Import from countries outside the EU - food of non-animal origin

There are many rules for the import of food products. This page provides information on what to expect when importing products of non-animal origin, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts or spices.

Products of non-animal origin are food products derived from plants. They include cereal grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, spices and mushrooms, as well as different types of drinks.

The products can be raw or processed, such as dried, frozen or tinned.

Importing food is when you buy food from countries outside the EU for sale in Sweden. Before importing a food product, you need to ensure that the product in question is not subject to an import ban. You then need to know whether the food will be subject to border control or not. The vast majority of products of non-animal origin do not require border control.

Read more below to find out whether your food product needs to undergo border control.

If your food product does not require border control, you only need to declare the food product to Swedish Customs. Contact Swedish Customs to find out how to declare the food product you want to import.

Help with imports

There are a lot of factors to bear in mind when importing food. There are specialised companies that help businesses import food, called customs agents or freight forwarders. Search the internet for the words “customs agents and imports” to find examples of customs agents or freight forwarders that you can use.

Import bans on certain products of non-animal origin

Safeguard measures for certain products of non-animal origin

Some foods and products are subject to special safeguard measures. This is often because there is a particular risk associated with these foods. If the food is subject to safeguard measures, border control is required. Keep in mind that which foods are subject to safeguard measures can change. The following foods are currently subject to safeguard measures:

  • Food of non-animal origin from certain countries listed in Regulation 2019/1793
  • Rice and rice products from China
  • Berries and wild mushrooms from Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.

Read about the requirements for these products on the page concerning products of non-animal origin subject to border control.

Products of non-animal origin handled as part of the municipal food control system

Certain products of non-animal origin must be inspected by the regular municipal food control, in the step after border control. These products are currently:

  • Wheat from Canada
  • Almonds from the USA
  • Rice products from the USA

Find out what applies to your particular food product

To find out whether or not your food product is subject to border control, you need the following information about your product:

  • what kind of food product it is
  • the form of preparation (e.g. dried, fresh or frozen)
  • which country the food product comes from
  • the CN code of the product (contact the “Tullsvar” information service of Swedish Customs)

What applies to food products subject to border control

Find out what certificates and analytical reports are needed

When you know that the food you are importing is subject to border control, find out which documents, certificates and analytical reports are needed for your particular consignment. Keep in mind that each time you import the food, it must be pre-notified and undergo border control.

What is a consignment? See the definition of a consignment in Kontrollwiki. 

Planning your transport for border control

It is important to plan early-on how your product will be transported to Sweden. The importing company is always responsible for ensuring that the transport is carried out in accordance with applicable legislation. Food products subject to border control must enter the EU via the border control post where the consignment first enters the EU, which may be Sweden or another EU country.

Prior notification to a border control post

Remember that you must always pre-notify your consignment to the border control post that will carry out the official controls. You must pre-notify the border control post no later than one working day before the consignment arrives in Sweden.

Fee for border control

If you import products of non-animal origin that are subject to border control, you must pay a fee for the border control.

Contact Swedish Customs for customs clearance

Once you have an approved CHED-D (Common Health Entry Document) decision from border control, you should contact Swedish Customs to have the consignment cleared for free circulation in the EU.

Special rules for trade samples

Trade samples are food products that are brought into the country to be tested in various ways but are not intended to reach consumers. If you are bringing in trade samples of a product of non-animal origin that would normally be subject to border control, you may bring in goods up to a net weight of 50 kg of fresh products or 10 kg of non-fresh products without border control. If the weight exceeds this, then the consignment is subject to border control. See Article 1(3) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1793.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture's control of fresh products of non-animal origin

Even foods that are not subject to border control by the Swedish Food Agency may require control by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. The Swedish Board of Agriculture has restrictions on the import of certain fresh plants. In some cases, you must give prior notification of your consignment of fresh products of non-animal origin to both the Swedish Food Agency and the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Read more about the food products subject to control by the Swedish Board of Agriculture on their website.

Phytosanitary certificate and other measures against plant pests when trading plants, plant products and other objects with non-EU countries - Swedish Board of Agriculture

Import of organic products of non-animal origin

If the food you are importing is organic, the rules for importing organic food must also be followed. Prior notification is required for the import of organic food products. Read more about the rules for importing organic food products.

Import of products of non-animal origin for private use

Import of alcohol of purely non-animal origin for private use

Swedish Customs has information on the import of alcohol for private use on its website.

Specific requirements on endangered species – CITES rules

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Reviewed 2024-01-05