Is jaggery allowed in check-in bags for flights going to The Netherlands? If so, how many kilograms one can take? Do we need to declare it at customs?

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    I would not know whether it is allowed but I would suggest if you do not get a good answer to always declare any food on arrival in any foreign country. – Willeke Sep 23 at 9:20
  • I took around 1 kg of powdered jaggery with me to Europe twice and no questions were asked. – RedBaron Sep 23 at 9:22
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    Can you please clarify which country in Europe you are travelling to? Rules may be different if you are entering a EU country (meat/animal product generally prohibited) or some other countries. – B.Liu Sep 23 at 10:02
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    @B.Liu added country name, Its NL – TechJ Sep 23 at 11:06
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    At first glance, it looks like a kilo of unrefined cocaine. You might want to declare it on arrival so that the customs officers don't have see it on the scanners and ask you what it is. – Valorum Sep 23 at 13:10
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Summary: You are very likely to have no problem getting jaggery on-board aircrafts and through customs. Though if asked, you might have to prove they are not restricted products. If in doubt, ask the airline/ declare at the customs - chances are that you will be waved through.

Check-in bags

Each airline can decide what they will/will not carry. For example, KLM restricts animal products but did not mention any plant-derived products. Your airline might impose a different requirement

The weight limit is then what your carrier allow you to bring as part of the check-in luggage and/or carry-on bag allowance.

Customs

The European Commission sets down rules on what and how much one can import into a EU/EEA country (including the Netherlands) from outside. There are described in this page, and this page.

While there are limits on animal products (meat/milk products generally prohibited, weight limit on fishery and other animal products), and restriction on certain wildlife animals or plants and parts thereof are protected by the Convention of Washington (CITES), it is unlikely jaggery, derived from sugar cane, date, and palm sap (common plant species), are restricted, and hence the general import rule for personal luggage applies:

Other goods (including perfume, coffee, tea, electronic devices etc.)

Up to a value of €430 for air and sea travellers [...]

The value on an individual item may not be split up.

The value of personal luggage (i.e. suitcases) and medicinal products for the personal needs of the traveller do not count.

Member States may reduce the above limits to €150 for travellers under 15 years.

Note the €430 limit applies to all good you are carrying with you. Anything over that amount is subject to customs duty and tax. Though if I were to do customs spot check, I will be weary on anyone who brings €430 worth of jaggery with them.

For the sake of completeness, the customs always have the right to do spot checks and enquire about items they are not familiar with - be ready to answer what jaggery are and convince them it is not a animal product, nor part of endangered plant species.

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    be ready to answer what jaggery are and convince them it is not a animal product, nor part of endangered plant species - the best way to do this is, if asked, is simply to declare it as cane sugar (unrefined). This is more likely to be broadly understood than the term "jaggery". – J... Sep 23 at 18:34
  • @J...That is certainly a good way to handle it - I was pushing to the extreme scenario where the customs officials doubt they are actually cane sugar or something similar. – B.Liu Sep 23 at 19:47
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    A brief checks on Amazon shows a kilo can be had for roughly10 EUR so if you carry 430 EUR worth, you are right to be weary. That's a lot of gur. – chx Sep 24 at 4:32

Unless we are talking about endangered species, there are usually no restrictions on imports of plant-based agricultural products for personal use to EU countries.

There is no weight limit either, but there is a monetary limit of 300€ (430€ if entering by sea or air) for all items you bring, which will remain in the EU. If you are below this limit, you don't have to declare anything. If you are above, you must declare the items and pay customs and value added tax.

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