European Duty Free Allowances
Technically borderless, with an open policy of freedom, citizens and travellers can pass now with little formality throughout the EU (European Union).
However, the transfer of goods for personal use, while getting a lot better, is still subject to being taxed in one way or another.
Remember, all the core duty free and tax paid rules and regulations apply only if you are travelling with the items you have bought. The following are classed as DUTY FREE: Liquor, Tobacco and Perfume. All other items are classed as TAX FREE.
Flying within the European Union.
You do not have to pay any tax or duty on goods you have bought in another EU country as long as tax was included in the price when you purchased the item. The item must be for your own personal use, and not for re-sale.
Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco you can bring in from other EU countries, you are more likely to asked questions if you have more than the new post October 2011 reviewed guidelines.
The current (2012) duty and tax free allowances when travelling from another EU country to the UK are:
- 800 cigarettes
- 400 cigarillos
- 200 cigars
- 1 kg of smoking tobacco
- 110 litres of beer
- 10 litres of spirits
- 90 litres of wine
- 20 litres of fortified wine e.g. port or sherry.
Exceptions to these allowances apply to travellers arriving from:
- Estonia: Tobacco allowances are - 200 cigarettes or 250g of smoking tobacco.
- Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia where you are allowed 200 cigarettes.
The 27 current EU member countries with these duty free allowance regulations are:Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (not northern Turkish region), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany ,Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (but excluding the Canary Islands), Sweden, United Kingdom (excluding Channel Islands).
Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are the current candidate countries wishing to join.
If you are flying outside the European Union you are entitled to your full allowance of goods at Tax Free and Duty Free prices.
Flying from outside the EU to the UK
If you are flying into the EU from outside the Euro Zone you are allowed to bring in the following, from January 1st 2010, provided you travel with the items and do not intend to sell them.
- 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of tobacco
- 4 litres of still table wine
- 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume or 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other liqueurs
- 16 litres of beer
- 60 cc/ml of perfume
- £390 worth of all other goods including gifts and souvenirs