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Travel restrictions apply. Check if you need a negative COVID-19 test and to complete mandatory forms before travelling. See government websites for updates and find essential travel info here.

CUSTOMS

Everything you need to know about custom regulations when travelling between Europe and the UK.

Custom regulations and checks

We strongly recommend checking the latest government advice before you travel – from both the country you’re departing from, and the country you’re travelling to. 

It is your responsibility to check applicable rules and laws about prohibited items before travelling.

Declaring cash

Declaring cash when travelling between the EU and the UK:

If you're carrying more than €10,000 in cash or alternative value (or the equivalent amount in another currency) when leaving your country, you will need to declare it. Find out more.

Declaring goods

Going from the UK to the EU:

  • Travellers under the age of 15 may need to declare goods purchased in the EU, and pay VAT and customs duties, if they are worth more than €150
  • Travellers above the age of 15 may need to declare goods purchased in the EU, and pay VAT and customs duties, if they are worth more than €300
     

Important: French and Belgian customs officials will be on board some of our trains to enable declarations and carry out random checks. If you’re travelling to Lille, there will be a designated area where you can declare your goods at the station. Please listen carefully to onboard announcements and look out for station signs when you arrive at your destination for more information.

For passengers travelling to France

When you arrive, you may see French customs officers on the platform carrying out routine checks.  

For passengers travelling to Brussels

When you arrive, you may see Belgian customs officers on the platform carrying out routine checks. You may also be asked to show your negative coronavirus test. If you’re taking a connection, please allow at least 30 minutes to make your onward train.

For passengers travelling to Amsterdam or Rotterdam

If you're travelling to Amsterdam or Rotterdam, you may be subject to on board controls by Belgian customs between Lille and Brussels. We will update this page as soon as we know more.
 

Alcohol and tobacco

Alcohol allowance:

There are limits to how much alcohol you can take from the UK to the EU. Please read our alcohol policy before travelling.

Tobacco allowance:

If you are over 17, you can bring in one from the following:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250g tobacco
  • 200 sticks of tobacco for electronic heated tobacco devices


You can split this allowance - so you could bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (both half of your allowance).
 

Taking personal food, plant, and animal products from the EU to the UK

You can take the following with you into the UK from the EU:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Other animal products, for example, fish, eggs and honey


You can bring in any plants or plant products as long as they’re:

  • free from pests and diseases
  • for your own consumption


For passengers travelling from the EU to the UK controls on plants and plant products will be phased in during 2021 and 2022. Passengers will need phytosanitary certificates for:

  • high-priority plants, which includes plants for planting, from 1 January 2021
  • all other regulated plants and plant products from January 2022


Find out more about taking personal food plant and animal products from the EU into the UK.
 

Taking personal food, plant, and animal products from the UK to the EU

Meat and Dairy products:

You cannot take the following with you into the EU:

  • meat or products containing meat
  • milk or dairy products


There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons.

Check the rules about taking meat and milk products into the EU on the European Commission website.


Fruits, vegetables, and plants:

You cannot take the following into the EU unless you pay to have them inspected before you leave and get a ‘phytosanitary certificate’:

  • fresh fruit (apart from bananas, coconuts, dates, pineapples and durians)
  • vegetables
  • plants
  • plant products


Check the rules about taking fruit, vegetables and other plants or plant products into the EU on the European Commission website.

 

Duty free purchased and claiming VAT

Claiming VAT when travelling from the UK to the EU:

Unfortunately, as of 1 January 2021 the UK no longer operates Tax Free shopping and travellers to the UK will no longer be able to purchase items in store under the VAT Retail Export Scheme. Find out more information.


Related information

Travel Documents

Everything you need to know about travel documents, visas and unaccompanied minors requirements.
Find out more

Travel requirements

Essential information on the latest travel requirements to help you plan your journey.

Find out more

Prohibited items

What you can and cannot take on board as luggage

Find out more

Image credits: © Getty; © Getty