Belgium or France?

Hi all, I'm hoping for a little advice/info please. I'm going to take OH on a day out to France or Belgium, mainly to stock up on some Xmas goodies. As this will be our first ever trip for this purpose, can anyone advise if we can both bring the recommended amounts of duty-free items back through customs or not. Any other info or advice on this subject will be really appreciated. Thanks for any help given. :):)


  • p1an0player
    p1an0player Forumite Posts: 1,196 Forumite
    There is not an allowance as such, just a guidance amount.
    I believe that it applies per person.
    The guidance amounts are fairly generous and relate to what should be for personal use (ie not sold on). Not sure what the amounts are.

    But the items are not duty-free (just that the EU tax is lower).

    I believe that you are more likely to be stopped by customs if they recognise your number plate, ie if you had made frequent visits. If you are stopped with more than the guidance amounts, you will be OK if the customs believe that it is all for personal use.

    Usually tobacco etc is cheaper in Belgium than France. Not sure about alcohol. Prices for tobacco is fixed in Belgium and France, ie no discounts, but the "smuggler" shops near the border often offer free gifts as well.

    Hope this helps.
  • dukemania00
    dukemania00 Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
    Hi p1an0player, and thanks for the reply.
    Guess you must have noticed that I'm a newbie booze cruiser lol.
    I won't have to worry about number plate as this is the first time we will have done a buying trip and we don't expect to become smugglers LOL at our age. Any more advise would surely be useful though. Anyone?? Thanks again.
  • Sarahsaver
    Sarahsaver Forumite Posts: 8,390 Forumite
    Go to France, you will find it more interesting (In my opinion, and my kids') Young children usually speak the truth!
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • tr3mor
    tr3mor Forumite Posts: 2,325 Forumite
    I reckon Belgium is much better than France. They have better beer :D
  • topmum
    topmum Forumite Posts: 387 Forumite

    Driving to Belgium will take you about an hour. Around Calais is very geared up to daytrippers and everything is within easy reach.

    Have a look at the daytripper web site - it is a mine of useful information. There is a detailed section on customs and allowances.

    Enjoy whatever you decide to do :)
  • Sarahsaver
    Sarahsaver Forumite Posts: 8,390 Forumite
    Yes but don't get the black and white belgian sweets unless theres someone you really dislike...
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • Ted_Bloke
    Ted_Bloke Forumite Posts: 24,868
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    A day for Belgium or France!? you don't say whether it is by car or not. For a day it boils down to Calais, Brussels, Lille or Paris. For a day I would put them in that order. By car in a day there is only time for Calais. (It could take you a day to find parking in Paris!). If not by car you can't stock up that much. At Calais you'll spend most of a day in a huge shopping centre in Coquelles near Channel Tunnel.
    If you tell me it's 2 days I will advise you further.
    Sorry my posts so long - not time write shorter ones.
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