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Animal Products Imports for Personal Consumption - Advice for Travellers and Passengers


1. Intra-Community Travel

In the case of passengers travelling to this country from another Member State of the EU - as well as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway & San Marino and Switzerland animal products may be brought to Ireland for personal consumption. See also 2.III below.

2. Third Country Travel

To ensure the protection of animal and public health the EU has laid down conditions  governing the introduction into the EU of animal products by means of personal baggage for the purposes of own consumption (see footnote (i) below).

I.  Meat & meat products, milk & milk products in personal luggage are prohibited unless:

a) The product does not exceed 10 kg per person and originates in one of the following countries:

Faeroe Islands

b) It is one of the following:

Powdered infant milk
Infant food
Special foods for medical reasons;

c) It is a special pet feed required for medical reasons

and, in each case above, it is a proprietary brand, the packaging is unbroken and does not require refrigeration (unless it is in current use) and the amount does not exceed 10kgs per person. See also III below.

II. Small quantities of certain other animal products may be imported for own consumption

(a). Up to 2kgs of Fishery Products, e.g. fresh, dried, cooked, cured or smoked fish, and certain shellfish, such as prawns, lobsters, dead mussels and dead oysters.

(b) For Fresh Fish up to 20 kgs or the weight of one fish, whichever is the greater, may be imported as a personal import provided the fish is eviscerated and is appropriately wrapped and transported to ensure food safety.  

The restrictions at (a) & (b) do not apply to fishery products from the Faroe Islands or Iceland.

(b) Other animal products (e.g. honey, live oysters; live mussels and snails) provided that the amount does not exceed 2kgs per person (or 10kgs per person in the case of Croatia, the Faroe Islands, Greenland or Iceland)

Small quantities from several of the categories above may be brought in provided they comply with the provisions above.. See also III below

III  General conditions applying to products of animal origin from countries mentioned at 1 & 2 above.

  • The country of origin must be EU approved for trade/export of the animal product. (see footnote (ii) below)
  • The  establishment of origin must be approved and listed for export to the EU by the competent authority of the country of origin (see footnote (ii) below).
  • The animal product must not the subject of an EU Safeguard Decision banning importation due to an animal disease outbreak or public health risk in the country of origin.
  • The animal product must be appropriately wrapped and labelled as to the establishment of origin (e.g. a health mark).

3. Offence

Travellers from third countries must immediately surrender for inspection any non-conforming  products to officers of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  (DAFF) or to Customs Officers at the point of entry into the EU. Products identified as being in breach of the EU provisions will be seized and destroyed.

It is an offence to import for personal consumption an animal product that does not comply with these restrictions and, on conviction, is punishable by fine of up to €3,000 or imprisonment or both. A charge will be levied in respect of the safe destruction of any animal products that have been seized.

A requirement of EU & National legislation is for travel operators to bring the conditions at 2 above to the attention of all travellers to the EU coming from third countries. The EU Commission has also published information notes and posters that may be accessed from its animal health and welfare information web site (see footnote (iii) below).

4. Conditions governing the importation of animal products from third countries

For import of consignments of animal products, including quantities greater than the maximum allowed for personal consumption detailed at 2 above,  the importer is required to:

  • Give the EU approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) where it is intended to import the animal products at least 24 hours advance notification of import. BIPs in Ireland are located at Shannon Airport and Dublin Sea Port.
  • Present the consignment at the BIP  for veterinary checks to establish that it has:
  • Come from an EU listed third country, for which no safeguard measures are in place, and
  • Come from an EU approved establishment (listed for the relevant product), and
  • Is accompanied by appropriate model of Health Certificate(s) signed off by the competent authority of the country of origin.
  • The animal product also must be appropriately wrapped, transported and labelled with regard to its approved establishment of origin.
  • The importer is required to register with DAFF and pay an inspection fee.

4. Precaution

Food products imported as personal baggage should never be fed to any animals / fowl whether wild or domesticated. It is important that any leftover or unwanted food is disposed of properly in refuse bins and in such a way that this food is not picked up subsequently by birds or scavenging animals.

If you have any queries on these matters please contact:

Animal Products Import Section
Food Safety Liaison Division
Agriculture House
Kildare St
Dublin 2

Tel: 00-353-1-6072896
Fax: 00-353-1-6072513

Food Safety Liaison Division

October 2010

(i) Commission Regulation (EC) No 206/2009 implementing the provision of Article 8 (5) of Council Directive No. 2002/99/EC laying down the animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption, Articles 3 (5) and 16(3) & (4) of Council Directive No. 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997 on the principals governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries and Article 25(2)(c) & (d)  of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls to verify compliance with food and feed law.

(ii) Details of approved countries, the animal products they are approved to trade in and the establishments approved for export to the EU may be accessed through  the E Commission's SANCO Directorate website.

(iii) For further information on personal import rules please refer to the EU Commission's web site: