Bringing in or ordering food and drinks to Sweden as a private individual
If you wish to bring food and drinks from abroad into Sweden, or have them sent to you, there are specific rules that you need to consider. The rules apply to you if you are bringing food or drinks in for your personal use. If a prohibited product is found in your luggage, or is sent to you, it will be stopped by the Swedish Customs.
Food and drinks from other EU Member States
You may bring in any type of food product from other EU Member States, as long as you are doing so for your personal use.
The Canary Islands belong to the European Union, but in the context of plant health, the Canary Islands are considered outside the EU. This means that if you want to bring fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs from the Canary Islands, you will need to follow the same rules as applies to a country outside the EU.
Remember that food and drink can spread diseases and pests
Food and drink products can spread diseases to animals, such as swine fever. They can also spread diseases and pests to plants. This is the case no matter which country the products are coming from.
You therefore need to be careful with how you handle products from other countries. Do not throw food waste in the environment. Use rubbish bins or bring the leftovers back home. This way, you can avoid spreading diseases and pests.
Food and drinks from countries outside the EU
There are strict common EU rules that govern which types of food and drink you are allowed to bring into Sweden, or other EU Member States, from countries outside the EU. The rules are there to prevent the spread of animal diseases and plant pests.
Bear in mind that the United Kingdom is no longer in the EU.
You may bring in all types of food and drink, whether they are plant-based or of animal origin, from other European countries which follow EU rules. This applies to:
- Northern Ireland
You may also bring food products from animals (such as milk, eggs, or meat) from the following countries:
- San Marino
- The Faroe Islands (subject to a weight limit)
- Greenland (subject to a weight limit).
A weight limit applies to the Faroe Islands and Greenland: you may maximally bring in 10 kilos of animal food products in total from these countries.
You may need to pay a customs charge if you bring in food products from the European countries on these lists, as they are not part of the EU customs union. You shall show the products to Swedish Customs at the border, and they will determine whether a charge is due or not.
Certain food products may not be brought into Sweden
The import of certain food products into Sweden, and into the EU as a whole, from countries outside the EU is prohibited altogether. This is the case for certain food and drink products of animal origin as well as plant-based products.
Food products of animal origin may spread diseases such as foot and mouth disease or swine fever. For that reason, many food products of animal origin may not be brought in from countries outside the EU. There are exceptions, however. These exceptions are listed under the heading Food products of animal origin which you may bring into Sweden.
There are also prohibitions against bringing in some fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh parts of plants, if they come from countries outside the EU or the Canary Islands. This applies, for example, to potatoes and grape leaves. This is because the risk is too great that such imports may spread plant pests which are not yet present in the EU, i.e. so-called quarantine pests.
Plant-based food products may require a phytosanitary certificate
The main rule is that all fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and other fresh parts of plants shall have a phytosanitary certificate when they come from a country outside the EU (except Northern Ireland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein).
A phytosanitary certificate is a document issued by the plant protection organisation in the country of origin. The certificate certifies that the plants or parts of plants meet EU requirements on pest freedom. You will probably need to pay a fee to obtain the certificate.
You must have a phytosanitary certificate to bring in
- living parts of plants except seeds, that is, fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and other living parts of plants (with some exceptions)
- wheat, rye, and triticale grain from certain countries.
You do not need a phytosanitary certificate to bring in
- fresh fruits of pineapple, banana, dates, durian or coconut
- dried seeds which are not intended for sowing, such as popcorn, beans and rice
- other dried products such as dried fruit, coffee, tea, spices, and similar products
- frozen fruit, vegetables, and other parts of plants
- processed products such as juice, jam, preserves, biscuits, flour, and similar products.
Watch this video about the rules for bringing e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables from countries outside the EU
This video summarises the risks of pests and what applies when you are bringing plants, including fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs from countries outside the EU.
Products of animal origin which you may bring into Sweden
The import of some food products of animal origin into the EU is considered to be lower risk. You are allowed to bring those food products into Sweden for your personal use.
Products of animal origin of which you may bring in up to 2 kg into Sweden
You may bring in up to 2 kilogrammes of the following food products from countries outside the EU:
- Honey, insects, eggs, snails, live oysters, frog legs, and other food products which are not otherwise prohibited due to containing milk or meat products, or animal fats. The prohibited food products are listed in EU regulation 2019/2122 (Annex I, part 2), which is linked under the heading Regulations.
- Infant formulae, baby foods, and special foods which are required for medical reasons, provided that
- the product does not require refrigeration
- the product is a packaged branded good for direct sale to the end consumer
- the package is unopened, unless it is in use
- the product is intended for use by the passenger.
