Brexit also affects business travel

Douaneregels wijzigen na Brexit

With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on 1 January 2021, the customs rules will change. Until that date, there will be a transitional period for the Brexit and there will still be free movement of goods, as a result of which Customs will only have to check you for so-called excisable goods such as alcohol and tobacco on your return to the Netherlands until 31 December 2020. From the new year onwards, the customs rules for destinations outside the European Union will apply upon return. And these rules are different.

Taking products with you

Customs, part of the Tax and Customs Administration, conducted a survey among business travellers to find out which products are being taken along. “The vast majority (85%) of business travellers who have visited the UK in the last three years have taken something nice or tasty home with them,” writes Customs. “Candy, biscuits and chocolate are the most popular, followed by souvenirs such as key rings or magnets and clothing. At the end of the transitional period, products may still be taken back in the suitcase, but there are a number of changes”. So bear this in mind when you go back to the UK and want to take products back with you.


From 1 January 2021, the following rules will apply to destinations outside the European Union, including returns from the United Kingdom:

  • Purchases and business gifts may be taken home. However, if together these are more expensive than € 430.00, you will pay tax on this on your return to the Netherlands.
  • One litre of spirits may be taken home tax-free.
  • It is also allowed to take one carton of cigarettes tax-free.
  • Dairy and meat products may not be taken along, even if they are vacuum-packed. Nor are most fish products.
  • If you take more than € 10,000 in cash with you on the outward or return journey, you must submit a declaration to Customs.


You can prepare yourself well via (Dutch) or download the Douane Reizen app (Dutch), so that you will not be faced with any surprises during your business trip.


Would you like to book a (necessary) business trip to the United Kingdom? Our staff will be happy to help you. Call or email us and the Travel Consultants will advise you with the best options.

Source: ANVR & Douane Reizen app

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