Duty Free extended to the EU from January 2021
British passengers travelling to EU countries will be able to take advantage of duty-free shopping from January 2021, bringing our approach to the EU in line with the rest of the world.
This means that passengers will be able to buy duty-free alcohol and tobacco products, where available, in British ports, airports, and international train stations, and aboard ships, trains and planes.
This follows a consultation with industry on our approach to taxing goods carried across borders for personal use from January 2021, as the end of the transition period brings with it powers to set our own rules in this area.
The amount that passengers can bring back with them from non-EU Countries will also be significantly increased, and extended to EU countries, providing one of the most generous allowances anywhere in the world.
This means that passengers coming to Britain will be able to bring back, for example, three crates of beer, two case of still wine and one case of sparkling wine to GB without paying UK duties.
We are also ending tax-free sales in airports of goods such as electronics and clothing for passengers travelling to non-EU countries, following concerns that the tax-concession is not always passed on to consumers in the airport. In some instances these tax-free goods are brought back into the country by UK residents, putting high street retailers at a disadvantage.
VAT Retail Export Scheme
As part of these changes, VAT refunds for overseas visitors in British shops will be removed. Overseas visitors will still be able to buy items VAT-free in store and have them sent direct to their overseas addresses, while the costly system of claiming VAT refunds on items they take home in their luggage will be ended.
The post-transition passengers VAT and excise consultation was launched at Spring Budget 2020 and closed in May.
UK excise duty will no longer be due on alcohol and tobacco bought when leaving GB. For example, alcohol purchased duty-free on the way to the EU could be up to:
- £2.23 cheaper for a 75cl bottle of wine.
- £2.86 cheaper for a 75cl bottle of Champagne or Prosecco.
- £2.28 cheaper for six 50cl cans of 4% ABV beer.
- £11.50 cheaper for a 1l bottle of 40% ABV spirits.
New GB inbound personal allowances specified below. For example, someone will be able to bring three crates of beer, two cases of still wine and one case of sparkling wine to GB without paying UK duties.
- 42 litres of beer
- 18 litres of still wine
- 4 litres of spirits OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine or any alcoholic beverage less than 22% ABV
- 200 cigarettes OR
- 100 cigarillos OR
- 50 cigars OR
- 250g tobacco OR
- 200 sticks of tobacco for heating
- or any proportional combination of the above
Any other goods
- £390 or £270 if travelling by private plane or boat
The beer allowance of 42 litres will equate to three crates of 568ml (pint) cans, the maximum unit per can that beer is sold in. If passengers prefer to buy 330ml bottles of beer this would equate to five crates.
Duty free, personal allowance and the VAT Retail Export Scheme changes will apply in England, Wales and Scotland.
Latest News from
House sales rise following introduction of stamp duty holiday supporting nearly 750,000 jobs22/09/2020 15:20:00
Residential property transactions rose 15.6% in August following introduction of stamp duty holiday.
Nearly a million workers used flexible furlough in July21/09/2020 11:10:00
950,000 workers got back to work part-time in July according to new figures.
G20 Finance and Health Ministers – statement on COVID-19 response: 17 September 202018/09/2020 15:20:00
G20 Finance and Health Ministers yesterday made a statement on the COVID-19 response after a virtual meeting.
Official figures show that the furlough scheme has worked: saving jobs and helping more than half of employees back to work already16/09/2020 10:05:00
More than half of those furloughed since May returned to work by mid-August according to data published by the Office for National Statistics.
John Penrose MP to lead review exploring how to bolster UK competition policy14/09/2020 16:15:00
John Penrose MP has been asked to examine UK competition policy.
New stop and search powers for convicted knife criminals14/09/2020 11:25:00
Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) are designed to ensure repeat offenders are more likely to be caught and put in prison.
Ministers announce new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns10/09/2020 15:20:00
Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.
John Glen addresses Investment Association on Sustainability and Responsible Investment07/09/2020 15:20:00
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury spoke about the opportunity to extend the UK’s leadership in responsible investing and strengthen the UK’s position as a leading global financial centre.
UK diners eat 100 million meals to protect 2 million jobs07/09/2020 11:10:00
The Chancellor recently (04 September 2020) thanked Britons for helping protect thousands of jobs across the UK after statistics revealed that more than 100 million meals were eaten as part of the landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme.