Moving between the EU and UK by Ro/Ro freight - personal allowance for drivers

Since Brexit, there has been a lot of information circulated regarding changes to customs clearance, how you can benefit from a freeport, and how to use T1 forms when buying and selling with countries deeper in the EU. But, there haven’t been many consistent updates shared with drivers moving goods between the EU and UK by Ro/Ro freight. And these updates could delay you at the border, or leave you liable for duty and VAT, if you are unaware.

If you are a haulier, or driving your vehicle over the to the UK from the EU border, then this guide on personal allowance is for you.

Personal allowance of alcohol and tobacco


As a driver, you have a personal allowance of alcohol and tobacco when moving between the EU and UK by Ro/Ro freight.

If you go over your personal allowance, you must pay import duty and VAT on all of it, not only the surplus.




When entering the UK, you are allowed to bring in up to 42 litres of beer and 18 litres of still wine. 

Additionally, you have an allowance of 4 litres of spirits (over 22% alcohol) or 9 litres of sparkling wine (up to 22% alcohol). However, this allowance is one or the other so you cannot bring in the full quantity (EG 2 litres of rum and 4.5 litres of sparkling wine is ok, but 3 litres of rum and 4.5 litres of sparkling wine would not be).


You may bring in one of the following:

– 200 cigarettes
– 50 cigars
– 250g tobacco
– 200 sticks of tobacco for heated tobacco devices
– 100 cigarillos

This allowance can be split EG 125g tobacco + 50 cigarettes + 25 cigarillos (50% + 25% + 25%) but be careful not to go over. 

Personal foodstuffs


Since Brexit, no foodstuffs containing meat and dairy products – like a ham sandwich or a coffee with milk – have been allowed to enter the EU when travelling from the United Kingdom. Any products found will need to be consumed or discarded before entering the EU.

Similar items coming from the EU to the UK by Ro/Ro have not yet been banned; however, the need for pre-declarations on the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) was introduced for all foodstuffs in January 2022. It is expected that a later phase of Brexit red tape will affect bringing in small quantities, too.

Plants – such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, or flowers – are also not allowed to enter the EU without a phytosanitary certificate when travelling from the UK to the EU by Ro/Ro freight. If you do not have the relevant documentation for your plants, they will not be allowed to enter the EU.

Personal goods when moving between the EU and UK by Ro/Ro freight

You can bring goods worth up to £390 in by Ro/Ro freight. Anything over this amount must be declared to customs.

If you go over your Ro/Ro freight allowance

Any allowance that is exceeded will need to have the whole category declared and customs duty and VAT paid.

However, if you can prove that you purchased the goods in an EU country, then you will be able claim 0% duty on the goods as per our trade agreement.

If you want help with your Ro/Ro freight personal clearances. Contact us for assistance.


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