I am traveling from the United States to the United Kingdom with a layover in Ireland. I have never traveled to the UK and I have seen mixed answers regarding what I have to pay taxes on at customs upon arriving in the UK. The HMRC's website says I am allowed £390 worth of goods but even the average cellphone is worth more than that. Other sites - including airline sites and personal blogs - say that I do not have to pay anything because I am bringing in goods for personal use only. Do I genuinely have to pay ANYTHING for the clothes, shoes, and toiletries that I bring with me and will bring back to the US? I am ONLY bringing clothes and the like to wear while on the trip. I will not be bringing any commercial goods or gifts.


1 Answer 1


You pay duty on things you are bringing in and leaving in the country. So your own clothes, electronics, jewelry etc do not matter for the purposes of duty. What are you importing? Chances are, nothing, in which case you're all set. Possibly, a gift from your home country to your hosts in the UK. In that case, you might need to declare it. This has nothing to do with personal vs commercial use per se though in some cases if you bring 50 or 100 of the same item, they don't believe it's your stuff you're bringing to use, and they decide you're importing it. But I don't expect you plan to do that.

If you plan to shop in the UK and bring home gifts for your family, souvenirs, or things that are cheaper or easier to get there, do look into the duty rules for coming back into your own country. Since those things are going to stay in your country with you, you will be declaring them.

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