Import and export of food
The importer will be responsible for the compliance of the food they import to Finland.
In the EU’s single market, products can usually be moved freely, but the importer will be responsible for ensuring the compliance of the languages used on the labels and other considerations.
Import of animal-source food within the EU
‘Intra-EU import’ refers to imports from one EU member state to another. In the past, the intra-EU imports of animal-source food were called ‘first-arrival activities.’
The intra-EU imports of animal-source food (such as meat, dairy and eggs, fishery products) are controlled as a part of the municipalities’ general Oiva control operations. An operator must inform the Environmental Health Services about import operations in writing at least four weeks before the operations are started or substantially changed.
Forms and instructions:
Animal-source food may only be imported from approved establishments (with the exception of honey and food made of insects).
The intra-EU importer of animal-source food must prepare a sampling and testing plan for the products to be imported and, in their own-checks, pay attention to the requirements of special salmonella guarantees regarding meat and eggs.
Deliveries to Finland that contain raw beef, pork or poultry must include a commercial document regarding salmonella and a laboratory’s testing certificate of salmonella tests performed at the sender establishment. Deliveries to Finland that contain eggs must include an intra-trade certificate.
The importer must comply with the applicable control measures that may prevent food from being imported. See the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for the control measures in place that may restrict trade.
Intra-EU import of pork, boar meat and products made of these has been restricted from several EU countries for the time being to prevent the spread of African swine fever. If you plan to import pork, please verify the current measures regarding African swine fever.
Other import of food from the EU and outside the EU
The Finnish Customs monitors the safety and compliance of imported plant-based food from both within and outside the EU. The import of animal-source food from outside the EU is monitored by the Finnish Food Authority.
Exporting food to outside the EU
Exporting food to outside the EU requires that the products comply with the requirements of the destination country. If you plan to export products outside the EU, find out the destination country’s official requirements, such as the need for approval for the country or establishment regarding your products, and ensure that the products comply with the requirements of the destination and transit countries. Contact the Environmental Health Services well in advance to agree on drawing up a potential export certificate.
The website of the Finnish Food Authority offers more detailed country-specific information of the export requirements.