EU value allowance may rise again

By Administrator |

The European Commission is being lobbied once more by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to raise the inward duty free allowance for travellers re-entering the European Union from a non-member state to ?1,000

($1,700).
This follows the European Commission announcement that it is proposing to raise the allowance for air passengers to ?340 (E500) and a lower ?140 (E200) for those travelling by rail, road or sea.
A spokesman for the Tax Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs said these lower figures represent a compromise between the demands of Britain and other member states, but Brown is not satisfied that the Commission's proposed increases reflect modern day purchasing habits.
He says that the current ?145 (E175) inward tax free allowance is outdated and an increase to the ?1,000 level is a fair reflection on modern day changes in purchasing habits and will free up EU customs officers to concentrate on other more important matters.
The current duty free allowances for passengers departing or arriving to or from a non EU member state remain the same at one litre of spirits and a carton of 200 cigarettes. But the Commission's proposals suggest that the inward perfume allowance should no longer be based on volume, and should therefore be incorporated into the new value allowance. The Commission is also suggesting that member states can further regulate the tobacco allowance, should they so wish.
Meanwhile, the only change of any significance in last week's UK Government budget saw tax on cigarettes rise by ?0.09 a pack, so increasing further the differential pricing that already exists between the High Street price of cigarettes in the UK and some southern European member states.

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