I'm planning a trip to Iceland and wondering if I can include canned food with oil in it in my check-in bags.

I will be flying from USA to Iceland. From a little research, it looks like I can't take canned food containing oil in my carry-on. What about checked-in luggage?

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    For the purpose of security regulations, it should not be a problem to take canned food in checked luggage, as long as the cans are not pressurized. After arriving in Iceland, you must however adhere to their customs and food safety regulations. Depending on what kind of food you are bringing, you may not be allowed to bring it into Iceland. Aug 29, 2016 at 11:38
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    I don't know about Iceland, but I flew domestically in Malaysia (Mulu-Miri) with canned sardines in my checked luggage with no problem. Without going into the specifics of if it's allowed per customs regulations, there's no reason you can't from an is-it-allowed-on-a-plane perspective. Oct 15, 2016 at 22:11

3 Answers 3


Keflavik Airport's (the main airport in Iceland) website states this:

Examples of goods subject to an importation ban:

Narcotics and dangerous drugs

Chewing tobacco and snuff

Uncooked meat products

In general, the condition for importing meat products is that they be fully cooked or tinned. Smoking, salting or drying without cooking is not sufficient. For example, the import of bacon, sausages (salami, meat sausages and all kinds of smoked, uncooked sausages), smoked saddle of pork and poultry is prohibited.

Uncooked milk and raw eggs

Various types of weapons

If you're departing from Iceland with these canned goods, that should not be an issue. I went to Iceland this summer, and someone in the line next to me checked a styrofoam box of fish, which the agent didn't seem to have a problem with. I'm sure he had issues at US customs, though.


I can't specifically address the Iceland side of this. However, we have put a fair variety of foodstuffs into checked baggage over the years. Canned foods will almost certainly draw a TSA inspection (substantial blobs of amorphous organic material get looked at, it's not the can that's the issue) and they have never taken a can so they pretty obviously have no problem with it. (The only thing that's ever been taken was a bag of macadamia nuts some hungry TSA agent stole.)

You should also check what Iceland says about the food you plan to bring.

Also, cans are heavy. Most canned goods are packed with liquid in the can also--that's heavy. I would be looking at foods packed in other ways if possible. You mention oil in the can--the only cans with oil I'm aware of are tuna fish--and there is now plastic-packed tuna with no liquid. It's more expensive but much lighter and you don't need a can opener, either.

  • Sardines and other fish come packed in oil as well. Oct 16, 2016 at 6:37
  • I went to Iceland this summer. I don't see why this would be an issue except because the oil could be flammable. From a food standpoint, someone in the line next to me checked a styrofoam box of fish, which the agent did not seem to have a problem with.
    – Rajiv
    Oct 18, 2016 at 22:13
  • @Rajiv Oil is a liquid. The containers are over the 100ml limit. Oct 19, 2016 at 1:33
  • Sorry. I assumed you were talking about checked baggage
    – Rajiv
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:21
  • @Rajiv He was asking about both carry-on and checked. Oct 20, 2016 at 22:15

We had no problems bringing canned goods in. As far as food goes, the only thing I recall being prohibited was raw meat (Which also includes cured and smoked meats like bacon and uncooked hams.) I highly recommend you bring as much food with you as possible, as food costs are high in Iceland. At least bring your trail lunches in cans.

In fact, once you pass through immigration, you're not even questioned. The hallway splits into red (declare) and green (nothing to declare), and if you go green, there's not even a guard there (although, I assume they do spot checks).

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    There might be a green lane and no regular checks, if you are spot checked and found bringing in items that are not allowed or more than allowed, you will get fined and that can be costly.
    – Willeke
    Sep 15, 2016 at 17:10
  • Two down votes. Please tell me what's factually incorrect with this answer. Sep 19, 2016 at 12:57
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    I did not vote on this answer, but I read it as 'bring what you want as you will not be checked' which is an invitation to break the law and that it frowned upon on this site.
    – Willeke
    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:59
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    Beyond the recommendation to smuggle food past customs, which is dangerous, the question wasn't even about that. He asked about whether it would be allowed on the plane. Oct 15, 2016 at 15:17

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