Plants and parts of plants brought in from abroad may be contaminated with dangerous diseases and pests. For this reason, as in the EU, new legal restrictions on imports of plant material from outside the EU came into effect on 1 January 2020.
It is prohibited to import plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds or other fresh plant material, soil or certain types of wood from non-EU countries, the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla or French overseas territories to Switzerland.
After a customs check (“Goods to declare”) by the Swiss Federal Plant Protection Service (SPPS), the import of plant material may be permitted, provided that it is accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin. High-risk goods (potatoes, soil, citrus leaves, etc.) are prohibited in all cases.
The only fruits which can still be brought into Switzerland or the EU from any other country without a phytosanitary certificate, or any checks, are pineapples, coconuts, durians, bananas and dates.
Note: The United Kingdom (with the exception of Northern Ireland) is considered as a non-EU country for trade in plant material since 1 January 2021 (for more information, see below).