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What are the duty free limits set by customs when travelling outside the EU?

Please note that following the UK’s exit from the EU, these allowances also now apply when leaving/arriving the UK for/from EU countries as well.


This information is supplied by HM Revenue and Customs and is subject to change. Please check directly with them prior to travelling regarding the limits you are allowed to bring back into the country. You can go direct to the relevant page of the HM Revenue and Customs website (

If you are transporting goods to/from a country outside of the EU, your allowance is as below:


Alcohol allowances

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

  • beer - 42 litres
  • wine (not sparkling) - 18 litres

You can also bring in either:

  • spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 4 litre
  • fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol - 9 litres

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

Tobacco allowances - you can bring in one from the following list:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250g of tobacco

Or you can combine these allowances. For example, if you bring in 100 cigarettes (half your full allowance) you can also bring in 25 cigars (half your full allowance). This would make up your full tobacco allowance. You cannot go over your total tobacco allowance.

You cannot combine alcohol and tobacco allowances.

Other goods (including perfume and souvenirs):

  • You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty.

If you arrive by private plane or private boat for pleasure purposes, you can only bring in other goods worth up to £270, tax and duty free.

Additional conditions when bringing goods into the UK - to qualify for the tax/duty free allowances, you also need to meet the following conditions:

  • You must transport the goods yourself
  • The goods must be for your own use or as a gift
  • If the person you give the goods to pays you in any way (including reimbursing you for any expenses), then it's not a gift and you'll have to pay the duty and/or tax
  • To bring in alcohol or tobacco you must be aged 17 or over

If you bring in any single item worth more than your allowance, you must pay duty and/or tax on the full item value, not just the value above the allowance. You also cannot group individual allowances together to bring in an item worth more than the limit.

If you are transporting more than 10,000 Euros in cash (the term cash includes cheques) outside of the EU, then you must declare this.

For more information, call HM Revenue and Customs on 0845 010 9000 (Calls cost 3.19p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge). Visit HM Revenue and Customs website:

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