What are rules for bringing British teabags to France post-Brexit?

Since January there are new rules on what foods you may bring with you in luggage when entering France from the UK

3 September 2021

Teabags are not one of the items that are restricted for travellers entering the EU Pic: slawomir.gawryluk / Shutterstock

By Liv Rowland

Am I allowed to bring back British teabags from the UK when I come into France?

People who regularly come and go between the UK and France are still getting used to the new rules imposed by Brexit, including restrictions on bringing in certain kinds of foods.

Teabags, however, are not one of the items that are restricted for travellers entering the EU.

The main categories which are not allowed are meat and dairy foods, or products made mostly from these (cheese, charcuterie…), although with dairy you can bring in processed foods, such as milk chocolate, which contain some dairy food as part of the recipe.

With rules for plants, the restrictions are mostly on fresh fruit and vegetables but also cover cut flowers and seeds for planting and whole plants with soil attached.

The issue with bringing these in is that they can only be brought if accompanied by a plant health certificate, showing that they are not carrying any plant diseases, which is feasible for importers bringing in large quantities, but not individuals bringing an apple or banana in their bag…

However dried, processed plants, such as, for example, kitchen herbs, would be acceptable.

The same goes for your tea, whether teabags or loose leaf.

With regard to tea in particular, European regulation 2019/2072 of 28 November 2019 states that you cannot bring in fresh, whole, uncut, unfermented tea leaves. However the tea you buy in shops does not correspond to this.

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