Things you should know about Duty Free Items

Posted on 22. Nov, 2011 by in Information

Liquor, tobacco and pure perfume are just some of the products categorized as Duty Free Items. Other items not mentioned are classed as Tax Free. It was on the first of July 1999 that changes were made to  the laws of Duty-Free and Tax-Free applicable to the European Union countries. But if you are flying outside of the European Union, you are given full allowance of goods at Tax and Duty Free prices. If you are flying within the European Union you are permitted to Tax Free prices on fragrances, cosmetics and skincare; photographic and electrical goods; fashion and accessories; gifts, jewellery and souvenirs. Today, there are no longer any allowance limitations on these Tax Free items.

Duty Free Allowance / Tax Free Allowance

There is no need to pay for any tax or duty on goods you have bought in another EU country if you are travelling from the European Union. This is allowed as long as tax was included in the price when you purchased the items. The items are for your own use, and have been transported to UK by yourself. But this does not take account of any item that is intended to be used as payment or to be resold.

If you bring back large quantities of alcohol or tobacco, a Customs Officer is required to interrogate you about the purposes for which you hold the goods. Some of the instances that will make a Customs Officer question you is when you are carrying 3200 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, 3 kg of smoking tobacco, 110 litres of beer, 10 litres of spirits, 90 litres of wine or 20 litres of fortified wine e.g. port or sherry. But there are exceptions for EU countries such as those from Estonia, 200 cigarettes or 250g of smoking tobacco and those from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, 200 cigarettes. There is no limit on obtaining tobacco products as long as it is for their personal use.

If you are travelling from outside of the European Union to any UK destination, you are allowed to bring 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, 60cc/ml of perfume, and £300 worth of all other goods including gifts and souvenirs, provided you travel with the items and do not intend to sell them.

It started in December 1, 2008 when customers can ‘mix and match’ products in the alcohol category, and the tobacco category, provided you do not exceed your total allowance.


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