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22 February 2021

Duty-free allowance

Here are the duty-free allowance guidelines you must follow, whether you've been on a break in the European Union (EU) or further afield.
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Which?Editorial team
Duty free allowance 441000

Although many of us know we can make a saving if we buy cigarettes or alcohol duty-free, do you know your allowances and how much you can bring back to the UK?

If you're planning a holiday or about to go away, make sure you fly with one of the best ranked airlines, to and from  one of the top rated airports.

Arriving in Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) from outside the UK

If you're travelling to Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) from outside the UK, you can bring in a certain amount (for your own use or as a gift) without paying tax or duty. Here are your personal allowances:

Duty-free allowances when entering Great Britain
Cigarettes

200

cigarettes

Cigars

50

cigars

Cigarillos

100

cigarillos

Tobacco

250g

tobacco

Beer

42 litres

beer

Wine

18 litres

wine

Spirit

4 litres

spirits

Fortified-Wine

9 litres

fortified wine

Spirits: Spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% alcohol.
Fortified wine: Eg sherry, port, sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that's less than 22% alcohol.

Arriving in Northern Ireland from the EU

While there is no duty or tax to pay on items when returning to Northern Ireland from a country in the EU, anything you do buy must be for personal use or a gift. Customs officers may query any goods you have brought back that exceed the standard amount shown.

Duty-free allowances when entering Northern Ireland from an EU country
Cigarettes

800

cigarettes

Cigars

200

cigars

Cigarillos

400

cigarillos

Tobacco

1kg

tobacco

Beer

110 litres

beer

Wine

90 litres

wine

Spirit

10 litres

spirits

Fortified-Wine

20 litres

fortified wine

Spirits: Spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% alcohol.
Fortified wine: Eg sherry, port, sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that's less than 22% alcohol.

Arriving in Northern Ireland from a non-EU country

If you are travelling back into Northern Ireland from a country outside of the EU then duty-free allowances are in place. This means you are restricted on the amount of goods you can bring back home with you. If you go over this allowance you might have to pay tax or duty on your goods - Excise Duty, Customs Duty and Import VAT.

The type of tax or duty you will pay depends on what you want to bring home. Duty-free allowances for travel outside of the EU are shown.

Duty-free allowances when entering Northern Ireland from a non-EU country
Cigarettes

200

cigarettes

Cigars

50

cigars

Cigarillos

100

cigarillos

Tobacco

250g

tobacco

Beer

16 litres

beer

Wine

4 litres

wine

Spirit

1 litre

spirits

Fortified-Wine

2 litres

fortified wine

Cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and tobacco: You can bring in one of the above or combine the allowances eg 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (half of each allowance)
Beer, wine, spirits and liqueurs and fortified wine: You can bring in one of the above or combine the allowances eg 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (half of each allowance)
Spirits: Spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% alcohol.
Fortified wine: Eg sherry, port, sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that's less than 22% alcohol.

Entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain 

If you are entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland), you do not need to declare your goods if you are a UK resident and you bought the goods in England, Wales, Scotland or the Isle of Man.

Entering Great Britain from Northern Ireland

If you are entering Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) from Northern Ireland you do not have to declare any goods.

Other goods

You can bring back items (to Great Britain and Northern Ireland) bought on holiday worth up to £390 duty free. If you bring home a single item worth more than your allowance, you will have to pay tax/duty on the full amount, not just that above the allowance.

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