Holiday makers returning to the UK

Here is a reminder for anyone going on holiday over Christmas to be aware of their duty and tax free allowances when they are returning to the UK. It remains to be seen what impact Brexit will have on these allowances, however, for the time being the EU allowances remain unchanged.

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.

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