Customs and Duties

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Customs and Duties

You're always allowed to bring goods of a certain value back home without having to pay any duty or import tax. But there's a limit on the amount of tobacco and liquor you can bring back duty-free, and some countries have separate limits for perfumes; for exact figures, check with your customs department. The values of so-called duty-free goods are included in these amounts. When you shop abroad, save all your receipts, as customs inspectors may ask to see them as well as the items you purchased. If the total value of your goods is more than the duty-free limit, you'll have to pay a tax (most often a flat percentage) on the value of everything beyond that limit.

Fresh meats, plants and vegetables, controlled drugs, and firearms (including replicas) and ammunition may not be brought into the United Kingdom, nor can dairy products from non-EU countries. Pets from the United States with the proper documentation may be brought into the country without quarantine under the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). The process takes about four months to complete and involves detailed steps.

You’ll face no customs formalities if you enter Scotland or Wales from any other part of the United Kingdom.

Information in England

HM Revenue and Customs (0845/010–9000. www.hmrc.gov.uk.)

Pet Travel Scheme (0845/933–5577 in U.K.; 207/238–6951 in U.S. www.gov.uk.)

U.S. Information

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (877/228–5511 in U.S. www.cbp.gov.)

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* Some taxes, fees additional