I will take a flight from South America to Europe (with Air France, Colombia-Panama-France-Romania if this info is useful) and I want to bring some seeds from there.

Obviously, I'm not talking about drugs or illegal things but some colorful maize seeds would be great, like these ones or other vegetables.

Is it allowed to do it or it's forbidden?

  • This question is country specific. Mostly it depends on the country you're importing them into (although it's possible some law may restrict exports). Presumably you're flying to France?
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:13
  • @MJeffryes I added details about it
    – Leo Messi
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:32

3 Answers 3


The rules laid down by the EU are available in


To summarise an importer must have a phytosanitary certificate to import plants or plant products. However it does state that there is an exemption for

small quantities of plants, plant products, foodstuffs or animal feed that their owner or recipient will use for non-industrial, non-commercial purposes or consume during transport;

So as long as the OP is not going to use the seeds in a business it seems no certificate is needed.




Please read the entire Answer carefully, I am in not suggesting OP smuggle or break the law in any way. I am also not going to provide references to every country's customs and agriculture rules.

It is not the case that plant materially is unconditionally forbidden, however, this is something that Customs and Agriculture Officials at your destination will have to determine.

Meaning, you can carry plant materials to the border, but upon arrival YOU MUST DECLARE IT AND HAVE IT EXAMINED.

If you declare it and it's not allowed, it will simply be confiscated and destroyed (provided it's not a dangerous or otherwise illegal substance). If you are caught smuggling it, it's a significant fine at the least.


If your destination is an EU country, it's worth looking at the UK rules for plant material (including seeds), which are stated here. As the UK is (for now) still in the EU, these are EU-wide rules.

Under "Personal Allowance" it says that you can only bring in seeds in your personal baggage from other EU countries plus Switzerland, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

The corresponding French rules are here. My French is far from fluent but as would be expected the French rules look at least superficially pretty similar to the UK ones.

Coming from South America, if you want to be sure of staying within the letter of the law I would play it safe and not bring any plant material.

  • The page to which you link states that the OP cannot bring seeds into France from outside the EU. Whether being in transit in the airport counts as into France is not clear.
    – mdewey
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 17:27
  • @mdewey A corncob is arguably a dried vegetable not a seed.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 18:07
  • @mdewey True, but OP does say their destination is Europe. If that is elsewhere in the EU then the EU-wide rules would apply.
    – padd13ear
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 11:51
  • @mdewey: The OP's final destination is Romania, which is an EU member, so the same rules would presumably apply. Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 18:45

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