31 Mar 2009 by Olga Brighton
Now we’ve started thinking about overseas trips again, are you planning on travelling to Spain this year? If you are, its good to know what you can and can’t take with you – especially as it could have been a while since you last travelled. Knowing the rules and limitations on what is permitted through customs can avoid delay, or worse still fines, confiscation, or falling foul of the law. Be aware that different rules can apply for EU citizens and non-EU citizens (including UK).
Its essential to follow the rules of Spanish Customs wherever you are travelling from. In addition, advice from consumer experts and the FCDO is to also buy travel insurance as soon as you book any part of your trip so that you’re protected against certain Cancellation risks before you travel. You won’t be covered for everything and it’s not likely you’ll find insurance against an area lockdown or restriction, but a decent policy like Globelink’s will cover you if you catch Covid, or other unforeseen illness/injury that prevents you from travelling. Plus, you will be protected against medical emergencies during your trip. Learn more about it on our website.
Read more: UK Travel Corridor Update List
A useful source of information is the travel section of the official EU website www.europa.eu/youreurope. Fortunately, like in the vast majority of countries in the world, bringing your personal medication into Spain and personal items such as ID, travel documents, money and credit cards are permitted when entering and exiting. Note that you should carry your prescription for any medication and it's best to keep it in its original packaging.
A reliable source of current accurate information for UK travellers to Spain is the FCDO www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain. You must not take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries including Spain. There are some exceptions for essential medical reasons, for example powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. You can also Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Now that the UK is not part of the EU, you can take 200 cigarettes, or 250g of tobacco into Spain. Any more and you could risk paying duty, or if its suspected they are for commercial use, you could risk a fine or confiscation.
You can take funds up to £/€10,000. Above this sum they must be reported to customs on entry. This includes all forms of currency - from coins, notes, money orders etc.
Because the UK is now outside the EU you have a reduced allowance than previously because the lower limits now apply. To be safe you best stick to carrying no more than
Warning: minimum age requirement for carrying alcohol is 17yrs
The good news is there are no limits on what you can buy and take with you when travelling between EU countries. However – this is provided that products are for your own personal use and not for resale.
Be aware that funds of more than €10,000 euros must be reported to customs on entry. All forms of currency from coins, notes, money orders etc must be reported if they exceed €10,000 in value.
This includes tobacco and alcohol.
There are no specific limits on the amount of tobacco or cigarettes you can bring into Spain from another EU location, however you must be ready to prove they are for your use only. To establish if cigarettes / tobacco are for your use, Spanish customs authorities can look at many factors, for example - do you own or work for a commercial business, how the items are packaged, the quantity etc., Each EU country is free to decide on a maximum amount of tobacco products that you can bring into the country. As a guide, it's best not to carry more than:
Warning: lower limits can be applied between certain locations for land and sea travellers, so it's best to check the particular rules that apply from your particular location to Spain. This can be as low as 40 cigarettes and 50g of tobacco (travellers from Estonia and Romania).
The same principles as above apply to alcohol. The suggested maximums are:
Warning: Carrying quantities above the limits from UK or EU
An important fact to remember is if the customs officer thinks that your goods are not for personal use, and you cannot demonstrate that they are not bought for sale or commercial gain, you risk paying hefty duty, or having items seized or confiscated.
You cannot carry Alcohol or Tobacco if you are under 17 years old.
According to the European Commission, travellers may not bring any animal food products into Spain either for their own consumption or as a gift or part of their luggage allowance (including meat, meat products, milk, and dairy products). Also, certain plants are restricted and you can find out more on the official EU website here https://ec.europa.eu/food/plants/plant-health-and-biosecurity_en. Exceptions to prohibited goods include baby powdered milk, sealed in its original package. Other foods may be brought into Spain, up to a maximum weight of one kilogram. Exotic animals are also a no-go or any animal products such as ivory, animal skin, or anything related to nature listed by the CITES conversion. Unauthorized firearms and ammunition are also strictly prohibited.
If you need to carry prescribed medication, carry it in its original packaging and carry the prescription or any supporting documentation from your doctor. Possession of even the smallest quantity of illegal drugs can lead to arrest and detention. Possession of larger quantities is likely to end in prosecution and imprisonment if convicted.
Always protect yourself and your travel companions with and buy travel insurance. Learn more about it on our website. You can select a policy to suit your needs and you’ll be covered for up to €/£10,000,000 in Medical Expenses and Repatriation! Wherever you travel check your Government rules and restrictions before you do so.
Read about: Travel Insurance with COVID-19 cover