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


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 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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Eu approves tougher anti-tobacco law, starts regulating e-cigarettes

Philip morris international: new study finds eu black market for cigarettes reaches record high; member state tax loss an estimated eur12.5 billion – wsj.com

The European Union approved new legislation that would regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes and make tobacco smoking even less attractive.

Tobacco companies are already required to display repulsive graphics of smoker lungs and cadavers on their cigarette packaging. The new law aims to make these images even more prominent, with graphic and text warnings covering 65% of the front and back labels beginning 2016.

Lawmakers are hoping that the bigger health warnings could help reduce the estimated 700,000 tobacco related deaths in Europe every year.

Countries that are contemplating bans on all cigarette branding, such as Britain and Ireland, will be able to enforce generic packaging if they wish.

“Agreement on the tobacco directive is a big step towards a healthier and more prosperous society,” said Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Lithuania health minister and current EU president.

Tobacco companies are questioning the health benefits that the new labeling system would bring.

“Over sizing health warnings to 65 percent with pictures positioned at the top of the pack… will not work, as people already understand the health risks associated with smoking,” Japan Tobacco Inc said in a statement. “Rather, these restrictions will confuse retailers and consumers, making it difficult for them to distinguish brands.”

Anti smoking groups laud the new law, saying it would make it harder for companies to use misleading marketing to attract new customers.

“The tobacco regulation supported today by governments is a victory against the tobacco industry and its intense lobbying,” said Monika Kosinska, secretary general of the European Public Health Alliance.

The new tobacco directive is also the first attempt of the EU to regulate the booming electronic cigarette industry. Analysts have predicted that e cigarette sales could eclipse the $700 billion a year market for tobacco cigarettes in 10 years. All the major tobacco firms Philip Morris owner Altria, Reynolds American, Lorillard, British American Tobacco, and Imperial Tobacco have started adding electronic cigs to their product lines in an effort to offset declining cigarette sales.

Marketed as a “healthier” alternative to smoking, electronic cigarettes generate nicotine vapor without burning tobacco leaves so there is no smoke expelled. Many of the carcinogens and toxic compounds associated with cigarettes come from tobacco smoke. But health officials and legislators are divided on the real benefits of e cigs. Some say e cigarettes are even more dangerous because the specific ingredients in the liquid solution are unknown. Parents also worry that kids are getting hooked because of the attractive flavors, which could lead to long term nicotine addiction.

Governments and the European Parliament have been locked in a dispute over how tightly to regulate the sales and use of electronic cigarettes.

EU diplomats have agreed to treat e cigarettes as consumer products rather than medicines which are more tightly regulated. But governments will be given a free hand in regulating e cigs as medical devices if they choose to.

Refillable e cigarettes will be allowed, but the European Commission could impose an EU wide ban in the future if three or more member states prohibit them on health grounds.

In addition to repackaging cigarettes, the new set of rules will ban all flavored tobacco products beginning 2016. It was agreed that menthol cigarettes could stay on the market until 2020, after some governments demanded a slower phase out.

Flavored cigarettes such as vanilla, fruit and clove are becoming increasingly popular among young smokers. The tobacco directive is expected to be formally approved by EU ministers and the full parliament.