Holidays in Europe: how much alcohol and tobacco can you bring in your bag?

Holidays in Europe: how much alcohol and tobacco can you bring in your bag?

Tobacco and alcohol can be brought back to France, but in limited quantities
Tobacco and alcohol can be brought back to France, but in limited quantities (© Adobe Stock / Illustration)

Because Alcohol and tobacco are often cheaper in some European countriesTravelers tend to return it in their bags, sometimes in bulk.

But beware, not everything is permissible. exist Limit Above that penalties may fall. We are evaluating.

for alcohol

Limoncello from Italy, Sangria from Spain… As a souvenir or for personal consumption, it is not uncommon to bring alcohol in your luggage when returning to France.

However, certain conditions must be respected if you do not want to be caught by customs. Thus, it is necessary that he has reached the legal age and that Respect the authorized quantities Each person is subject to the following limits:

  • spirits (whisky, gin, vodka, liquor): 10 liters per person;
  • Intermediate products (port, vermouth, etc.): 20 liters per person;
  • Wine: 90 liters per person;
  • Beer: 110 liters per person.

These quotas apply both if the trip is made by personal transportation such as a car or bicycle, as well as by public transportation (airplane, train, boat).

Also, these quantities can be combined, as indicated on the website:

You can return 10 liters of whiskey + 20 liters of outlet + 90 liters of wine + 110 liters of beer. Or 10 liters of whiskey + 20 liters of port + 60 liters of sparkling wine (champagne or cream) + 30 liters of wine + 110 liters of beer.


Again, quantities are limited. They were revised downward by an amendment to the revised Finance Act published on July 31, 2020. Prior to this new legislation, 800 cigarettes could have been returned, which is the equivalent of four cartridges.

Videos: Currently in Actu

Here are the current limits:

  • 200 cigarettes (one carton);
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250 grams of smoking tobacco.

The situation changes if the tobacco comes fromAndorra, According to the European Commission / Andorra Agreement of 28 June 1990. So it is possible to return 300 cigarettes, 150 small cigarettes, 75 cigars or 400 grams of smoking tobacco from this country.

These amounts are as cumulative as alcohol.

And outside the European Union?

If you are returning from a non-EU country, an overseas territory, the Canary Islands or the Channel Islands, the minimums are the same for tobacco but not for alcohol. In fact, it is possible to return no more than: 4 liters of wine, 16 liters of beer, 1 liter of spirits and 2 liters of alcohol less than or equal to 22 degrees (Port, Madeira, Vermouth).

What happens if quantities are exceeded?

If the authorized quantities are exceeded, Penalties may apply. to know, €750 fineand confiscation of proceeds and penalty prison up to one year.

It is also possible for the traveler to have consumption rights for payment. About tax which relates to quantity. So the traveler will have to pay these taxes according to the number of cigarettes or bottles of alcohol that exceed the allowed limit. These taxes are determined according to a specific scale.

Any final advice? Keep the receipt, as you may be asked to do so during customs checks.

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