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Import and export of foodstuffs

Import of foodstuffs from other EU countries

In the EU internal market, free movement of foodstuffs generally applies. There are some exceptions, especially for food of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy etc.). Customs monitors the safety and compliance of imported food of non-animal origin in both the EU's external and internal trade. You can find information on imports of food of non-animal origin on the Customs website (link at the bottom of the page).

Import of food of animal origin from other EU countries

The operator must report the commencement of operations or a significant change in operations no later than four weeks prior to the commencement or change of operations. A monthly report of the foodstuffs of animal origin received from other EU-member states must be submitted.

A change (1397/2019) in Food Act (23/2006) has brought changes in first arrival control. Since the beginning of January 2020 the control of receiving food of animal origin from other EU-member states has been part of the general food control carried out by municipalities. The control is included in the Oiva-inspections.

Received foodstuffs of animal origin must be reported to the Finnish Food Authority once a month. A link to the report form and e-form is found below. 

Notifications of starting, altering or terminating import activities must be sent to the Food safety unit of Helsinki (elintarviketurvallisuus@hel.fi). Notifications are submitted using the form provided below.

Import of foodstuffs from non-EU countries

Food can be imported from outside of the EU if it meets the requirements of the EU legislation and Finnish food legislation and is not subject to import prohibitions. Imports of food of non-animal origin from outside the EU are controlled by Customs. Imports of food of animal origin from outside the EU are controlled by the Finnish Food Authority. More information can be found on the websites of Customs and the Finnish Food Authority, links can be found at the bottom of the page.

Food exports

When exporting foodstuffs made in Finland to another EU country, no export certificates or other permits are usually required. However, the exporter must ensure that for example the food labelling is in accordance with the requirements of the country of destination.

 Exports to non-EU countries require that the products meet the requirements of the receiving country. The website of The Finnish Food Authority contains country-specific information on export requirements (link at the bottom of the page).

 If you need an export certificate for food exports, contact the Food safety unit of Helsinki: elintarviketurvallisuus@hel.fi.

Notification of internal market imports (.docx)







05.05.2020 14:53