If you’re planning to bring goods into the UK from travels abroad or from purchasing on the Internet, there are some important customs laws that you should be aware of. Here’s a handy guide to the regulations.
Buying goods abroad
Entering the UK from the European Union (EU): if you buy any goods on which tax was paid in another EU member country, you don’t have to pay any more tax in the UK. However, goods such as alcohol and tobacco must be for personal use only – i.e. for consumption by you or to be given as gifts. It is illegal to sell or take payment for these goods as they will then be considered to have been brought into the country for commercial purposes, and you could face up to seven years in prison if you are caught.
If a customs officer has reason to believe that you are bringing alcohol or tobacco into the UK for resale, you will be interviewed and expected to provide an explanation, and your goods may be seized (including the vehicle in which they are being transported) if they conclude that the goods are for commercial purposes. There are restrictions on how much tobacco you can bring into the UK from some of the new EU member countries who joined in 2004 without paying UK duty.
Entering the UK from non-EU countries: if you arrive in the UK with goods purchased in non-EU countries, there are limits to how much you’re allowed to bring into the country without having to pay UK duty. These are:
* 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars
* 60 cubic centiliters of perfume
* 250 cubic centiliters of eau de toilette
* 2 liters of still table wine
* 1 liter of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% alcohol volume or 2 liters of fortified wine (e.g. sherry or port), sparkling wine or other liqueurs
* £145 worth of any other goods, including souvenirs and presents
There are also restrictions on how you bring the goods into the country. These are:
* You must travel with the goods.
* You must not sell the goods – they must be for personal use only.
* You must be over 17 to have the tobacco and alcohol allowances.
* If you go over the £145 limit for other goods, you’ll have to pay the duty for the whole value of the goods, not just the value over £145.
* You can only use your own personal allowance, i.e. you can’t share allowances in order to bring back higher value goods. If you do, you’ll have to pay duty on the total value of the goods.
If you have more than the allowance, you must declare your goods, otherwise you may face prosecution. Here’s how to declare goods at UK ports and airports: ATA Carnet can solve all these process.
The ATA Carnet System provides benefits of all concerned: the customs authorities and the dealing team, i.e., individuals, organizations, organizations who need short-term liability free importation functions to possibility websites for their products on worldwide market segments.