Import restrictions

Rules on customs privileges for travellers do not overrule special import conditions or import prohibitions that various goods are subjected to according to law, regulations or other regulatory acts.

Examples of goods that are subjected to special import conditions:

Telephones and communications equipment

The importation of these goods is generally subject to a permit from the Post- and Telecom Administration. They include e.g. cordless as well as cord connected phones, answering machines, transceivers and remote controlled toys. However, an import permit is not required for GSM mobile phones bearing a CE-mark (consumer equipment approved by the European Economic Area); neither is there an import permit required if a traveller brings with him/her one GSM mobile phone without the CE-mark.

Angling gear 

It is prohibited to use fishing equipment that has been used for angling abroad unless it is disinfected before use. This applies to all angling tackle, i.e. rods, fishing reels, hooks, lures and waders.

See the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority's website for further information. 

Riding clothes

Fishing equipment, angling gear and riding clothes that have been used abroad may be brought into the country provided they have been disinfected prior to importation. If a certificate of disinfection issued by a foreign authority is not available, the disinfection will be carried out in this country at the expense of the relevant person.

Used riding gear

It is not possible to disinfect leather adequately and, therefore, the importation of used saddles, bridles, rains, muzzles, or switches made from leather is prohibited.

Firearms, ammunition and explosives

To the extent that importation of these goods is authorised, such import is subject to a permit issued by the National Commissioner of Police. A person holding a European Firearms Permit can, however, import the weapons stated in the license without a special permit from the Commissioner of Police, if the stay is not for longer than three months. It is also permissible to import a reasonable amount of ammunition with each firearm.

Live Animals

It is a condition for the importation of live animals that a permit from The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority has been obtained and instructions with regard to quarantine followed. If it is discovered that animals have been imported without a permit, the animals in question will be slaughtered.


  • A person may bring into the country medicine for his or her own use in a quantity that corresponds to usage for a 100 days max, provided that such quantity can be ascertained.
  • Male hormonal medicine classified as anabolic steroids and comparable substances, as well as peptides and comparable substances (see sections c and f in the International Olympics Committee's register on medicines prohibited in sports), may, however, only be imported in a quantity that corresponds max 30 days of use.
  • Customs officers have the authority to stipulate that the traveller in question show evidence for his need to medicate with these drugs in the prescribed quantity, e.g. with a doctor's certificate.

Please note that import of drugs by mail for personal use from countries outside the EEA is prohibited.

See also: Rules of drugs for personal use, in luggage or by mail, on the on the Icelandic Medicines Agency website (Icelandic language only).

Flowers and other plants

The importation of flowers and plants is generally subjected to the presentation of a phytosanitary certificate from an authority charged with control of plant diseases in the country of cultivation, as well as a permit issued by The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. However, travellers are permitted to bring with them to the country a bouquet of cut flowers and branches (up to 25 plants), flower bulbs, tubers and tuberous roots within Europe in unbroken packaging (up to 2 kg) and individual potted plants within Europe (up to 3).

Toxics and hazardous substances

Travellers are expected not to have any substances of this kind with them. Laws no. 52/1988 are in force on the importation of toxic and hazardous substances.

Examples of goods that are subjected to importation prohibition:

  • Narcotics
  • Chewing tobacco and finely powdered snuff
  • Uncooked meat products
  • Foodstuffs

Meat products may be imported if they have been boiled or canned. Smoking, salting or drying without boiling is unsatisfactory. It is, for example, not permitted to import bacon, sausages (salami and any kind of smoked uncooked sausages), saddles of pork, poultry, uncooked milk and uncooked eggs.

  • Various weapons
  • Knives

It is prohibited to import knives with blades exceeding 12 cm, switchblade knives, flick knives, throwing knives and other such weapons, as well as blunt instruments such as brass knuckles and various truncheons, crossbows and cuffs.

If a traveller suspects that he/she has an item subjected to specific importing conditions or prohibitions, said person should declare them to the customs control voluntarily.