Whether cheese can be transported in hand luggage depends primarily on the consistency of the cheese and the import and export regulations for cheese and dairy products/animal products in the respective countries/travel zones.
- 1 Cheese in hand luggage within the EU
- 2 Summary: Cheese in hand luggage within the EU
- 3 Importing cheese from a non-EU country into the EU
- 4 Bringing cheese from an EU country to a third country
Cheese in hand luggage within the EU
In principle, hard cheese is permitted in hand luggage when travelling within the EU, while liquid cheese (also semi-liquid or soft cheese) is prohibited in hand luggage, as the cheese in these cases falls under the regulations for liquids in hand luggage.
Prohibited types of cheese in hand luggage are therefore soft cheese, spread cheese and processed cheese, as they are classified as liquids.
If you now want to transport hard cheese in your hand luggage, this is generally possible and should not lead to any problems during the security check. However, be sure to inform yourself about the import and export regulations of the countries you are travelling to and make sure that there are no bans/restrictions on cheese.
If you are not sure in which category your precious cheese falls, please read on. We have taken the trouble to list all cheeses by cheese type so that you can see at a glance whether your cheese is a hard cheese, soft cheese or a spread or processed cheese. In the vast majority of cases this is obvious, but for some cheeses, the classification may not be so obvious.
Is Soft Cheese allowed in Hand Luggage?
Soft cheese is generally classified as a liquid at the security check and must therefore not be carried in hand luggage. Accordingly, your Camembert may not be carried in hand luggage.
Is Cream Cheese allowed in Carry-on Baggage?
Cream Cheese (Fresh Cheese) contains a lot of water and therefore also falls into the category of liquids in hand luggage and is consequently prohibited in hand luggage. Unfortunately, your cottage cheese may not be carried in hand luggage during the flight.
Is Processed Cheese (Spread Cheese) allowed in Hand Luggage?
Processed cheese is also forbidden in hand luggage because processed cheese is a product made from other (liquid) types of cheese. This cheese is often found in slices or as spread cheese, which is also forbidden in hand luggage.
Is Hard Cheese allowed in Hand Luggage?
Hard cheese is permitted in hand luggage. Due to its hard consistency, it is not considered a liquid like cream cheese, soft cheese, processed cheese and spread cheese and can, therefore, be transported in hand luggage without any problems, as long as there are no specific import and export regulations to be observed for your countries of destination.
Please contact the relevant customs authorities of the countries concerned to find out about any existing import and export bans or restrictions for cheese.
Summary: Cheese in hand luggage within the EU
Overview in a compact form. See at a glance which cheese may and may not be carried in hand luggage.
|Type of Cheese||Allowed in Hand Luggage: YES/NO||Further Information|
|Soft Cheese||NO||Falls under the category "liquids in hand luggage" and is therefore prohibited in hand luggage.|
|Fresh Cheese||NO||Falls under the category "liquids in hand luggage" and is therefore forbidden in hand luggage.|
|Processed Cheese||NO||Falls under the category "liquids in hand luggage" and is therefore banned in hand luggage.|
|Cheese Spread||NO||Falls under the category "liquids in hand luggage" and is therefore prohibited in hand luggage.|
|Hard Cheese||YES||Hard cheese has a hard consistency and may, therefore, be transported in hand luggage as long as this is not prohibited/restricted by the import and export regulations (customs) of the respective countries. All other forms of cheese count as liquids due to their soft consistency.|
Importing cheese from a non-EU country into the EU
Importing cheese into the EU is a very different story. The basic rule here is that you may not bring any cheese into the EU simply like that, neither in your checked baggage nor in your hand luggage, because since 2009 EC Regulation No. 206/2009 has been in force, which lays down strict regulations for the import of products of animal origin intended exclusively for personal consumption. These measures were taken primarily as a preventive measure against the introduction of animal diseases.
As a result, travellers carrying cheese or other products of animal origin may only enter the EU via certain entry points where a veterinarian is present. Also, for the products, you must be in possession of a set of health certificates and a valid accompanying document (Common Veterinary Entry Document “CVED”).
However, these regulations do not apply to the countries of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland. You may continue to import cheese from these countries for private use. In hand luggage, however, the regulations introduced under point 1 above must be observed (hard cheese permitted, but no soft, fresh or processed cheese may be transported in hand luggage).
Bringing cheese from an EU country to a third country
If you want to take your beloved cheese from an EU country to a third country (in your hand luggage), you must comply with the regulations for liquids in hand luggage: Hard cheese is fine, cream cheese, spread cheese and processed cheese are regarded as liquids and are therefore not allowed in hand luggage – and of course you must also comply with the import regulations of the country of destination. In many cases, this might be problematic, just as importing cheese from third countries into the EU is bothersome (see above).