As a rule, the importation of food intended for private use or consumption by the receiver is permitted. This also applies to goods in private gift parcels. However, the introduction of certain food into Germany is often limited or even generally prohibited due to specific regulations. This, for example applies to:
from Eastern Europe
Since the Tschernobyl reactor catastrophe, for more than 10 years the permissible radioactive level of many mushrooms from Eastern Europe has been exceeded by far. Therefore, the importation of such mushrooms is only permitted upon previous inspection by the competent food quality control authorities and on submission of the prescribed export certificate.
However, mushrooms in a quantity not exceeding 2 kilos and intended for private consumption may by imported without any restrictions.
Due to the risk of the spread of bacterial ring rot of potato, the importation of potatoes even in small quantities in passenger traffic is absolutely prohibited.
Due to the endangering of all species of sturgeon, the importation of caviar is prohibited. For the importation or exportation of caviar - according to annex B of the EC regulation regarding endangered species - for private consumption 125 g per person are allowed.
food of animal origin
Due to regulations regarding the prevention of animal diseases, there are further restrictions for these products. Among others, this applies to meat and meat products, game, milk and milk products as well as to eggs.
means of food
Because of their ingredients or presentation, certain supplementary means of food such as vitamins in highly measured doses or ginseng roots would come under the German Medicines Act. Therefore, the importation of goods like these in passenger traffic is limited to normal private needs. In postal traffic, the importation is generally prohibited.
If the permissible limits mentioned above are exceeded, the importation shall be permitted only on submission of the respectively prescribed certificates. In addition, the importation may be limited to certain (so-called "authorised") customs offices. The clearance authorisation of customs offices is given in the office directory of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
For further questions concerning the importation of food, please contact: