Limits to cross-border purchases
What am I entitled to bring with me while travelling within the EU?
While travelling within the EU, you are entitled to bring with you your belongings, with no restriction. Anyway, for public reasons, Member State might establish some limits on drugs, firearms, product deriving from protected species and pornographic material.
Concerning medicines, you can bring them with you if you have a medical receipt or also if drugs have been legally purchased, without exceeding in quantities allowed for personal use.
Moreover, while travelling, there is no limit about the possibility to bring money. However, for administrative and statistic reasons, in some Member State you might be asked to declare the sum in your possession, if it’s higher than a certain amount.
If you want to bring with you your pets, a valid anti-rabies vaccination is required, but please notice that if you are travelling to Sweden Ireland or United Kingdom, you might be asked to comply with stricter rules.
What am I entitled to buy for personal use?
If you buy a product while travelling within the EU, you will pay the relative VAT, but no further payment will be required once came back home, apart from some specific products, such as a car or a good for professional use.
However, Member State are entitled to collect a levy on tobacco and alcoholics, so they have established a maximum quantity of these products which is to be considered for personal use. If you exceed in quantity, you might be asked to show that is for personal use.
These rules apply to original 15 Member States and also to Malta, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. In any case, Member States may apply special transitional arrangements for travelers returning from Member States that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 , as long as these States haven’t reached the minimum level of taxation for cigarettes and other tobacco products.
For further information see DG “Taxation and Custom Union” website at:
The following quantities are to be considered for personal use:
-cigarettes 800 pcs
-cigarillos (cigars weighing not more than 3 g each) 400 pcs
-cigars 200 pcs
-smoking tobacco 1.0 kg
-spirit drinks 10 litres
-intermediate products 20 litres
-wines (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wines) 90 litres
-beers 110 litres