UK Duty Free Allowances (from non-EU)

#1
Right, now that I am coming towards the end (regrettably) of my vacation back here in the U.S., I was looking up at the duty free limits on liquor etc. you can bring into the UK. The current limits from the HMRC website:

Alcohol allowances

You can bring in either, but not both, of the following:

1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22 per cent volume
2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that's less than 22 per cent volume

Or you can combine these allowances. For example, if you bring in one litre of fortified wine (half your full allowance) you can also bring in half a litre of spirits (half your full allowance). This would make up your full allowance. You can't go over your total alcohol allowance.

In addition you may also bring back both of the following:

16 litres of beer
4 litres of still wine

Tobacco allowances

You can bring in one from the following list:

200 cigarettes
100 cigarillos
50 cigars
250g of tobacco

Or you can combine these allowances. For example, if you bring in 100 cigarettes (half your full allowance) you can also bring in 25 cigars (half your full allowance). This would make up your full tobacco allowance. You can't go over your total tobacco allowance.

You cannot combine alcohol and tobacco allowances.
As you can see, it's pretty low for us on non-EU origin flights. I am mainly interested in the alcohol part (what a surprise!), as I wanted to bring a couple of really nice single batch bourbon bottles (plan to buy them in the airport duty free) for a close Brit friend of mine in London. Just wanted to know how strictly they enforce the 1 liquor bottle only rule at Heathrow? Anyone here have any experiences?

I know I can always buy them outside the airport and put them in the check-in luggage, but I had a bad experience once when a bottle broke (even with careful packing) and ruined the whole luggage.

Worse comes to worse, I guess I can just declare it and pay the duty on the extra bottle. But rather not, obviously. :)
 
#2
I find that if you look in the cameras and smile or give them eye to eye contact, they tend to grab you to see what you have. If you walk by browbeaten with bedhead hair thing going on, they tend to let you pass without an issue.

Can't say much more then that, cos I have never been caught :)
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
If you try to exceed your alcohol allowance and they catch you, you will lose all of your allowance. Whilst the priotities these days is drugs guns and kiddyporn, they still look for revenue offences. If you fail to declare and are caught you will end up with a revenue record.

If you declare the goods the Excise Duty due on each bottle of spirits will be £10.72.(assuming that the volume is a litre and the ABV is 40%). Excise Duty on spirits is calculated on the basis that such duty will be charged at a rate of £26.81 per litre of pure alcohol.

Depending upon the CN code of the goods there may well be Customs Duties to pay. The rate will be determined by reference to the tariff, and finally there will be Import VAT to pay at a rate of 20%.

UKBA/HMRC do take Mastercard.
 
K

Kirkz

Guest
#4
Just fly to Europe first, stop one night in France or Spain or Germany and then travel on to Blighty and enjoy the duty free shop :)
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
There are no Intra-EU Duty Free Sales any more; and there haven't been since the introduction of the single market. The only way for an individual to import exciseable goods from another member state without having to pay duty on them in the UK is to have proof that they were bought duty paid in the other member state.

The OP's best option if he only has the one bottle is to declare it to an Officer and hope that the Officer doesn't want the hassle of completing shedloads of paperwork for what will in all probability be less than £30.00 in additional revenue.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#6
Some airports won't even sell you above the amount.
Take your chances I bought 6000 cigs in Dubai the limit is 200. I reckon they'll stop more people coming from the canary islands than long haul, big plane, loads of passengers, few customs officers.
 
#7
There are no Intra-EU Duty Free Sales any more; and there haven't been since the introduction of the single market. The only way for an individual to import exciseable goods from another member state without having to pay duty on them in the UK is to have proof that they were bought duty paid in the other member state.

The OP's best option if he only has the one bottle is to declare it to an Officer and hope that the Officer doesn't want the hassle of completing shedloads of paperwork for what will in all probability be less than £30.00 in additional revenue.
Thanks for the feedback. And yes, the current plan is for one additional bottle.....hmmm....need to make a choice.
 
#12
Ahh yes, apologies. I've done it though many times, loads of bubble wrap then wrapped in t shirts in the middle of the case.
Did pretty much the same...didn't have any issue previously until this happened last year....ruined a couple of (relatively) expensive electronic items in the suitcase. Hence my reluctance.

Also, wth did you need 6000 cigs for? Is that like a year's supply for you?

Cabana - I will prolly end up doing it. Just pack it in the suitcase full of just cheap clothes and stuff which doesn't really matter.
 
#13
Did pretty much the same...didn't have any issue previously until this happened last year....ruined a whole bunch of (relatively) expensive stuff in the suitcase. Hence my reluctance.

Also, wth did you need 6000 cigs for? Is that like a year's supply for you?
Good god man, the innocence of this one. For selling of course.
 
#18
Just put them in your case.... I once bought about 6 litres of Mount Gay rum in Barbados, then friends over there all gave me bottles as Christmas presents... well over weight.

I always find if I have a couple extra in the suitcase, you look more innocent having a duty free allowance in a bag as well.... good luck.
 
#19
Right, now that I am coming towards the end (regrettably) of my vacation back here in the U.S., I was looking up at the duty free limits on liquor etc. you can bring into the UK. The current limits from the HMRC website:



As you can see, it's pretty low for us on non-EU origin flights. I am mainly interested in the alcohol part (what a surprise!), as I wanted to bring a couple of really nice single batch bourbon bottles (plan to buy them in the airport duty free) for a close Brit friend of mine in London. Just wanted to know how strictly they enforce the 1 liquor bottle only rule at Heathrow? Anyone here have any experiences?

I know I can always buy them outside the airport and put them in the check-in luggage, but I had a bad experience once when a bottle broke (even with careful packing) and ruined the whole luggage.

Worse comes to worse, I guess I can just declare it and pay the duty on the extra bottle. But rather not, obviously. :)
Listening to the Emperor Mong and walking through the green channel when over the limit always appears to be a great idea until you get tapped. The odds are low but as we all know sh!t does happen and it's a complete pain in the arrse to have to deal with Customs at that point. Their mindset is often "what else is the cheeky fcuker hiding?" - certainly was when I was HMC&E - mind you I was a suspicious little bugger ;-)

The amount of duty and VAT on an extra bottle is as Mr F points out relatively minor and if you encounter a switched on bod in the red channel you'll likely get waved through. Seriously it's just not worth the paperwork.

Lancslad
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
PeacePhlapps Photography 20
A The Intelligence Cell 196
A The NAAFI Bar 3

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top