Duty free limits for travellers
HMRC have issued a timely reminder to alert travellers of their duty and tax free allowances this summer.
Travelling to an EU country
Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco you can bring in from most EU countries for personal use, HMRC confirm that where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country then no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your own use, that you paid the relevant taxes and duties on the purchase and that you do not exceed any tobacco limits set by other EU countries.
If a customs officer thinks you may be bringing in excise goods such as alcohol and tobacco for commercial use they may ask you questions and make checks.Although there are no limits on the amounts you can bring in from most EU countries, customs officers are more likely to ask you questions if you have more than:
- 3,200 cigarettes
- 200 cigars
- 400 cigarillos
- 3kg of tobacco
- 110 litres of beer
- 90 litres of wine
- 10 litres of spirits
- 20 litres of fortified wine (for example port or sherry)
If HMRC believes that the goods are for a commercial purpose it may seize them and any vehicle used to transport them, and may not return them to you.
Travelling to a non-EU country
Each person is now allowed to bring the following back to the UK for their own use without any UK tax or duty liabilities:
- 200 cigarettes; or 100 cigarillos; or 50 cigars; or 250g of tobacco
- 4 litres of still table wine
- 16 litres of beer
- 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22 per cent volume; or 2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or other alcoholic beverages of less than 22 per cent volume
- £340 limit for all other goods including perfume and souvenirs. Taxpayers lucky enough to arrive by private boat or plane have a reduced limit of £240.
Where the import exceeds any of these amounts or is for commercial use, you must declare this to HMRC using the red channel or the red-point phone on your return to the UK.