Sterilisation Update – Iceland

We headed to Iceland as guests for the opening of the Thvera river and decided that we would not have all of our tackle disinfected before our departure.   Our motive was to test the process of having it done at the airport on arrival, something we have not tried for a while. So on landing, after collecting our bags, we presented ourselves at customs and let them know we needed to have tackle disinfected.

Please note…

At Heathrow, we were asked for our disinfection certificate. We asked what the consequences were if we did not have a certificate and were told that it goes on our reservation record and this should trigger being asked to have our tackle done on arrival in Iceland.

A recent client arriving in Iceland was told that a certificate dated two weeks before was too long before their trip. They were eventually allowed through. He was also told that tackle listed much be detailed – for example it should say, five reels with flyline and backing not five reels…

To continue…
The customs officer put in a call to the MAST (Matvælastofnun – The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority) representative on site who arrived about two minutes later. He took our tackle into a small room with a large stainless steel sink in the customs area where he carried out the short process.

He rinsed the items to be sterilized with tap water before spraying them with a diluted solution of Rely+On by Dupont. For rods he only wanted to do the handle section. They no longer need to do flies and fly boxes. When he did the reel, the line was left on the reel. For a rod, reel, waders and boots (or the first 5 items) it is about a 15-20 minute process assuming your boots are not muddy and require cleaning. The cost for the first 5 items is 4900 ISK followed up by a further 300 ISK for each additional item. He confirmed to us that the price had come down and indeed this is now better than any UK option. He was very friendly and helpful.

This is certainly a viable option for all travellers unless you are going to be rushing to get onto the river to fish that afternoon which we never recommend unless the situation cannot be avoided. If you have a delay (as we did that day) you will lose too much expensive fishing time. If you are going to take this route we suggest that you clean all the tackle and equipment you want disinfected and ensure it is easily accessible from your suitcase thus aiding and speeding up the process.

Comments 4

  1. Stephen P

    Hi Tarquin,

    Thanks a lot for the article, very useful information.

    Ill be leaving for Iceland next week, are you sure that flies and fly boxes no longer need to be sterilised at the airport?


    1. Post

      Sorry for the slow reply Steve – have been out of touch. I have not had fly boxes done in a while. Best Tarquin

  2. David Scorer


    We are travelling to Laxa in Kjos in July and I have purchased brand new waders which will be unused and still have the tags attached
    Will they still need to be sterilised?

    1. Post

      If you keep the tags on – you should be fine. That is my experience anyhow. Your other stuff will need doing. Best T

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