Entering or leaving the UK is usually straightforward and hassle-free, save for the occasional inconvenience of long queues at passport control and security.
A referendum result in the UK in June 2016 that favoured withdrawal from the EU renders information in this section highly liable to change; it's important to check the current regulations before travel.
Britain has a two-tier customs system: one for goods bought duty-free outside the EU; the other for goods bought in another EU country where tax and duty is paid. The UK’s 2016 decision to leave the EU (widely known as ‘Brexit’) may eventually lead to a change in these arrangements.
Following is a summary of the current rules; for more details go to www.gov.uk and search for 'Bringing goods into the UK'.
Duty-free The duty-free limit for goods from outside the EU includes 200 cigarettes or equivalent in cigars, 4L of wine, 1L of spirits and other goods worth up to £390.
Tax and duty paid There is no limit on goods from within the EU (if taxes have been paid), but customs officials use the following guidelines to distinguish personal use from commercial imports: 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 10L of spirits, 90L of wine and 110L of beer. Still enough to have one hell of a party.
Generally not needed for stays of up to six months. Not a member of the Schengen Zone.