Information for Travellers Arriving in Ireland from Member States of the European Union

1. Introduction

This notice is intended for travellers arriving in Ireland from another Member State of the European Union (EU). Travellers who are arriving in Ireland from a country outside the EU as well as from the Canary Islands, Channel Islands or Gibraltar – even if they have transferred flights in another EU country - should consult the Information Leaflet for Travellers Arriving in Ireland From a Country Outside the EU.

The countries of the European Union are:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain*, Sweden and the United Kingdom*.
  • *Although Gibraltar, the Canary Islands and the Channel Islands are part of the EU, they are subject to special provisions and therefore the duty free allowances for outside the EU apply.

2. Smuggling

There are heavy penalties for smuggling

Smuggling is illegal and is a serious offence. Smugglers may have a financial penalty imposed on them, the goods concerned may be seized, there may be a prosecution before the Courts or a combination of all of these measures may be applied in any given instance of smuggling.

Revenue is the Irish tax and customs administration. Any information on drug smuggling or smuggling of any kind should be passed to a Revenue Officer or contact:

Freephone 1800-295 295

Don’t Ignore It – Report It!

Further Information may be obtained by contacting Revenue Officers at any port or airport.

3. Duty-Paid and Tax-Paid Goods

(i) General

No additional duty or tax will be charged on goods bought duty and tax paid (e.g. in shops, supermarkets etc.) in another EU country. However, see below for Alcohol and Tobacco Products.

(ii) Alcohol and Tobacco Products

In the case of alcohol and tobacco products:

  • they must be for the travellers personal use and cannot be for commercial purposes: if a traveller intends to sell or accept any kind of payment for the goods this is classified as commercial use,
  • the traveller must retain receipts as proof that (s)he has paid duty and taxes,
  • the traveller must personally transport and accompany the goods on arrival, and
  • travellers under 17 years are not allowed to bring Alcohol and/or Tobacco Products with them under these provisions.

Where purchases of the specific products listed below are equivalent to, or less than, the quantities shown in the table they will, generally speaking, be regarded as for personal use.

Quantity and list of goods allowed as personal use
Quantity Goods
800 Cigarettes*
400 Cigarillos
200 Cigars
1kg Smoking Tobacco
10 litres Spirits (whiskey, gin, vodka, etc.)
20 litres Intermediate Products - Alcoholic drinks not exceeding 22% vol. (e.g. port, sherry, some liqueurs, etc.)
90 litres Wine (of which only 60 litres can be sparkling)
110 litres Beer

However, from 1 January 2014 there are reduced limits on the amount of cigarettes you can bring into Ireland for your personal use that have been purchased in the following EU countries:

BULGARIA, CROATIA, HUNGARY, LATVIA, LITHUANIA AND ROMANIA

Quantity and list of goods allowed as personal use
Quantity Goods
300 Cigarettes*

*No reduced limit applies to other tobacco products as long as they are for your own personal use. It is important to note that the Member States to which the restriction applies are subject to review, therefore you are advised to check the Revenue Website before travelling.

If you have alcohol and/or tobacco products over the above limits you must declare them to a Revenue Officer and pay the appropriate duties and taxes.

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4. Duty-Free and Tax-Free Goods

Such goods are not available for purchase by persons travelling between EU countries except for immediate consumption on board ferries or aircraft. All duties and/or taxes must be paid on any such goods carried on landing in Ireland.

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5. Customs Procedures

  1. Sea
    A person arriving in Ireland by ferry from another EU country with no goods to declare may, unless challenged (see paragraph 6), exit the port directly without passing through Customs controls.
  2. Air
    1. If both a journey and the flight a person travelled on began in an EU country (s)he should go through the Blue Channel.
    2. If a person is arriving in Ireland from an EU Country on a flight which began outside the EU (e.g. New York – London - Dublin), (s)he must, regardless of nationality or country of residence, clear Customs by going through either the Green (Nothing to Declare) or Red (Dutiable Goods) Channel.

6. Selective Checks on Travellers to protect society

Under EU Treaty provisions, Revenue Officers can still carry out selective checks on intra-EU travellers to combat smuggling of prohibited or restricted goods. A traveller may therefore be asked questions by Revenue Officers and may be required to produce his or her baggage for inspection.

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7. Prohibited or Restricted Goods

Certain goods may not be imported from another EU country. The principal items are:

  • Dangerous drugs,
  • Indecent or obscene goods,
  • Certain foodstuffs.

Certain other items may only be imported under licence, such as:

  • Domestic cats and dogs (pets), other than from the U.K., the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man,
  • Firearms and/or ammunition,
  • Fireworks and explosives.

For further information, see Tthe Prohibitions and Restrictions section on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie which contains a full list of prohibited and restricted items or contact a Revenue Officer at any port or airport.

8. Cash Controls

A Revenue Officer may search for, seize and detain any cash which is being imported into or exported from the State if its amount is not less than €6348.69 and he/she has reasonable grounds for suspecting that:

  1. the person is importing or exporting, or intends to import or export, from the State an amount of cash which is not less than €6348.69, and
  2. the cash directly or indirectly represents the proceeds of crime or is intended by any person for use in connection with any criminal conduct. (Section 38(1) Criminal Justice Act 1994, as amended by Section 20 Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005)

Last Updated: December 2013

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