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.
If you're carrying cash of 10,000€ or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency), you must declare it to EU customs and complete an EU Cash Declaration Form.
Cash you must declare includes:
- Banknotes and coins
- Bearer negotiable instruments (eg. cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders)
- Gold coins, bars, nuggets or clumps
DECLARING GOODS PURCHASED IN THE UK WHEN ENTERING THE EU
Travellers under the age of 15 need to declare goods purchased in the UK, and pay VAT and customs duties, if they are worth more than €150
Travellers above the age of 15 need to declare goods purchased in the UK, 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.
When you arrive, you may see French customs officers on the platform carrying out routine 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.
If you’re travelling to Disneyland Paris, you will be able to declare goods purchased outside of the EU on arrival, at the designated customs booth on the upper level of the station.
DECLARING GOODS PURCHASED IN THE EU WHEN ENTERING THE UK
There are limits on what you can bring into the UK for personal use or as a gift without paying tax and duty charges. You can find out more about the limits on the UK government website.
If you bring goods which exceed these limits:
- you’ll have to pay duty and/or tax on all goods in that category, not just the value above the allowance;
- you must make a declaration and pay any tax and duty before entering the country. You can do this up to 5 days before you travel on the UK government website.
- your goods may be seized and you might be fined if you fail to make a declaration.
Important: please read our alcohol policy if you’re planning to carry alcohol on board.
Alcohol and tobacco
There are limits on how much tobacco you can bring into the UK for personal use or as a gift without paying tax and duty charges.
The duty-free tobacco allowance for customers aged 17 or over is:
- 200 cigarettes or
- 100 cigarillos or
- 50 cigars or
- 250g tobacco or
- 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).
If you exceed these limits, you must make a declaration and pay any tax and duty before entering the country.
You can check allowances and make a declaration on the UK government website.
Taking personal food, plant, and animal products from Great Britain to the EU
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.
Taking personal food, plant, and animal products from the EU to Great Britain
You can take the following with you into Great Britain from the EU for personal use:
- Other animal products, for example, fish, eggs and honey
- Nuts and seeds
Additional health checks may be introduced in 2023. Find out more about bringing food into Great Britain from the EU.
Claiming VAT on purchases made in the UK
The UK no longer operates tax-free shopping and travellers visitors to the UK are will no longer be able to purchase items in store tax-free products to carry back in their luggage, under the VAT Retail Export Scheme. Find out more information
Claiming VAT on purchases made in the EU when travelling from the EU to the UK:
Non-EU residents may be able to claim back VAT on purchases made in the EU from retailers that are part of the VAT refund scheme. Please note the minimum qualifying amount may vary by country.
You will need to show your purchases, receipt, passport and completed VAT refund form in your name to customs officers at the station to get your VAT refund form stamped. The customs office can be found after passport and luggage checks in Paris Gare du Nord, Lille Europe, Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland Paris) and Brussels-Midi/Zuid. Please arrive at the station a little earlier than usual if you plan to claim a VAT refund.
Important: VAT refunds are not issued by the customs office. The retailer is responsible for issuing the refund.
We strongly recommend that you choose the “card refund” option at the time of purchase. If you do, your refund request will be sent automatically to the retailer once your VAT refund form has been stamped by customs. You won’t have anything else to do.
For any other refund methods, you will need to send the retailer the stamped VAT refund form.