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Travelling between the UK and EU for business? Find out what you need to know



Since 1 January there are new processes that you need to be prepared for if travelling between the UK and the EU. In addition to COVID-19, passport and insurance requirements for travellers visiting the EU, there are new rules that will affect you if you bring in goods from abroad for personal use, carry goods for use in your business and carry large amounts of cash.

I regularly travel to the EU with work and take products in my luggage, what do I need to do?

If you are leaving Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) with commercial goods in your luggage or in a small vehicle, you must declare the goods before you leave by making one of the following:

  • a full export declaration

  • a simple online declaration

  • an oral declaration at the 'goods to declare' channel or the red point phone in the customs area at the port or airport

  • declaration by conduct (not available if you carry commercial excise goods of any value).

You must submit a full customs declaration before you leave Great Britain if the goods you carry are worth more than £1,500, or weigh more than 1,000kg, or are classed as excise (alcohol, tobacco or fuel) or controlled goods (for example, toxic chemicals, firearms).

If your goods don’t meet these criteria then you can make a simple online declaration in the five days before you leave, or make an oral declaration to the Border Force officials, or a declaration by conduct.


The same thresholds and types of declarations apply for importing commercial goods into the UK; however, if you do not make a full import declaration, you will not be able to account for import VAT on your VAT return.


More information on what you need to do when moving commercial goods in your baggage out of Great Britain or into Great Britain is available on GOV‌‌.UK.


There is a short video explaining the new rules for carrying commercial goods in your baggage on YouTube.


I’m travelling to the EU, can I still bring goods back to Great Britain without paying duty and VAT?


You can bring some goods from the EU without having to pay UK tax or duty if they are goods for personal use or you want to give them as a gift.


The amount of goods that you can bring in is known as your 'personal allowance'. The personal allowance rules apply whether you bought the goods from a shop on a high street, or a duty-free shop at the airport, in the country that you visited.


HMRC has developed an online declaration service for you to check your personal allowances, see what tax and duties that may be due, declare your goods and pay any tax or duty.


For more information on personal allowances for Great Britain and Northern Ireland go to bringing goods into the UK for personal use.


There is also a short video explaining the new rules for travelling with goods for personal use.


Please note that the rules above do not cover the import/export requirements of the EU country you are visiting.


What do I need to know about taking cash in and out of Great Britain?


If you are leaving or entering Great Britain with cash of £10,000 or more, you must declare it to UK customs authorities.


A declaration also has to be made if you are carrying cash of £10,000 or more from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. However, you do not need to declare any amount of cash if you’re carrying it from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.


You must declare cash in the three days before you travel.


You can declare online for:


  • cash you’re carrying between Great Britain and any other country

  • cash you’re carrying between Northern Ireland and a non-EU country, this includes Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

There is a short video that explains the new rules for carrying large sums of cash.

Please note that the rules above do not cover requirements for cash declarations when you enter the EU.

Need further support?


Source: HMRC

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