Holidays 2021: Brexit perks – duty-free alcohol allowance ‘significantly increased’

Brexit: Rees-Mogg discusses return of duty free after leaving EU

Holidays that start or end with an exciting airport purchase are often that little bit more thrilling. Duty-free shopping means travellers can bag some great deals. However, being part of the EU has come with some downsides in this area.

Britons lost the right to buy duty-free when travelling between EU countries back in 1999.

However, we could buy almost unlimited amounts of duty paid goods.

Duty-free rules are now set to change next year thanks to Brexit.

These will come into force from January 2021.

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New Brexit duty-free rules

The government has “reviewed the excise duty and VAT treatment of goods purchased by individuals for their own use and carried across borders in their luggage.”

Britons will able to buy duty-free tobacco and alcohol when travelling to the EU.

However, the precise allowances for these are not yet clear.

It is also not known whether there will be changes to the duty paid arrangements.

The government website stated: “Incoming travellers will be entitled to the same tax and duty-free allowances, the amount of goods an individual can bring into Great Britain without making a declaration or paying tax/duty, regardless of whether they arrive from the EU or non-EU countries. “

It added: “Alcohol allowances will be significantly increased for all passengers to enable them to transport reasonable amounts of alcohol for personal consumption in Great Britain, without having to pay the relevant taxes.”

HM Revenues & Customs also stated: “Other allowances remain unchanged except for the addition of a new category of tobacco products (tobacco for heating).”

Customs declarations will also be made simpler.

“The measure also introduces a simplified method for calculating excise duty so that travellers bringing goods in excess of their allowance can make a customs declaration more easily,” explained HM Revenues & Customs.

The authority summed up how the new rules will affect the public.

“This measure is expected to have an impact on individuals and families.

“Tax and duty-free allowances for tobacco products will remain the same and those for alcohol will be increased.

“Travellers with goods in excess of their personal allowances will be able to use a simplified method for calculating excise duty to make their declarations more easily.

“This measure is not expected to have a significant impact on family formation, stability or breakdown.”

“Customer experience is expected to be positively impacted as travellers can now purchase duty-free goods when travelling to EU countries.”

However, the government added, “the VAT Retail Export Scheme will not be extended to EU visitors and will be withdrawn for non-EU visitors in Great Britain from January 1, 2021” as it is a “costly relief which does not benefit the whole of Great Britain.”

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