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Duty Free Allowances from Spain

After you have finished your holiday in Spain, you can take a certain amount of good back to an EU country without paying any customs charges. The conditions for this are as follows:

  • The goods must be for your personal use or as a gift for someone else
  • You have transported the goods yourself
  • Tax has been paid in the country they were purchased
  • You are not allowed to sell the goods you have brought back

The quantity of goods that you can bring back will depend on the country they were purchased. The quantities from a country outside of the EU is far lower than from an EU country. Bear in mind than countries like the Canary Islands, the Channel Islands, northern Cyprus, Gibraltar, Norway and Switzerland are not actually in the EU in terms of customs law.

Allowances from an EU Country

Strictly speaking, you can brink an unlimited amount of goods back, as long as it meets the conditions stated above. In reality, excessive amounts cannot be categorised as personal use, so the recommended individual allowances are below.

Item
Quantity
Cigarettes
800
Cigarillos
400
Cigars
200
Tobacco
1 kilogram
Alcohol over 22%
10 litres
Alcohol less than 22%
20 liters
Wine
90 liters
Beer
110 liters

A customs office has the right to question you if he thinks you are bringing back goods to sell, and they will ask questions and make checks on the following:

  • They type of goods you bring back
  • How you paid for them
  • Why you bought them
  • How much you normally drink and/or smoke
  • How often you travel

Some or all of the goods can be seized, or a duty will have to be paid if they believe the goods do not meet the conditions above.

Allowances from a Non-EU Country

Goods purchased from outside the EU have a strict allowance and must again meet the conditions above. Allowances are strictly for an individual and cannot be combined with another person in your group.

If you are under 17, you can bring alcohol and tobacco back with you, but you are not entitled to any duty-free allowances. Any goods you bring back must have duty or tax paid on them at customs.

The limits allowed are as follows:

Item
Quantity
Cigarettes
200
Cigarillos
100
Cigars
50
Tobacco
250 grams
Alcohol over 22%
1 liter
Alcohol less than 22%
2 liters
Wine
4 liters
Beer
16 liters
Other goods
up to £390 in value (£270 if entering by private plane or boat)

If the items you bring back exceed your allowance, you must declare them and duty must be paid. The rate you pay will depend on the value of the goods, but for single good worth up to £630, a fee of 2.5% is charged. The fee is waived if the total duty calculator is less than £9.

Duty Free Tips

Many people believe that something that is duty free is automatically cheaper than the high street. This is not always the case nowadays. In fact, with online shopping, many goods can be purchased cheaper than in duty free shops. If you intend to purchase something when you return from holiday, it is always advisable to do your research first.

Further Information

If you are travelling to the UK, you can find more information about bringing goods back at www.gov.uk.