Eviscerated fresh, prepared or processed fishery products
You may bring in eviscerated fresh, prepared or processed fishery products.
The products may weigh up to 20 kilograms together, or the weight of one fish, whichever weight is the highest. This includes e.g. fresh, dried, prepared, salted, or smoked fish, as well as some shellfish, such as prawns or cooked molluscs.
Food products of animal origin which you may bring in from the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Special rules apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. From these countries, you may bring in
- all types of fishery products, regardless of weight
- products listed under the heading "Products of animal origin which you may bring into Sweden", up to a total weight of 10 kilograms from each of the two groups of products.
- meat products and milk products, up to a total weight of 10 kilograms.
You may be able to bring in other food products as a commercial import
If you want to bring in products or amounts of products which do not qualify under the points above, you may be able to bring them in as a commercial import. To do so, you must first contact the Swedish National Food Agency and the Swedish Customs in good time before the import to find out what requirements apply.
Rules on food products from endangered species
There are further rules if you want to bring in food products from endangered species or species which warrant special protection. This applies to e.g.
- caviar from sturgeon
- bear meat.
The global community has come to agreements to limit the trade in these endangered species in order to protect them and promote biodiversity. The agreement is called CITES. You can read more about the rules for bringing in food products from endangered species on our pages about CITES.
Swedish Customs will stop prohibited food products
If a prohibited product is found in your luggage, or in a postal package, it will be stopped by the Swedish Customs. The same applies if you bring in too much of a product which is subject to a weight limit.
If a product is stopped, the Swedish Customs will either return it to sender or destroy it. This decision will be made by the Swedish Customs.
Sending or bringing food and drink to countries outside the EU
The authorities in the recipient country decide which types of food products you may bring into the country. The country also decides whether you need to present a certificate of some kind.
If you are sending food and drink to someone, you can ask the recipient to find out what requirements apply. Otherwise, you can consult the embassy of the recipient country.
Questions and answers
My relative in another country has sent me a gift, but it was stopped by customs. What can I do?
The Swedish Customs has stopped the gift because it contains food or drink which may not be brought into the EU. This can, for example, be a product which may not be brought in from a country outside the EU, or a product which exceeds the maximum allowable weight.
What you can do is ask the Swedish Customs if they can return the product to the sender. Products which are not returned to the sender will be destroyed.
May I bring meat back from animals which I have hunted abroad?
Yes, you may bring the meat back if it is for your personal use and you have been hunting within the EU or in any of these countries:
- San Marino
- The Faroe Islands.
From Greenland and the Faroe Islands, you may maximally bring back 10 kilograms, which are weighed together with other products of animal origin you are bringing back.
From other countries within the EU and the other countries in this list, you may bring back as much meat as you like for your own personal use.
There may be specific customs rules that you must follow when you bring in meat from the countries in this list. There may also be restrictions on hunting and bringing meat from areas within the EU, if there is an ongoing outbreak of a contagious animal disease.
I want to order food products online. What should I be aware of?
When you want to order food products online, you must first find out from which country the products are going to be sent and whether this is considered within the EU or not. This determines which products you may order and how much you may bring in.
Then you can read further on this page to see what rules apply to the items you wish to order. Only those products which we list as permitted may be imported into Sweden.
How is Norway regarded when it comes to bringing food and drink into Sweden?
The rules for Norway differ depending on whether the food product is of animal origin or if it is plant-based:
- Food products of animal origin from Norway counts the same way as food products from EU Member States. If you bring in large amounts, however, you must pay a customs fee, as Norway is not part of the customs union.
- Plant-based food products from Norway, however, counts as food products from a country outside the EU. If you are bringing in fruit, vegetables, or other plant-based food products from Norway, you must follow the rules that apply to countries outside the EU.
Which areas in the EU do not count as part of the EU when it comes to plant health rules?
The Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Barthémely and Saint-Martin count as countries outside the EU when it comes to plant health rules. If you are bringing plants and plant products from any of these areas, you must therefore follow the rules that apply to countries outside the EU.
Which countries outside the EU are subject to the same plant health rules as other EU Member States?
Switzerland and Liechtenstein have special agreements with the EU which mean that they are subject to the same plant health rules as within the EU.
The United Kingdom has left the EU. However, there is a special agreement to the effect that Northern Ireland follows the same plant health rules as the EU. England, Scotland, and Wales are not part of that agreement, and thus count as countries outside the EU.
Revision date: 2023-03-27