90 litre wine limit France to Ireland

kitty81

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66
Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right forum but I couldn't see which would be more suitable.

I have searched online for this to no avail. My father in law arrived back to Ireland by ferry recently and was stopped at customs. He had just under the 90 litre limit so all was fine, however, they took his passport & reg number & said it was an annual limit rather than a per trip limit.

We are curious now about this as everywhere we had read it doesn't specify that it is annual & if it is, is it on a rolling period or calendar year?

Needless to say he'll be fine with the quantity he has for a year or more anyway but would appreciate some clarity on it?
 

jpd

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1,681
The Revenue website says
If you want to bring in alcohol and tobacco products (up to the indicative limits below) without paying extra duty or tax:

  • you must be 17 or older
  • you must keep receipts (to prove you have already paid duty and tax)
  • and
  • you must transport and accompany the goods yourself
  • the goods must be acquired by you for your own personal use and you cannot intend to sell them.
The following quantities are generally considered as being for personal use for individuals travelling within the EU:

  • 800 cigarettes
  • 400 cigarillos
  • 200 cigars
  • 1kg smoking tobacco
  • 10 litres of spirits (whiskey, gin, vodka and so on)
  • 20 litres of other alcoholic drinks with no more than 22% alcohol (for example, port, sherry and some liqueurs)
  • 90 litres of wine (of which only 60 litres can be sparkling)
  • 110 litres of beer.
No mention of per month, year or any period - if he imported 90L every week, then they would certainly be suspicious but 90L every quarter - hey, I'll drink to that!
 

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newtothis

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553
The regulation is that it has to be for personal use.

The 90 litre figure is just a guide, in the sense that if it's more then that it would be assumed not to be for personal use.

Having said that, they can also take other factors into account: for example, if you did the same trip every other day with 90 litres on each trip, you'd have an issue. Saying it's an annual limit seems excessive, though: maybe this was just said to put him on notice? I think in effect that if you start pushing the boundaries of the limits, the burden of proof shifts to you to prove it’s for personal use rather than customs having to prove the opposite.

See: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/within-eu_en
 

Gordon Gekko

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Exactly, it’s a guide. Someone with far more than that who was organising their daughter’s wedding and bringing back the wine would be fine, for example. They might be asked to prove it which would be easy enough.
 

SBarrett

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3,056
They were marking his card. The limits are generous enough but if you push the boundaries, they'll clamp down on you.
 

kitty81

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66
Thank you for all the replies. I guess it all depends on who you get on the day so!

In fairness, they are genuinely only using for family consumption......There is a couple of family occasions & they kindly provide the wine :)
 

jpd

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Apology in order - to maths teacher at least.
90L = 120 bottles of wine (75CL is the norm) so 2.5 is about right 48 weeks so Dry November
 

cremeegg

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Purple is definitely a maths teacher. Who else would change the units from litres to bottles in mid question.:rolleyes:
 

john luc

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A know a retired European space agency scientist who told me that he keeps his research going be doing chemistry experiments of converting alcohol into urine
 

Macbeth

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So, going back to the OP's situation, was the customs official incorrect in saying it was an annual limit and if so, what was his basis for doing so? The EU legislation makes no mention of annual limits.
 

SparkRite

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Yes, he was incorrect.
And in fact 90L is also incorrect, as there is no limit for personal use.
 

newirishman

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Yes, he was incorrect.
And in fact 90L is also incorrect, as there is no limit for personal use.
I recommend to read this
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/within-eu_en
And this
https://www.revenue.ie/en/importing-vehicles-duty-free-allowances/customs-information-for-travelling-and-duty-free-allowances/travelling-from-within-the-eu/duty-paid-and-tax-paid-goods.aspx

There’s no yearly limit mentioned, however,
  • the goods must be acquired by you for your own personal use and you cannot intend to sell them.
Which is within the rights of the customs officers to asses.
You probably get away with a second trip shortly afterwards but exceeding the limits significantly within a reasonable timeframe can easily be argued against being for personal use.

You can of course still bring the stuff in, but you might be required to pay excise duty.
This is well within the spirit of the legislation, and you will be hard pressed to convince a judge otherwise.
 

llgon

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Someone with far more than that who was organising their daughter’s wedding and bringing back the wine would be fine, for example
In fairness, they are genuinely only using for family consumption......There is a couple of family occasions & they kindly provide the wine :)
Would these examples definitely qualify as 'personal use' if there are quantities in excess of those cited by the customs officials and quoted in the Revenue guidelines?
 

newirishman

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776
Would these examples definitely qualify as 'personal use' if there are quantities in excess of those cited by the customs officials and quoted in the Revenue guidelines?
No, not necessarily. Personal means for use by the person who imports the stuff. Not for family.
 

SparkRite

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1,121
I recommend to read this
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/within-eu_en
And this
https://www.revenue.ie/en/importing-vehicles-duty-free-allowances/customs-information-for-travelling-and-duty-free-allowances/travelling-from-within-the-eu/duty-paid-and-tax-paid-goods.aspx

There’s no yearly limit mentioned, however,
  • the goods must be acquired by you for your own personal use and you cannot intend to sell them.
Which is within the rights of the customs officers to asses.
You probably get away with a second trip shortly afterwards but exceeding the limits significantly within a reasonable timeframe can easily be argued against being for personal use.

You can of course still bring the stuff in, but you might be required to pay excise duty.
This is well within the spirit of the legislation, and you will be hard pressed to convince a judge otherwise.
Yes indeed, as I said,

Yes, he was incorrect.
And in fact 90L is also incorrect, as there is no limit for personal use.
 
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