Tax Free policy in the European Union
Travellers entering the EU Duty free allowance
Customs and tax allowances for travellers
If you enter the EU from a non-EU country, goods having no commercial character in your personal luggage can be imported free of customs duties, VAT and excise duties within the following limits: Tobacco products
Each Member State decides on the limit applicable:
•200 cigarettes or 40 cigarettes;*
•100 cigarillos or 20 cigarillos; *
•50 cigars or 10 cigars; *
•250 grams of tobacco or 50 g smoking tobacco*
* Each amount represents 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products and any combination of those products must not exceed 100%. Example: 100 cigarettes + 50 cigarillos = total allowance
Alcoholic beverages (a) •a total of 1 litre of alcohol and alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength exceeding 22% vol, or undenatured ethyl alcohol of 80% vol and over (b); or •a total of 2 litres of alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% vol.(b) •a total of 4 litres of still wine, and •16 litres of beer (only for VAT and excise duty)
Fuel •In any means of motor transport, the fuel contained in the standard tank; and •a quantity of fuel not exceeding 10 litres contained in a portable container.
Other goods (including perfume, coffee, tea, electronic devices etc.)(a) •Up to a value of €430 for air and sea travellers •Up to value of €300 for other travellers The value on an individual item may not be split up. The value of personal luggage (i.e. suitcases) and medicinal products for the personal needs of the traveller do not count. Member States may reduce the above limits to € 150 for travellers under 15 years. a) Allowances concerning tobacco and alcohol do not apply in the case of travellers under 17 years of age. b) Each of these amounts represents 100 % of the total allowance for alcohol and alcoholic beverages (see Art. 9 (2) of Directive 2007/74/EC), c) Cigarillos are cigars of a maximum weight of 3 grams each.
Tax policy in the European Union (EU) Tax policy in the European Union (EU) consists of two components: direct taxation, which remains the sole responsibility of Member States, and indirect taxation, which affects free movement of goods and the freedom to provide services. With regard to direct taxation, Member States have taken measures to prevent tax avoidance and double taxation. Tax policy ensures that competition between Member States on the internal market is not distorted by differences in indirect taxation rates and systems. Measures have also been adopted to prevent the adverse effects of tax competition if companies transfer money between European Union Member States.
Duty Free Allowance / Tax Free Allowance
When travelling from the EU* to the UK you can bring in an unlimited amount of most goods you have bought in another EU country without paying tax or duty 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 the UK by you. This includes gifts, but does not include any item that is intended to be used as payment or to be resold. Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco you can bring in from the EU, a Customs Officer is more likely to ask about the purposes for which you hold the goods if you bring large quantities of them. This will most likely be the case if you appear at the airport with more than:
- 800 cigarettes, or 400 cigarillos, or 200 cigars, or 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
* The EU countries currently include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (Greek part), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (but not the Canary Islands), Sweden and the United Kingdom (but not the Channel Islands). When travelling from outside the EU to the UK you are allowed to bring in the following amount of duty/tax free goods, provided you travel with the items and do not intend to sell them (if you go over this allowance, you may have to pay duty and/or tax):
- 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of tobacco
- 4 litres of still wine
- 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume or 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other liqueurs that are less than 22% volume
- 16 litres of beer
- up to £390 worth of all other goods including gifts, perfume and souvenirs (£270 if arriving by private plane or private boat)
Please note: From Dec 1 2008 you can ‘mix and match’ products in the alcohol category, and the tobacco category, provided you do not exceed your total allowance.
Duty Free and Tax Free
The following products are classed as Duty Free items:
- Selected spirits
All other items are classed as Tax Free. On July 1, 1999 changes to the Duty-Free and Tax-Free laws that apply to European Union countries came into effect. However, you can still buy a wide range of Duty and Tax-Free goods when you travel abroad. If you are flying outside the European Union you are entitled to your full allowance of goods at Tax and Duty Free prices. If you are flying within the European Union you are entitled to Tax Free prices on fragrances, cosmetics and skincare; photographic and electrical goods; fashion and accessories; gifts, jewellery and souvenirs. There are no longer any allowance restrictions on these Tax Free items
Duty Free Canada