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Irish Customs Regulations - What Can You Bring into Ireland?

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Irish customs regulations are very easy to grasp and upon arrival in Ireland you will have to clear customs - an easy feat if you are playing by the rules. But just what are the rules?

Customs within the European Union (EU) uses three channels - the blue channel is for travellers within the EU only and should not be used if your flight originated outside the EU. That leaves the green and red channels for transatlantic travellers. You must use the red channel if you have any goods to declare. Otherwise you may use the green channel, spot checks are possible here.

Certain goods are totally forbidden:

  • Dangerous drugs,
  • indecent or obscene goods,
  • plants or bulbs,
  • live or dead animals,
  • poultry, birds or eggs,
  • hay or straw (even when used as packaging material) and
  • meat and meat products.

For importing the following, you will need a license and follow certain regulations:

  • Domestic cats and dogs (pets),
  • firearms and ammunition,
  • fireworks and explosives.
A full list with detailed explanations on how to get licenses will be found on the customs website.

There are allowances for duty-free goods from non-EU-countries. The maximum quantities that can be imported without incurring duties and taxes are

- for tobacco products

  • 200 cigarettes or
  • 100 cigarillos or
  • 50 cigars or
  • 250 grammes of tobacco;
- for alcoholic drinks (excluding beer)
  • 1 liter of spirits (e.g. whiskey, gin or vodka) or
  • 2 liters of intermediate products (e.g. sparkling or fortified wine, port, sherry),
  • 4 liters of still wine,
  • 16 litres of beer.
- for other goods
  • goods to the maximum value of € 430 per adult and
  • € 215 per child under 15 years.
Note that allowances for flight crews are much lower.

And just by the way - Oscar Wilde was once asked by US Customs whether he had anything to declare. "Nothing but my genius," quipped the Irish author.

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