As far as I can tell, the rules apply uniformly to all of the EU. In my case, I will enter Germany. (The exceptions for Norway, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland, Faroe Islands and Iceland don't apply to me.)

I found the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture's web page, which says:

It is prohibited [...] to introduce meat [...] and products derived therefrom into the EU.

[...] All animal products not conforming to these rules must either be presented as economic goods to a veterinary border inspection post for import entry controls in compliance with the veterinary import laws, or be surrendered [for disposal].

What do I have to do if I want to bring a few cans of meat for my family? I'm not sure how a "veterinary border inspection post" works. This is the first time I'm traveling with something that I will have to declare at customs.

  • I also wonder if you could order the same type of canned meat from an EU vendor, and have them mail it to Germany. If you've looked, please edit your question and tell us whether or not you found anything. Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 3:55
  • @unforgettableidSupportsMonica Hey, I'm curious, why does it matter? Yes, the canned meat is actually produced in the EU, exported to non-EU and I wanted to (re)import it. (Which I have now decided against, based on the other answers.)
    – Spammer
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


To make a long answer short: Don't.

If you want to import meat into the EU from a country not covered by any of the exceptions (fresh, frozen or canned does not matter), the requirements are exactly the same as for commercial shipments. You will need to obtain the required health certificates in advance, fill out a significant amount of paperwork and I also believe it is required to announce your goods in advance. This is not something you want to do for a few boxes of canned meat.

  • 1
    +1 don't know anything about the rules for commercial shipments, but the rules for travellers bringing food into the EU clearly say that meat is forbidden. Would you perhaps like to edit the link into your answer?
    – TooTea
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 12:49
  • 5
    @TooTea To say that it is forbidden for travellers to bring meat into the EU is also not quite correct. As long as you follow the requirements for commercial shipments, there is no requirement that you act on behalf of a company, but can also do that as a private individual. The effort is however downright ridiculous for the amounts of food you will realistically bring as a regular traveller. Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 13:28

An American analogy

To bring a bag of Moroccan clementines from Canada into the US, you might need a biosafety certificate. Such a certificate might be so expensive that it's not worth getting, unless you're transporting fruit in large commercial quantities.

Certain citrus fruits (e.g. American-grown fruits) may be allowable into the US without a biosafety certificate. But other citrus fruits may not be allowed.

In practice, most people just throw any forbidden citrus fruits into a garbage can at the customs office.

The problem

I'm not very familiar with European laws, and I also may have some anti-meat bias. Still, my hunch is that it's probably much easier to just leave your canned meat at home than to try to import it into the EU.

Possible workarounds

Perhaps you could order identical or similar canned meat from a vendor somewhere in the EU, and have them mail it to Germany.

Alternatively, maybe you could buy some European-made canned meat in your hometown, then you could reimport it into the EU. I wonder if the customs officer might be more lenient in a case of reimportation.


If you've looked into the above possibilities, please edit your question and tell us what you've discovered. If you find a solution to your meat quandary, please post an answer. :)

  • 10
    This does not answer the question. It is not about fruit to the US but about canned meat into the EU.
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 5:39

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