The duty free section on board a DFDS ferry.

Duty-Free and customs allowances

Duty free shopping is back!

If you are travelling from the UK to an EU country or vice versa you can take advantage of duty-free and tax-free shopping on board your ferry.

You have a duty-free allowance on both your outbound and your return journey, but the allowance for entry into the UK is higher than the allowance for entry into the EU.  This “duty-free allowance” is what you can bring into the country through Customs without having to declare it or pay any duty or tax.  You do not need to buy the items in a duty-free shop: you are free to buy the items wherever you wish: in a duty-free shop on board the ferry, or in your favourite hypermarket (or vineyard or distillery!) inland.

What are the duty-free allowances ?

When travelling from the UK to the EU, your duty-free allowance (per adult) will be:

  • 1 litre of spirits
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 16 litres of beer
  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of smoking tobacco
  • and €430 (£398) in other goods

When travelling from the EU to the UK, your duty-paid allowance (per adult) will be:

Alcohol

  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of still wine
  • 4 litres of spirits OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine or any alcoholic beverage less than 22% ABV

Tobacco

  • 200 cigarettes OR
  • 100 cigarillos OR
  • 50 cigars OR
  • 250g tobacco OR
  • 200 sticks of tobacco for heating
  • or any proportional combination of the above

and £390 worth of other goods.

Changes to border control and customs requirements

At EU border control British citizens may have to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay
  • use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

You’ll need to declare cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you take it between the UK and any other country. To check the guidance or obtain an online form, visit gov.uk/guidance/taking-cash-in-and-out-of-great-britain.

If you are leaving or entering the UK temporarily, including on a business trip, you do not need to declare your laptop or mobile phone to customs.

Bringing food from Great Britain to the EU

People travelling from Great Britain to the EU and EEA countries with products of animal origin (POAO), such as anything containing meat or dairy, will need to consume or dispose of them before or at the EU border. The rules will apply for food and drink for personal consumption whether carried in luggage, vehicles, or on their person. These rules apply to all non-EU/EEA countries.

Some exemptions apply, including certain amounts of powdered infant milk or pet food for medical reasons. Check the new rules on the European Commission website.

A phytosanitary certificate is required to take certain plants and plant products (including most fruits and vegetables) into EU countries. Check the rules for travelling from a non-EU country into the EU on the European Commission website.

Bringing food products from the EU back into Great Britain?

There are currently no restrictions on bringing food products for personal use from the EU back into Great Britain. Check the rules on bringin food into Great Britain here.

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