On 1 May 2004, ten countries – Cyprus*, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the European Union (EU).
*Though the whole of Cyprus is part of the EU, goods from any areas of Cyprus not under effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus are treated as non-EU imports.
From this date travellers from these countries do not pay any UK tax or duty on excise goods they have bought tax and duty paid in these countries for own use. BUT THERE ARE SPECIAL RULES FOR CIGARETTES AND SOME OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM SOME EU COUNTRIES.
Tobacco Restrictions for eight Member States
From 1 May 2004, the UK is maintaining limits on the amount of cigarettes and some tobacco products that travellers are able to bring in to the UK for own use from eight Member States, without paying UK duty.
The limits are:
- 200 cigarettes from Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia;
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco from the Czech Republic; and
- 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco from Estonia.
Anyone who is carrying more than the limits should pay UK duty on those goods by entering the Customs Red Channel or by using the Red Point telephone. If travellers enter the Customs Blue Channel with more than the limits, then all of their tobacco may be seized.