Are you planning a trip to France and thinking about bringing along some plants or plant products? Don’t make any assumptions! Communicable plant diseases cannot be contained at the border, and infected fruits, vegetables, grains and cuttings can harbor pests that risk severely damaging foreign and potentially unprepared ecosystems. The European Union recently updated its importation regulations on January 31, 2015, and here is what you need to know.
The following plant products are strictly prohibited from entering the EU border when coming from non-EU countries:
- Soil, dirt and “growing media” in which plants are grown
- Live plants, including: cuttings, plant roots, potted plants, inedible roods and rhizomes.
- Foliage, leaves and branches
- Seeds and grains
- Fresh citrus fruits and their rinds (except when dried, frozen, ground or cut)
- Wood and bark
- Vegetables and aromatic leaves and herbs (except when dried, frozen, ground or cut)
The following plant products are permitted in quantities reaching up to 5 kilograms (11 lbs) or 5 units/items:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables apart from citrus
- Edible roots and rhizomes without traces of soil
- Peels or bark for culinary or medical use
The following plant products are permitted up to 15 stems or stalks:
- Fresh cut flowers with or without leaves
- Fresh leafy vegetables
- Fresh aromatic herbs (Mint, basil, chervil, thyme, tarragon, chives, sage, coriander)
All plant products that are illegally imported into France will be seized and destroyed, and their possessors will be liable to fines. In the case of any doubts regarding the aforementioned regulations, it is always preferable to contact your your local consulate or embassy.