When travel opens up after COVID 19 we are going to experience travel after Brexit and the adjustment period for the first time. In my case it will be to the Netherlands, but I might travel via France or Belgium.
I assume the general rules for travel from outside the EU will be in force.

I have found I can import items up to €430 without import tax being due on it, if traveling by flight or ferry. €300 if traveling by your own vehicle. Link in Dutch.
Someone suggested that I can bring more if it is gifts rather than items I have bought. The site I linked to does not mention that but does mention buying.

Kocht u goederen buiten de EU met een totale waarde van € 430 of minder?

(Did you buy goods outside of the EU with a total value of €430 or less?)

Someone might gift me with a piece of art which might be worth more or may bring my total to over the given amount.
Do gifts count to the total value and if not, how do you prove they are gifts?

Information about the other way around is also welcome, for when my friend goes home after visiting me.

I do know there are separate rules about what is allowed, that is worth a different question when needed.

  • I would be mightily surprised if this were the case. The "bought outside the EU" is probably a means to exclude things that have been bought in the EU (with all taxes paid), temporarily exported (i.e. you went on a trip) and then back. Whether you bought them or someone else did is IMHO irrelevant. But I'm in no mood to check customs regulations at this time :-/
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


No, you may not, the rules are the same. The EU website uses a better description. This has nothing to do with buying abroad and applies equally to things that were gifted to you or even to things you have owned (but kept abroad) for a long time.

Note that there is another restriction that is not clearly explained on Belastingdienst.nl: the €300/€430 only applies to things you are importing for personal use (or as a gift for other people). The threshold is low enough that it would seldom make sense to travel back and forth with goods you intend to resell but that's also forbidden. More importantly, it's a mistake to think that gifts (either received or given) or items for personal use are outside of this allowance: that's precisely what it is for.

  • Thanks. This confirms what I thought I knew, but I could not see it in the Dutch site I linked to.
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 15:01

UK Customs do not have a separate classification for " gifts you've been given by other people". They work on the value of the goods you have with you. "You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 (or up to £270 if you arrive by private plane or boat). If you go over your allowance you pay tax and duty on the total value of the goods, not just the value above the allowance. You may have to pay customs duty if you exceed your allowance". From here: gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arriving-in-Great-Britain –

  • 2
    I think the question is about bringing goods from the UK to the EU. Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 21:41
  • @DJClayworth, information both ways round is welcome.
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 21:57

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