseases and pests. Before issuing the certificate, the authority of the country of origin establishes that the imported plants do not host pests or plant diseases and that they meet other requirements specified by the destination country.

4. Which plants require the Phytosanitary Certificate?

Answer: The certificate is required for instance for plant propagation material, potted plants, cut flowers and vegetables of certain species, coniferous wood and some types of hardwood. A list of products requiring a phytosanitary certificate is available on the Instructions page.

5. How does one register with Evira’s plant health register?

Answer: You can apply for registration with Evira’s plant health register by sending a completed application form to your regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-centre). Registration is free of charge.

6. How should I act when importing plants with a phytosanitary certificate to Finland?

Notify your regional plant health inspector at Evira or ELY-centre of the imported batch, at the latest upon the arrival of the shipment. If you wish the inspection to be performed immediately after the arrival of the shipment, submit a notification on the previous working day. See the link on the right for the contact information of plant health inspectors.

7. Must one register with Evira’s plant health register if one only imports one shipment?

Answer: The occasional import of one shipment does not require registration. Registration is required for regular import activity only.

8. Are certificates and inspections subject to a charge?

Answer: The phytosanitary certificate is subject to a charge in most countries. Its price varies per country. Import inspection in Finland is also subject to a charge. Prices of inspections are listed under Import inspections.

9. What does an inspection involve?

Answer: The plant health inspector examines the imported products to establish whether they are free of pests and plant diseases and whether they meet other import requirements. If necessary, the inspector will take samples for testing at the Evira laboratory. In such a case, the imported batch will await the arrival of the results before the importer can take possession of it.

10. What happens if pests are found in the imported products?

Answer: If the imported products are found to host banned pests, the plant health inspector will issue an import prohibition decision concerning the products. Such a decision can be made for other reasons too, if the batch documents or the products themselves fail to satisfy other requirements set for import. The decision will specify measures concerning the imported batch, to be carried out by the importer at his/her own cost.