3. Arrivals from outside the EU
Your duty-free allowance means you can bring in a certain amount of goods for your own use from outside the European Union (EU) 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 can’t combine allowances with other people to bring in more than your individual allowance.
Declare any goods over your allowance. Your goods could be seized if you don’t declare them.
How much you can bring depends on the type of drink. You can bring in:
- 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
You can split this last allowance, eg you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance).
You may have to pay Excise Duty on alcohol you declare.
You can bring in one from the following:
- 200 cigarettes
- 100 cigarillos
- 50 cigars
- 250g tobacco
You can split this allowance - so you could bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (both half of your allowance).
You may have to pay Excise 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 a single item’s worth more than your allowance you pay any duty or tax on its full value, not just the value above the allowance.
If you go over your allowance
You pay Customs Duty on anything you bring in above your allowance. The rate:
- is 2.5% for goods worth up to £630
- depends on the type of goods if they’re worth more than £630 - check by calling the VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline
You don’t pay Customs Duty if you owe less than £9.
You may also have to pay import VAT.
You may have to pay import VAT on the total value of the goods plus duty. The VAT rates are the standard UK rates.