Bringing food, animals or plants into the UK


You can bring in any plant material from countries within the European Union (EU) if it is:

  • grown in an EU country
  • free from pests and diseases
  • for your own use

The leaflet ‘Bringing fruit, vegetable and plant products into the UK has more information on which plant material you can bring in, and how much of each item is allowed.

The EU also includes Andorra, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City in this context.

Bringing plants to the UK from abroad

If you’re travelling from a country outside the EU, many products have weight and quantity restrictions or are banned completely unless you have a ‘phytosanitary’ (plant health) certificate.

You can get the certificate from the plant health authorities in the country you’re leaving. It proves your plants have been inspected, are free from dangerous pests and diseases, and are suitable to enter the UK.

Buying plants online or by post

Check that the seller can provide a phytosanitary certificate before you buy any plants from outside the EU.

You don’t need a certificate if you’re buying a plant that’s coming from within the EU.

Get help

Contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency if you have specific questions.

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Telephone: 0300 1000 313
24-hour service
Find out about call charges

  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

    You might be eligible for different visas depending on why you're visiting the UK and how long for.

    1. Check which visas you're eligible for
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  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply

    1. Apply for a visa and book an appointment £93
    2. Check where your visa appointment will be

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment.

    You might be able to pay an extra £212 for a decision within 5 working days or £956 for a decision within 1 working day. Check with your visa application centre.

  4. Step 4 Attend an appointment

    1. What you need to prove at your appointment

    At your appointment you’ll have your fingerprints and photograph (‘biometric information’) taken.

    After your appointment you'll be told when a decision has been made about your visa.

  5. Step 5 Check what you can bring with you

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    1. Check the documents you can use to show why you're visiting the UK