british Customs Regulations

United Kingdom Customs Information

The Channel Islands and Gibraltar are treated as being outside of the EU for the Duty Free section.

The following items may be imported into the UK without incurring customs duty by travelers aged 17 years and over arriving from non-EU countries:

? 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco. These can be combined provided travelers do not exceed their total tobacco allowance.
? 4l of still wine.
? 1l of alcoholic beverages stronger than 22% or 2l of fortified or sparkling wine or other liqueurs. These can be combined provided travelers do not exceed their total alcohol allowance.
? 16l of beer.
? Other goods including souvenirs up to the value of ?340.

Note: Goods obtained duty and tax paid in the EU are unlimited.

Traveling with pets
To bring animals and birds into the UK, an import license must be obtained at least six months in advance. Some animals may now qualify for the PET Travel Scheme (PETS) and can be brought into the UK without being put into quarantine. At present, this is limited to certain travel carriers and animals. Severe penalties are imposed on persons attempting to smuggle domestic animals into the country. An illegally imported animal is liable to be destroyed. For further information about importing animals, contact the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (website:; or the PETS helpline (tel: 0870 241 1710) or the nearest British mission abroad.

Abolition of duty-free goods within the EU
On 30 June 1999, the sale of duty-free alcohol and tobacco at airports and at sea was abolished in all of the original 15 EU member states. Of the 10 new member states that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 and the two states that joined on 1 January 2007, these rules already apply to Cyprus and Malta. There are transitional rules in place for visitors returning to one of the original 15 EU countries from one of the other new EU countries. But for the original 15, plus Cyprus and Malta, there are no limits imposed on importing tobacco and alcohol products from one EU country to another. Travelers should note that they may be required to prove at customs that the goods purchased are for personal use only. Member states may follow the EU?s guide levels of: 10l of spirits; 20l of fortified wine; 90l of wine; 110l of beer; 800 cigarettes; 400 cigarillos; 200 cigars and 1kg of tobacco.

The UK follows the above EU guide levels, with the exception of cigarettes (3,200) and tobacco (3kg).

Prohibited Imports
Prohibited items include unlicensed drugs, offensive weapons, indecent and obscene material featuring children, counterfeit and pirated goods, meat, dairy and other animal products, and pornography.

Restricted items include firearms, explosives and ammunition, live animals, endangered species, certain plants and their produce and radio transmitters.

Prohibited Exports
It's illegal to take any meat, meat products, milk, and milk and dairy products abroad from animals that are susceptible to foot and mouth disease. This ban includes sandwiches, packed lunches, and food for self-catering holidays, and includes fresh, chilled, frozen, tinned, preserved and processed products.

United Kingdom Customs Website: