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Duty free allowances

Duty Free Allowances from Spain To Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Duty Free allowances from Spain to UK

Arriving in Great Britain, England Wales or Scotland

If you’re travelling to Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) from outside the UK, your personal allowances mean you can bring in a certain amount of goods without paying tax or duty.

When you’re bringing in goods you must: - transport them yourself - use them yourself or give them away as a gift

If you go over your allowances you must declare all your goods and pay tax and duty on all the goods of the same type in that category.

You cannot combine allowances with other people to bring in more than your individual allowance.

Customs checks

If a customs officer thinks you may be bringing in goods to sell, they may stop you to make checks and ask:

  • the type and quantity of goods you’ve bought
  • why you bought them
  • how you paid for them
  • how often you travel
  • how much you normally smoke or drink

How to Handle customs

The best way to get through customs is to be friendly and polite, answer any questions truthfully, if in doubt ask a customs officer for assistance.  paying tax will always work out cheaper than getting caught for smuggling.

From January 2021, there will be changes to duty free shopping.

The UK has left the EU.  The information below will be updated if there is any new information about the UK’s deal with the EU

Previously there were no limits on the value of goods you could bring in from European Union nations. From the start of 2021, the European Union will be treated the same as the rest of the world – which means that there are now restrictions.

Allowances mean you can bring in a certain amount of goods for your own use from outside the UK into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) without paying duty or tax.

When you’re bringing in goods you must:

Transport them yourself

Use them yourself or give them away as a gift

You cannot combine allowances with other people to bring in more than your individual allowance. If you go over an allowance, you must make a declaration for all the goods in that category. Your goods could be seized if you do not declare them.

New GB inbound personal allowances specified below. For example, someone will be able to bring three crates of beer, two cases of still wine and one case of sparkling wine to GB without paying UK duties.

For alcohol

How much you can bring depends on the type of drink. You can bring in both:

beer - 42 litres

The beer allowance of 42 litres will equate to three crates of 568ml (pint) cans. If passengers prefer to buy 330ml bottles of beer this would equate to five crates.

wine (not sparkling) - 18 litres

You can also bring in either:

spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 4 litres

fortified wine (for example port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol - 9 litres

You can split this last allowance, for example you could bring 4.5 litres of fortified wine and 2 litres of spirits (both half of your allowance).

You will have to pay excise duty and VAT on alcohol you declare. You may also have to pay customs duty.

Tobacco allowance

You can bring in one from the following:

200 cigarettes

100 cigarillos

50 cigars

250g tobacco

200 sticks of tobacco for heating

You can split this allowance - for example you could bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (both half of your allowance).

You will have to pay excise duty, VAT and customs duty on tobacco you declare

Alcohol and tobacco allowances if you’re under 17

There are no duty-free allowances for tobacco or alcohol if you’re under 17. You can bring alcohol and tobacco to the UK for your own use but you’ll have to pay duty or tax on them when you get to customs.

Allowance for other goods

You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 (or up to £270 if you arrive by private plane or boat).

If you go over your allowance you pay tax and duty on the total value of the goods, not just the value above the allowance.

You may have to pay import VAT and customs duty if you exceed your allowance.

Import VAT

You may have to pay import VAT on the total value of the goods plus duty. You pay this at the current UK VAT rate.

Rates

Product Duty rate
Cigarettes The higher of:

16.5% of retail price plus £244.78 per 1,000 cigarettes

or

£320.90 per 1,000 cigarettes
Cigars £305.32 per kg
Hand-rolling tobacco £271.40 per kg
Tobacco for heating £251.60 per kg
Other smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco £134.24 per kg

Declaring goods made or produced in the EU

You do not need to pay any tax or duties on personal goods you bring into Great Britain as long as they are within your personal allowances.

If the goods are over your allowances you will need to:

  • declare them
  • pay any customs duty due
  • pay any excise duty due (for tobacco or alcohol)
  • pay any import VAT due

When you declare your goods you need to declare each item you bought. When you declare your items, you may not need to pay customs duty on items where all the following are true:

  • they were grown or made in the EU using only EU ingredients or materials
  • you bought them in the EU
  • you are bringing them in from an EU country

If these are true, you can claim a zero rate of customs duty for each item. You must:

  • have evidence these are true for each item you claim these rates for
  • be able to show this evidence if asked by a Border Force officer

The level of evidence you need depends on the total value of all the items you claim these rates for.

If the total value is less than £1,000

If the total value of all the items you declare is less than £1,000 the evidence for each item can be:

  • a label or packaging showing it was grown or made in the EU
  • evidence it was hand-made or grown in the EU (for example, a document or written note from the person or business you bought it from)

A Border Force officer might ask to see this evidence. If you are unable to show this, you will have to pay any customs duty you owe.

If the total value is more than £1,000

If the total value of all the items you declare is over £1,000, you can claim a zero rate of customs duty if you can prove each item was grown or made in the EU.

This proof could be an invoice or document from the person or business you bought the items from which includes the:

  • item you are buying
  • place and date you bought it
  • ‘statement on origin’

The ‘statement on origin’ is formal wording from the person or business you bought the items from which confirms:

  • the material used to make the item was from the EU
  • their registered exporter number (if the total value of all the items you declare is over £5,500)

You could also prove that you know how the items were made in the EU by using documents or records which show the item meets the rules of origin. The ‘importer’s knowledge’ section of the proof of origin guide) explains how you do this. This applies if you bring in (import) these items for either personal or commercial use.

A Border Force officer might ask to see this evidence. If you are unable to show this, you will have to pay any customs duty you owe.

Arriving in Northern Ireland

The rules and your allowances for Northern Ireland depend on whether you’re travelling from the European Union (EU) or another country.

Travelling from an EU country

You do not need to declare or pay tax or duty on any goods you bring into Northern Ireland from the EU as long as you:

transport them yourself

will use them yourself or give them away as a gift

have paid tax and duty in the country where you bought them

Customs checks

If a customs officer thinks you may be bringing in goods to sell, they may check your goods and ask questions to find out if the goods are for personal use.

Although there are no limits to the alcohol and tobacco you can bring in from EU countries, you’re more likely to be asked questions if you have more than the following amounts.

Type of goods Amount
Cigarettes 800
Cigars 200
Cigarillos 400
Tobacco 1kg
Sticks of tobacco for electronic heated tobacco devices 800
Beer 110 litres
Wine 90 litres
Spirits 10 litres
Fortified wine (for example sherry, port) 20 litres

Keep up to date with other travel news by checking out this section of the website. 

ENTRY into the EU 

Bringing meat and dairy products into the EU

You cannot take the following with you into the EU:

Meat or products containing meat.  Milk or dairy products

There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons.

Check the rules about taking meat and milk products into the EU on the European Commission website.

Bringing fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products into the EU

You cannot take the following into the EU unless you pay to have them inspected before you leave and get a ‘phytosanitary certificate’:

Fresh fruit (apart from bananas, coconuts, dates, pineapples and durians).  Vegetables.  Plants.  Plant products

Check the rules about taking fruit, vegetables and other plants or plant products into the EU on the European Commission website.

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Comments (25)

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 voters
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Can I bring 20 kg of tobacco if it for personal use

Rab
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The new allowance is Tobacco 1kg. More than that and you will have to pay the rates quoted above

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I’m travelling to Benidorm to how much cigarettes and tobacco can I bring back for own use

Bernard
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

All the information is on the page above

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks for the update

Christopher rylands
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Can I take 30 litres of Sparkling wine and 40 litres Still wine?
Many thanks

Poppy Hall
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You should be fine wine is wine

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

A transport company will be taking our belongings back to UK as we're selling up and leaving Spain, am I still entitled to 90 litres of wine to send back as I will be flying back?
Many thanks

Poppy Hall
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You must transport the goods yourself, transport companies are not allowed to bring in goods on your behalf.

Karen Kopczynska
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You would need to ask your transport company if they will be the ones transporting it.

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

hello .. my question. can I order 1 kg of tobacco and order my courier who will deliver the tobacco to ireland??or maybe You send directly???

Sylwester Dudek
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Sorry that is not the sort of service we offer, we provide factual information

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

how many ciggy or tobacco can I bring bk to uk . Im asking as different comments one saying 200 another 800? Witch is it please

haley mulholland
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

If entering Scotland, Wales or England you can bring back 200 cigarettes or 250g tobacco. If entering Northern Ireland you can bring in 800 cigarettes or 1kg tobacco.

Karen Kopczynska
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

the information provided on the page above is correct at this time you are still in the transition period so nothing has changed.

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

How much are 200 Superking black cigs and 10x 50g Amber leaf at the moment?

chris
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Admin
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Is this duty free allowance 10lt of spirits per person

ann salmon
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I the duty free allowance of 10lt. of spirits per person

Ann Salmon
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Yes per person as quoted above x

Tracy Ann
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Yes the limits are per person

admin
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What will happen to duty free after brexit?

Colin Gallivan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Anyones guess, but personally I think Britain will be treated in the same manner as any other country not a member of the European community, unless alternative arrangements are made during the Brexit negotiations.

admin
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Like everything else regarding Brexit we have no idea yet.

admin
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I would imagine it will go back to the old days ie
200 cigarettes
100 cigarillos
50 cigars
250g tobacco
beer - 16 litres
wine (not sparkling) - 4 litres
You can also bring in either:

spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 1 litre
fortified...

I would imagine it will go back to the old days ie
200 cigarettes
100 cigarillos
50 cigars
250g tobacco
beer - 16 litres
wine (not sparkling) - 4 litres
You can also bring in either:

spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 1 litre
fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol - 2 litres

But everything is pure speculation at the moment.

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admin
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