Passengers can purchase duty free items on board and most lines offer a wide range of products to choose from. While duty free liquor can be purchased on board, it will usually be stored by the ship’s crew and returned to passengers at the end of their cruise. No liquor purchased on board may be consumed in public areas. Tobacco and cigarettes purchased on board may be taken away by the passenger at the time of purchase.
Along with duty free items available for purchase on board, travellers may also choose to purchase items in port. These purchases fall within the same allowance as purchases made on board and the allowance is dependent on whether you are travelling within or outside of the EU.
Passengers travelling with the European Union are permitted to transport as much alcohol, fragrance and tobacco as they like. However, there are conditions of transport which must be adhered to, including:
As goods are only permitted for personal consumption and not for re-selling purposes, a customs officer may question the amounts you are transporting if they are over:
If goods are believed to be intended for commercial purposes, they will be seized.
The transport of some food and plant products may be restricted if they:
When travelling outside the EU, you are permitted to bring a limited amount of goods for your own personal use back into the UK with you, without paying duty or tax. Allowances vary depending on the goods transported, but you must meet the following conditions in all cases:
If the person gifted the goods pays you in any way (including reimbursing you for any expenses or payment in kind), then the goods are no longer considered a gift and you must pay the duty and/or tax
To bring in alcohol you must be over 17 years of age
You may bring into the UK:
You may also bring either:
This allowance may be split, e.g. you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine (half your allowance) and half a litre of spirits (the second half of your allowance).
You must declare alcohol over your allowance or risk having all alcohol seized. You may have to pay Excise Duty and import VAT on any alcohol you declare.
You may bring in one from the following list:
This allowance may be split, e.g. you could bring in 100 cigarettes (half of your allowance) and 25 cigars (second half of your allowance)
You must declare alcohol over your allowance or risk having all tobacco products seized. You may have to pay Excise Duty and import VAT on any alcohol you declare.
You may bring in other goods (including perfume and souvenirs) worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty. If arriving by private plane or boat this limit is reduced to £270.
If a single item is worth more than your entire allowance, you will pay any duty or tax on its full value and NOT just the value above your allowance.
You must pay Customs Duty on anything you bring into the UK above your allowance. Customs Duty will be paid at a rate of 2.5% for goods worth up to £630, with the rate depending on the type of goods if their value exceeds £630. The VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline can advise further on rates charged under these circumstances. You will not pay Customs Duty if the total owed is less than £9.
You may also have to pay import VAT on the total value of goods plus duty. This will be charged at the standard UK rates.
This information is supplied by HM Revenue and Customs and is subject to change. For more information on duty free allowances when travelling within the EU, please call HM Revenue and Customs on 0845 010 9000. Bolsover Cruise Club advises checking directly with HM Revenue and Customs prior to travelling.