Bringing Back Goods From New York

Bringing Back Goods from New York

What do you need to bear in mind, when bringing back goods from New York? That you can’t bring back too much! You’re allowed to bring a maximum of £390 (if you’re travelling to the UK) worth of duty-free, per person. So make sure the total value of your purchases doesn’t exceed this amount. It doesn’t matter if you bought a designer coat at Macy’s or bought electronics and gadgets in New York, stay below £390, to avoid any trouble. Be aware UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland have different rules for bringing goods back so be sure to check before you start shopping!

What if I go Over my Allowance?

If a single item is worth more than your allowance, you’ll have to pay duty or import tax on its full value, not just the value above the allowance. That means, in most cases, that you’ll pay 20% import tax, as well as excise or customs duty, on various products so keep that in mind when going shopping in New York.

What can I Bring Back to the UK?

You can bring goods such as clothing, electronics and gadgets, shoes, accessories, bags and jewellery, perfume, toys and souvenirs. As long as the total is a maximum of £390, you don’t have to pay duty and/or VAT. You can also bring food, alcohol and tobacco but the amount is limited. It is not permitted to bring any meat, meat products, dairy products or potatoes into the UK. Therefore, you can’t fill your suitcase that ham or cheese from Little Italy. Also, avoid bringing back banned goods, such as souvenirs crafted out of endangered animal produce. You are allowed to bring the following:


You can bring the following food products into the UK:

  • up to 2 kilograms of fruit and vegetables
  • up to 2 kilograms, per person, of animal products; such as honey and eggs
  • up to 20 kilograms, per person, of fish and fish products, (or the weight of 1 fish, whichever weight is higher). Any fish you bring must be fresh and gutted, cooked, cured, dried or smoked.

There are, however, restrictions on these items food: they must be free from disease and pesticides and they must only be intended for your own consumption.


How much you can bring back to the UK, depends on the type of drink:

  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of wine (not sparkling)

You can also bring either:

  • 4 litres of spirits and other liqueurs containing over 22% alcohol
  • 9 litres of fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks with up to 22% alcohol content

You can split this allowance. So you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance), for example.


You can bring in one of the following:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250 grams of tobacco
  • 200 sticks of tobacco for electronic heated tobacco device

You can split this allowance. So, you could bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (both half of your allowance).


It’s good to know that most airlines don’t allow you to bring hoverboards onboard, neither as hand luggage or stowed baggage. The lithium-ion batteries exceed 100 watt-hours, so are considered a hazardous material and are therefore not permitted.

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