I'd like to know if I'm allowed to carry plant saplings and seeds in my check-in luggage when I travel to India via London Heathrow.
I was not able to find the information from Airline site.

I will be travelling in British Airways(Dublin to London) and Air India (London - Mumbai).

  • 3
    It's more likely that this would be determined on a national level, as opposed to an airline/airport. For example, bringing plants and seeds into the US is very strictly controlled (they must be quarantined, etc.) Make sure you can import them into India as well as transiting through the UK. Sep 27, 2018 at 13:34
  • 1
    Depending on the origin of the plants/seeds it looks as if the answer may be ‘yes’ for the Dublin / Heathrow leg assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/… but there are restrictions for India plantquarantineindia.nic.in/pqispub/html/cantake.htm
    – Traveller
    Sep 27, 2018 at 13:34
  • 7
    One more note: make sure you don't try to circumvent the import restrictions: they are there for a reason. Invasive species are bad things. Sep 27, 2018 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


There will, most likely, not be problems when arriving in Heathrow, as your luggage will be send on and the UK immigration and border control will not check it.

Arriving in India it is very likely you will run into problems, but that will depend on the seeds and saplings, their health certificates and whether these seeds and plants are allowed into India.

To make sure the best way is to buy from a good nursery or shop which can give you a 'clean seeds' health certificate for the seed and saplings, and one that is accepted in India. (I am not sure they are around, but if not, it is even harder to import them.)

When arriving in India, declare them to the customs officer or the officer who checks for health and such problems. The customs officer should be able to point you to the right person.

Transporting seeds in luggage is not a problem. Seed is quite sturdy and well packed it can survive a lot more than a flight.
Transporting plants, of whatever age, is harder and saplings are quite tender and may not survive the travel.
It does of course depends on the actual saplings and how you pack them.

Links with more information, from the comment (on the question) by @Traveller.
Ireland to UK.
Into India.

  • 4
    Also note, that whilst the sapling might be acceptable in itself, it may have diseases growing on it which aren't. Or the soil its packed with might have them,
    – CSM
    Dec 20, 2018 at 16:33

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