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Import of plants

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) functions as the official national plant protection organization of Iceland is responsible for maintaining plant health and ensuring seed quality. 

Iceland has implemented the legislation of the European Community on seeds but has its own legislation on plant health. The Authority gives its opinion to the Ministry of Industries and Innovation on plant health and seed legislation.

Import of plants and plant products

Import requirements for plants and plant products may be found in regulation no. 189/1990 concerning the import and export of plants and plant products with amendments.

According to regulation no. 189/1990, the import of plants and plant products is only permitted if the consignment is accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country and if the plants or plant products fulfill the phytosanitary requirements in the regulation, e.g. free from quarantine pest etc. 

When plants are grown in a country other than the exporting country, the consignment shall be accompanied by a copy of the phytosanitary certificate accompanying the plants to the exporting country, together with a special phytosanitary certificate for re-export from the exporting country. 

Prohibited import of certain plant species

Plants whose importation into Iceland is prohibited (seeds are not included). Unless otherwise stated the prohibition is valid for all countries of origin. The list is derived from Appendix III of regulation no. 189/1990.

  1. Elm (Ulmus spp.)
  2. Birch (Betula spp.)
  3. Pine (Pinus spp.)
  4. Spruce (Picea spp.)
  5. Larch (Larix spp.)
  6. Willow (Salix spp.)
  7. Poplar (Populus spp.)
  8. Fir (Abies spp.) intended for planting.
  9. Other conifers (Coniferae) from countries outside Europe.
  10. Wild plants gathered in the open.
  11. Cucumber, pepper, tomato, and lettuce plants with roots. Lettuce with roots, not intended for planting but ready for consumption, is not included.
  12. Elodea spp.
  13. Rhododendron spp. (except R. simsii) from region where Phytophthora ramorum has been found.   

Hand-baggage and private persons

The following plants and plant products are allowed to import without a phytosanitary certificate. These exemptions do not include wild plants collected in the open, woody plants (with and without roots), including bonsai and potatoes.

  1. Persons travelling between countries are permitted to bring with them the same material as may be sent by parcel post between countries:
    a) Bouquets of cut flowers and branches (up to 25 plants).
    b) Bulbs, corms and tubers from Europe in unopened commercial packaging (up to 2 kg).
    c) A few potted plants (indoor plants) from Europe (up to 3 pieces).
  2. When moving residence from a European country it is permitted to bring potted plants (indoor plants) such as a typical household might have (up to 30 pieces).
Updated 08.11.2023
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