Mardi 19 décembre 2023

Meat and dairy products in your luggage: why it's forbidden

Did you know that viral diseases (Ebola virus, avian flu, African swine fever...) can be transmitted by food of animal origin? That consuming and transporting meat from wild species directly contributes to their extinction ?

It is therefore forbidden to carry meat and dairy products in your luggage. 


Importing meat and dairy products in your luggage is forbidden (with very rare exceptions)

To protect you and the European territory, imports of meat and dairy products in your luggage and personal parcels are strictly regulated.

The general principle is prohibition, but certain tolerances provided for by European regulations exist.

NB: certain products of animal origin contained in passengers' personal baggage are exempt from veterinary checks at the border control post, provided that these products:

  1. are intended for the passengers' personal consumption or use ;
  2. do not exceed the quantity thresholds set by European regulations;
  3. belong to one of the categories listed in the table below.

These exemptions from controls and their conditions also apply to small consignments of products of animal origin sent to individuals, which are not intended to be placed on the market.

These exemptions do not apply to shipments between professionals, which are subject to veterinary control at the border control post on import, and to presentation of a Common Sanitary Entry Document (CSED) in support of the customs declaration.

A governmental action plan to fight the imports of meat and dairy products by travellers

In 2023, at the initiative of the Secretary of State for Biodiversity, a plan to combat the illegal import of meat and dairy products in passenger baggage was drawn up by all the administrations concerned, in partnership with airlines, airport managers and a number of environmental associations (WWF, International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN, International Fund for Animal Welfare, etc.).

Its aim is to implement operational solutions to step up the fight against this traffic. Within this framework, Customs is responsible for coordinating the organization of meetings of the inter-ministerial working group. The latest meeting of the working group, held on September 29, enabled all stakeholders to agree on the priorities of the action plan.

Customs are particularly mobilized to raise travelers' awareness of the health and environmental risks involved, and to improve the detection of these goods, thus facilitating controls. In 2022, nearly 25 tonnes of illegal meat were seized by the French Customs – DGDDI, including around 850 kg of protected wild species.