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Bringing food and plants into the UK  

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Bringing some food stuffs and their products into European Union (EU) countries is illegal because they can carry animal and plant pests and diseases.

If you bring food or plants back to the UK for your use this is called a ‘personal import’. Personal imports of meat or meat products and milk/dairy products are banned from most countries outside the EU.

There are also strict controls on bringing the following products into the UK:

* potatoes
* plants
* fish
* shellfish
* honey
* eggs and egg products
* certain fruit and vegetables

The same rules apply if you are bringing these food items into the UK yourself, if a friend or a relative is bringing them as a gift, or if they are sent in the post.

If you bring back banned items, or items in an amount that exceeds certain weight limits, all of the goods will be seized and destroyed. If you declare these goods at the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) red channel (‘channels’ are areas you walk through to leave airports, international train stations and ports) you will face no further action (for example a fine or prosecution).

If you go through the green channel and HMRC Officers find undeclared items you could face long delays, in addition to the goods being seized and destroyed and you may be liable to prosecution.


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