I am currently in India and I was planning on bringing back to Europe (Spain, in case it is relevant) some Indian Chips (packaged, about 100 to 200g each). The reason is not relevant for this question.

If I put them in my hand baggage, they will go through the x-ray machine. Will they take them away or allow me to keep them?

If I put them in my hold luggage, will there be any problems?

Does anything change with small biscuits?

If any answer depends on the value, quantity or type of the snacks, please state what is the situation in each case.

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    Is your question if you are allowed to bring chips (I assume potato chips?) in hand luggage or is the question if you are allowed to bring them into Spain? Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:42
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    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:44
  • I plan on eating them in Spain, so it would be the second option. But as i dont want to mail them (i dont want extra costs), putting them on my bags and getting them on the plane is the only option i see Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:47
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    I'm not native english speaker, so i dont know the right word. Hopefully in the context is clear enough and maybe someone can edit it? Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:49
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    This question reminds me of a film: "Snacks on a Plane". Would anyone mind if I changed the question's title to that?
    – DCTLib
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


For the EU, the controlling technical reference for your question is found in EC Regulation 206/2009 and the other related regulations such as EC Regulation 136/2004.

I assume that 'Indian Chips' are a recipe containing potatoes (kale, bananas, and other foodstuffs qualifying as 'chips') which have been fried in oil (e.g., sunflower oil) and other spices and oils which have been cleared (e.g., paprika, pepper, chili powder and so on). That the chips have been processed and packaged for commercial consumption. And that they are similar in form and nature to the 'Indian chips' already being sold in the EU exemplified by these...

Briefly, if you are carrying small quantities of food supplements that are packaged for the final consumer then yes, it's OK.

Please also see: Importing home-baked cake into the EU

Note: the UK's implementation of the EU regulations are here. It's written in end-user language and easier to read for some people.

Note: although there is a ban on potatoes in the EU, this refers to raw, unprocessed potatoes. All of the restricted vegetable products originating in India refer to raw, unprocessed foods...

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Source: http://importdetails.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Location=None&Module=IDDSearch

  • Considering that there is a general ban on importing potatoes from outside the EU, are you sure that it is ok to import potatoe chips? The general ban on meat and dairy products include also most forms of processed meat and dairy products. Do you see any particular reason why processed potatoe products should be excempt from the ban? Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 12:49
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo The usual reason for banning imports of plant material is to avoid biological contamination, either by bringing in invasive plants or their seeds, or invasive pests living on the plants. Deep-frying the potatoes avoids both of those issues. Of course, some restrictions are just economic protectionism but that usually doesn't apply to small quantities of food for personal use. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 12:55
  • Gayot, Are you sure that's the correct reference? (Potato) crisps aren't substances of animal origin. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 12:57
  • @DavidRicherby, yes. it's unfortunate that the regulations concerning plants refer only to raw, unprocessed materials. And the preceding lists covers only hay and straw. The UK is rigorously compliant with the regs and their guidance is clearer, better reading, and they cite 206/2009 as the controlling technical reference also.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 13:54
  • @DavidRicherby Biological contamination is also the usual reason why meat and dairy products are banned. Still, the UK guidelines, which Gayot link to, list 'stock cubes' as covered by the meat ban. Whatever is left of a cow in a stock cube ought not to be a higher threat to the EU fauna than potatoe chips. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 14:19

MOST countries severely restrict the importation of food from abroad. Spain AFAIK is no different.
So unless you want to eat the stuff on board during the flight, you're liable to get in trouble with UK customs on arrival and have to watch your stuff getting confiscated, probably also facing a fine.

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    food in the form of raw fruit, meat (cooked or raw), raw vegetables and so on, yes. Food in the form of something in a sealed package that you bought in a store is typically something you must declare, but are allowed to bring. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 12:17
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    @KateGregory The EU regulations on importing food from outside the EU make (with very few, but here irrelevant exceptions) no distinction between packaging forms. If an item is prohibited, it does not matter if it was bought in a store and is still in a sealed package. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 12:44
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo while you're correct, (sealing meat in a package doesn't make it admissible) the point still stands. Chips, cookies, candy etc are generally admissible. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 13:21
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo which is why I said "typically" - chips don't contain dairy. most candies don't contain dairy. Had the OP been asking about something likely to contain dairy I would have added more details. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 15:14
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    Typically it is down to how the food stuff is processed. As long as it's been cooked, smoked, preserved or otherwise treated in a way that will kill off an bugs and bacteria that may have existed on the food, it's generally ok to move from country to country.
    – Rikki
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 15:44

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