Overseas shopping limits
Here is a useful reminder for travellers of their duty and tax free allowances whilst travelling over the Christmas period.
Travelling to an EU country
Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your own use and that you paid the relevant taxes and duties on the purchase.
However, HMRC provide the following guidelines as to an acceptable maximum for personal use. Travellers that exceed these limits are more likely to be subject to further questioning.
- 800 cigarettes
- 200 cigars
- 400 cigarillos
- 1kg of tobacco
- 110 litres of beer
- 90 litres of wine
- 10 litres of spirits
- 20 litres of fortified wine (for example port or sherry)
Travelling to a non-EU country
Each adult travelling is 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.
- £390 limit for of all other goods including perfume and souvenirs. Taxpayers arriving by private plane or boat for pleasure purposes can bring in goods up to the value of £270 tax free.
There are also special rules for goods bought over the internet or by mail order from outside the EU.
HMRC’s Head of Customs Policy, Angela Shephard, said:
‘We know many people like to go abroad at this time to buy their Christmas gifts, or buy online from non-EU countries, and think that the ‘cheaper’ price they see is always the price they finally pay. We want to remind everyone how much they can actually bring back from abroad or buy from an online overseas seller without having to pay customs duty or import VAT.’