Every traveller should know that there are restrictions on what goods can be brought in to the UK from abroad, if you don't know the regulations you run the risk of having your souvenirs confiscated, or even imprisonment if you attempt to bring a banned item into the country.
Research earlier this year by ABTA and The Travel Foundation found that many British holiday makers are confused about what they are allowed to bring back into the country when they come home from their holiday.
The research showed that almost one third of respondents thought that it was illegal to bring religious artefacts back to the UK, when this in not the case. Conversely the research also showed that 11% of travellers thought that they were allowed to bring ivory in to the UK, when in fact there has been an international ban on the import of ivory since 1990.
Ivory is not the only item that is subject to a ban on international trade, other goods include bush meat, including whale meat from Iceland, products made from big cats and plants including orchids and cacti.
Attempting to bring these items back to the UK will not only result in the item being confiscated and disposed of it could also lead to you being prosecuted. If you are travelling from an EU country back to the UK you are allowed to carry most goods without restriction, but remember, banned goods are still banned no matter where you are travelling from. Banned good include offensive weapons, indecent or obscene material, drugs such as morphine and goods subject to an international ban on trade. For those of you travelling outside of the EU there are many more restrictions to be aware of such as the limit on the amount of cigarettes and alcohol as well as restrictions on food and plant products.
Another thing to remember is that if you are travelling from outside the EU there is also a limit to the value of good you can bring back duty free. If you have purchased goods totalling more than £390 you are required to declare these at customs and pay the appropriate tax.
To find out more about what goods you can bring in to the UK visit the gov.uk website.
Where ever you are going on holiday make sure you have travel insurance in place before you leave the UK.
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