UK immigration authorities are stringent and methodical, so queues can get long at passport control, especially at Heathrow Airport.

Customs Regulations

The UK distinguishes between goods bought duty-free outside the EU and those bought in another EU country, where taxes and duties will have already been paid.

If you exceed your duty-free allowance, you will have to pay tax on the items. For European goods, there is officially no limit to how much you can bring but customs use certain guidelines to distinguish between personal and commercial use.

Import Restrictions



200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco

Spirits & liqueurs


1L spirit or 2L fortified wine (eg sherry or port)

Beer & wine


16L beer & 4L still wine

Other goods


Up to a value of £390


Not required for Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and US visitors, as well as several other nations, for stays of up to six months.

More Information

Immigration to the UK is becoming tougher, particularly for those seeking to work or study. The exit of the UK from the EU will take several years, but the process has commenced and entry requirements for EU nationals may change. Make sure you check the website of the UK Border Agency ( or with your local British embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

Visa Extensions

Tourist visas can be extended as long as the total time spent in the UK is less than six months, or in clear emergencies (eg an accident, death of a relative). Contact the UK Visas & Immigration Contact Centre for details (0300 123 2241; 9am-4.45pm Mon-Thu, to 4.30pm Fri) .