This might be a weird question, but as an antkeeper I'm curious about any rules regarding bringing ants on a plane. In this particular case: on a flight from Albania to Belgium, but any broader answer is also very helpful.
I tried checking all the prohibitions on major airlies in the EU, but could find no rules regarding insects in luggage. Nor could I find any EU restrictions on import of insects. So if it were just me, I'd take the risk and bring'm with me, and if I get questions I'd just try to explain what I'm doing. However... in this case it's not me who's traveling to Albania, but a close friend of mine who wants to take some ants home for me. To make matters even worse: that friend is a teacher accompanying a group of kids. I do NOT want her to get into trouble with customs while boarding the plane. That'd be a catastrophe.
So I wonder where I could find the rules regarding bringing ants on a plane from Albania to a EU country. I'm assuming there's three things I need to keep in mind:
- export laws (and wildlife preservation laws) of Albania
- import laws (and biosecurity laws) of the EU country of destination (Belgium in this case)
- prohibitions of items in luggage of the airline
Yet, I'm struggling to find info. And also from fellow antkeepers I'm struggling to find information.
Some extra remarks, because I'm expecting concerned responses to this question:
- The ant will be contained in a test tube. It will not be able to escape.
- As antkeepers, obviously we are aware that bringing invasive species over can be damaging to the environment, and this is something we always keep in mind. Measures will be taken, even though in this case (Albania->BE) the risk is minimal.
- I think a lot of users of this website are US-citizens. In the US the laws regarding this topic are very clear, and are very strict. However, keep in mind that in the EU this is not the case. Sale of ants (even across borders) is not prohibited and perfectly legal. There's a couple of EU countries (such as Spain) that have some additional laws, but even those do not pose an actual barrier when shipping ants to other EU countries).