Brexit: Taking French cheese and wine to the UK

There are new import and export rules following full Brexit, fortunately these are fairly flexible regarding taking food and drink to the UK

15 February 2021
By Liv Rowland

Once free to travel, can I continue to take unlimited wine and cheeses to the UK when visiting family there?

New rules have come in following full Brexit with regard to what you can bring into the EU from the UK and vice versa.

With cheeses and other dairy products, however, there is some good news, as the UK rules are currently less restrictive than the EU ones. The rules are also flexible when it comes to taking over wine, though limits apply.

The UK’s most up-do-date information on ‘personal’ imports of foods currently states that the UK has not imposed restrictions on personal imports of dairy foods or of meat.

On the other hand neither can now be taken from the UK to the EU without veterinary certificates.

The UK is phasing in restrictions on imports of plant products (for example most cut flowers will not be able to be imported to the UK from April), but has not currently clarified if it will tighten up rules on dairy produce at a later date.

As for taking alcohol from France to the UK, there are limits set by the UK as to what may be imported without having to declare them and pay VAT and potentially import duty, however luckily they are fairly high. 

With wine you can take up to 18 litres of still wine as part of your ‘personal allowance’ (when it is for yourself or to give as a gift).

You can also take over up to nine litres of sparkling wine or fortified wines.

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