Taking food across international borders

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Oyibo, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. I wasn't sure whether to post this in food or travel, but food it is: I will making a rare trip to the UK (Scotland) and was thinking it would be nice to come with some really good aged beef for a roast (the best roast beef I have ever had was in Scotland, so a bit nostagic for me). It's journey back home would be UK>Netherlands>Switzerland>France in one trip. Does anyone know if I would have it confiscated at any stage?

    My contribution: Do not wake the fat lazy heifer of a customs officer in Cape Town if you arrive early from the UK with a load of cheese. (Dairy products not allowed.)
  2. The swiss customs would like you to pay a hefty import duty for it. Maybe the French too when coming back into the EU out of CH.
  3. Switzerland is classed as an EU country for the purposes of importing and/or exporting meat and dairy products, but don't just take my word for it, check the UKBA leaflet Bringing Food Products into the UK. Plenty of copies available at any port.
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  4. just make sure it is not horse!!
  5. Tell that to Swiss customs:


    You can bring in 0.5kg meat, over this the tax is CHF20 per kg.
  6. Into Holland is no problem

    The Netherlands Embassy

    The Swiss leg is covered above

    Now all you need is the rules for the Swiss-France bit.

    Found it

    "Personal consignments of meat, meat products, milk or milk products with a
    combined total weight that does not exceed 5 kg from the Faeroe Islands,
    Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland also fall outside the
    scope of the Regulation."

    From here EUROPA - Animal Health & Welfare - Animal Products - Background
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  7. So just eat it and if it floats your boat..'one bloke, one cup'.. :)

    P.S. My avtar can do you a nice 'schnitzel '
  8. Others have covered the legal bit, but in practical terms, the means of transport will make a difference.


    You'd be hard put to spot the land border between the Netherlands and Germany.

    There are customs posts at the German/Swiss border, but a lot of the time they're unmanned, and they rarely want to look at what you're carrying. Unless you're dark-skinned. Or have Dutch plates (drugs).

    Likewise Switzerland/France. I live in France and work in Switzerland, so I cross the border every day. It must be five years at least since I've been stopped at the border, in either direction, and I don't think they've ever asked to look in the boot. But see above regarding skin colour and plates.


    Not been asked to open my bags at Geneva airport once in the 12 years I've lived here. Security might pick it up before departure if it's in hand luggage, so you'd probably want to put it in the hold.
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  9. The returns are far higher for swallowing.
  10. Oh the joys of foreign passengers. Dried fish by the bag full, Goat meat, five dead monkeys (gawd my oppo didn't half retcho on that one) Honey by the bucketload. Never understood the whole issue, there's shops here we have food here but they have to bring in enough for the feeding of the five thousand.
  11. Thanks all - flight has been changed to BA passing through Heathrow - don't foresee any issues there. But strewth, Stoatman. 20 chuffs per kilo in Switzerland? Ouch! I bet there's a few Swiss residents who have been hugely fined returning from the French supermarkets!
  12. You're going to put raw beef in the hold, so it's going to freeze, then defrost and then?
  13. Carry on luggage only.
  14. Have you thought some way of using a cool box/bag? You might be able to get a butcher to vacuum pack it.
  15. I was thinking vac pack - I probably won't have room for a cool bag, and if I carry it seperately, it's a bit of a giveaway. Failing that, I reckon some aged beef shouldn't suffer too much from 4 or 5 hours at room temp.