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British Tourist Crackdown on Customs for Cigarettes and Alcohol

THE RULES regarding cigarettes and alcohol when coming back from Europe have tightened. It’s crucial to stay informed if you don’t want to face hefty fines.

This is a wake-up call for many Brits travelling back from Europe. Stowing away that extra bottle of wine or an extra pack of smokes isn’t just casual fun; it could cost you dearly.

  • Cigarettes – You’re allowed to bring back 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco.
  • Alcohol – You can carry back 4 litres of still wine, 16 litres of beer, 1 litre of spirits over 22% alcohol or 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine, or other alcoholic beverages less than 22%.

Slap on the wrist? Think again. Customs officials will hit you hard if they catch more items than you are allowed. The fines can skyrocket. Imagine a casual return from Paris, and bam! You’re hit with a £1000 penalty for those extra bottles. Repeat offenders? Brace yourself for fines exceeding £20,000. That’s not just money; that’s a new car or multiple vacations down the drain.

  • Know Before You Go: Be clear about what you can bring and what you can’t.
  • Declare Honestly: If you have extra items, declare them. It might save you a fine or at least lessen the penalty.
  • Pack Smartly: Prioritise what you really want to bring back and leave enough space for souvenirs within allowed limits.
  • Keep Receipts: Helps prove the quantity you purchased.

Keira Rigby from My Hotel Break says: “The fines are real, and they hurt, understanding and respecting customs laws helps ensure your holidays remain memorable for the right reasons.

“Next time you pack that extra bottle or carton, remember it’s not just about what you want to bring home, but what’s allowed.

“Fines can reach over £20,000 if you are not mindful of customs rules.”

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