French Police crack down on ´smuggling´??

Sep 26, 2007
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Hi,

Does anyone know anything about the limit of tobacco, booze you can take from Spain through to Uk. We were told a ´horror´story yesterday that police were stopping motorhomes and searching them, anything over a very small amount of cigarettes or booze resulted in an on the spot fine!

I thought with the EU you could bring a fair amount of goods back through can anyone please advise me

The weather is still brilliant here, and David Price arrived yesterday so we have a good little meet starting there are about 6 british motorhomes at the moment and we are all having a great time.

Ginny and Mike
 
Aug 1, 2007
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I read this story about three years ago I believe it is a myth but other will know for sure.
 

scotjimland

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Yes there are restrictions on importing tobacco and alcohol.. so if you buy in Spain or Belgium you are technically importing to France on your homeward journey to the UK
There is no restrictions if you purchase in France..

Import regulations by France customs

Import:

Tobacco products
200 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or
50 cigars or
250 grams of tobacco

Alcohol:
1 liter of spirits over 22 % vol. or
2 liters of fortified wine or sparkling wine
2 liters of still wine

Perfume:
50 Grams

Eau de toilette:
250 ml

Other goods: Up to a value of 175 Euro

French Customs: Regulations, Export-Import Procedures of France Customs
 
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Brisey

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Jim is spot on there, the original report from way back in 2005 can be found on the following link.

France outlaws tobacco tourism - Times Online

The French police have a purge every so often, so best be aware.
If you want to bring goods back into the country use the Ramsgate - Ostend ferry service. Drive through France to Belgium and buy your goods in Adinkerke you can then bring home your full EU limit.
 
Jul 29, 2007
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Hi been stopped three times, once near the Spanish border with some others, but after a few grunts and it became obvious we didn't speak French he told us to get lost. (In French :ROFLMAO:)

And twice near Calais by the Duane, after searching a coach in the Aire they came over to search us, she took one look at the cat and spent five mins coaching her, then waved us on.

The last time was coming back from Portugal last year with both daughters and grandson, they still had the beds out, :Eeek: the place was a tip, he muttered something in French and gave up. ::bigsmile:

Olley
 

Tony Lee

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The site Mike referred to states -

Tobacco and alcohol

However, special rules apply in the case of goods subject to excise duty, such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. If a private person purchases such products in one Member State and takes them to another Member State, the principle that no excise duty has to be paid in the Member State of destination only applies if the goods are

* for the own use of the traveller or his family and
* transported by himself.

To determine whether these products are for the own use of the traveller, Member States must take account of all the relevant factors. These include:

* The commercial status of the holder of the products and his reasons for holding them;
* The place where the products are located or, if appropriate, the mode of transport used;
* Any document relating to the products;
* The nature of the products;
* The quantity of the products.

As to the last element, Member States may lay down guide levels, solely as a form as evidence, which cannot be lower than the following quantities:
a) Tobacco products

* cigarettes 800 items
* cigarillos (cigars weighing not more than 3 g each) 400 items
* cigars 200 items
* smoking tobacco 1.0 kg

b) Alcoholic beverages

* spirit drinks 10 litres
* intermediate products 20 litres
* wines (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wines) 90 litres
* beers 110 litres
The limit on fags can be zero for all I care and as a moderate drinker, the booze limits seem pretty generous so are these the limits the French MUST apply as a minimum, or have I missed something.
 
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May 15, 2008
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Braunston

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Hi, Very interesting thread, I honestly thought the only EU country to impose these sorts of restrictions was the UK, it seems perhaps we aren't as bad as everyone suggests ?
 
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You can access and save then print the French version of these regulations by using the link to the English version then substituting fr for en in the www address header. If you then get stopped show this to the Douane and hope for the best!!
Hi your wasting your time, their not searching you for fun, if your over their limits you will have to pay.

This came about because French shopkeepers complained their customers were slipping over the border and getting their fags and booze cheaper. As always the French make teir own rules. ::bigsmile:

Olley
 
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Am going back a long while now, we were stopped by UK customs having brought back 6,000 ciggies from france which were purchase after being made redundant. These were neither hidden or concealed.

We had already checked with customs to make sure what we were doing was okay and prebooked the ciggies through the ferry company. They took our passports and checked to see how often we had been abroad (which we hadnt for at least 3 years prior)

They spent over an hour with us and our son who was in a pushchair at the time.

Proving that they are for your own consumption is extremely difficult.

We were eventually allowed on our way, with our ciggies and booze (we only had 1 litre of alcohol which was a present for my dad) but told if we bought in bulk again it would most likely be confiscated.

They also checked with the customs officer that I had spoken to on the phone (note they dont give their names anymore, luckily I had my diary with me and had written down his full name.)

So be warned, even if you are bringing in what you can bring in, it still can cause hassle.

Good Luck xxxx
 

madbluemad

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If I ever had anything confiscated from me I would take HM Customs to court faster than they could say open your bags. IMO they are not operating within the law.

Cheers
Jim:Smile:

There I go jumping to the end of the thread again. Thought we were talking about the brits.

Jim
 
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Teasy2007
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The site Mike referred to states -


The limit on fags can be zero for all I care and as a moderate drinker, the booze limits seem pretty generous so are these the limits the French MUST apply as a minimum, or have I missed something.
Thanks for all your information guys, we never bring much back only tobacco for the sons, but I was a little concerned about them searching through the camper, it cant be a nice experience.

Ginny and Mike
 

Bulletguy

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The limit on fags can be zero for all I care and as a moderate drinker, the booze limits seem pretty generous so are these the limits the French MUST apply as a minimum, or have I missed something.
Thats because you don't smoke.

For all i care the limit on booze could be zero as i hardly ever drink. But then that would be selfish of me as there are plenty of people who do like a drink. Personally though i think the allowances for alcohol are excessive and far above anyones personal needs.....even for regular drinkers.
 

EzeeRider

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I thought the story was that most of those who have been stopped had been to Andora?
I flatly refuse to bring any fags back for anyone, they can kill themselves without my help and any boose is always for moi:ROFLMAO:
 

passionwagon

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Hi, Very interesting thread, I honestly thought the only EU country to impose these sorts of restrictions was the UK, it seems perhaps we aren't as bad as everyone suggests ?
:Eeek:Just a small point that the French customs are after those who buy in Andorra ( not part of the EU nor subject to its regulations) and travel back into Spain (although their customs can be as hot) then cross into France!! This also happens between Switzerland and any adjacent country. Hence do not buy your EU allowances before your last route is entirely through EU countries. :thumb:
 

scotjimland

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:Eeek:Just a small point that the French customs are after those who buy in Andorra ( not part of the EU nor subject to its regulations) and travel back into Spain (although their customs can be as hot) then cross into France!! This also happens between Switzerland and any adjacent country. Hence do not buy your EU allowances before your last route is entirely through EU countries. :thumb:
That may be the case but they are also stopping those coming back from Belgium, so it's not just non EU countries.
 
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petevw

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cigarettes

Last year my partner and i went on holiday to perpignan france i went to the border town of le Pertus where we bought what i thought was our allowance that is 3200 cigarettes each cost approximately 1000 pounds when we got back to the car we where stopped by the french customs who confiscated all the cigarettes apart from 6 cartons which they said was the allowed amount for the two of us they then took me to the cash machine for a on the spot fine of 320 euros. So i would personally never buy cigarettes in spain and bring them back into france learn from my costly mistake. regards a sleepless pete.
 
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