You can bring some goods from abroad without having to pay UK tax or duty, if they’re either:
- for your own use
- you want to give them as a gift
This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
The amount of goods you can bring is commonly known as your ‘personal allowances’. Personal allowance rules apply to any goods you have bought overseas and are bringing in to the UK.
These rules apply to goods regardless of where you bought them. This could include:
- a duty-free or tax-free shop
- on the high street in the country you’ve visited
You must declare all commercial goods. There are no personal allowances for goods you bring in to sell or use in your business.
The amount of goods you can bring in without paying tax or duty on them depends on:
- where you’re travelling from
- if you’re arriving in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland)
- if you’re arriving in Northern Ireland
Declaring goods to customs
Before crossing the UK border you must tell customs about (‘declare’) any goods:
- where you go over your allowances
- that are banned or restricted
If you go over an allowance, you will have to pay tax and duty on all the goods in that category.
You can declare goods online from 5 days (120 hours) before you are due to arrive in the UK.
Your goods and any vehicle you use to transport them may be seized if you break the rules. You may also be fined or prosecuted.
You can report someone for breaking the rules to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).