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Duty free shopping allowance increased for first time in 15 years

UK residents travelling into the country from outside the European Union will be able to bring back an increased amount of duty-free shopping from today.

The UK Border Agency, in partnership with HM Revenue and Customs, has announced a change to current restrictions to double the allowance for goods such as electrical products and souvenirs from £145 to £300.

The amount of wine travellers are allowed to bring back into the country has also increased from two litres to four. There is a new allowance of 16 litres of beer, restrictions on the volume of fragrance have been removed and there is now an option to mix the allowance on tobacco and alcohol.

The increase is the first change to the customs allowance in 15 years. The changes cover all member states and follow a proposal made in 2004 by the UK’s then Chancellor Gordon Brown.

ABTA welcomed the news. A spokeswoman said: “Travel habits and consumer spending have changed significantly over the past 15 years. Whether the destination is New York or New Delhi, the purpose business or pleasure, these new allowances bring greater freedom for the public.”

New posters and leaflets informing passengers of the changes will be displayed at airports and ports from today.

 

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