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Can I Take Chocolate to France From the UK After Brexit?
Blog / International / Can I Take Chocolate to France From the UK After Brexit?

Can I Take Chocolate to France From the UK After Brexit?

Are you planning a trip from the UK to France and wondering if you can bring some delicious British chocolate?

It's a common question for travellers, especially given the rich chocolate culture in both countries.

This post will examine the regulations and considerations for taking chocolate from the UK to France.

Whether carrying chocolate as a gift, a personal treat, or wanting to enjoy your favourite British confectionery abroad, understanding the rules and guidelines is essential.

We will explore customs regulations, quantity limits, and any potential changes post-Brexit that might affect your ability to bring chocolate across the English Channel.

Can I Take Chocolate Into France From the United Kingdom After Brexit?

When taking chocolate from the UK to France after Brexit, it's essential to consider the purpose of your trip and the amount of chocolate you're carrying.

Chocolates for personal use or gifts are usually permissible, but large quantities might be scrutinized for commercial intent.

There's no specific limit for chocolate, but customs might query you if the quantity seems excessive for personal consumption.

Since chocolate doesn't typically contain restricted animal products, it's easier to bring into the EU from the UK than meat or dairy.

However, ensure the chocolate meets EU quality and safety standards.

Remember that Brexit-related regulations can change, so checking the most current rules before travelling is wise.

Now let's look at this in more detail:

  • Personal Consumption: If the chocolate is for personal consumption, you shouldn't encounter major issues. However, it's wise to be reasonable about the quantity. Taking a small amount for personal use or as gifts typically doesn't raise concerns.

  • Customs Regulations: Since Brexit, the UK is no longer a part of the EU customs union. This means that there are restrictions on certain goods being brought into EU countries, including France. However, chocolate does not generally fall under restricted items.

  • Commercial Quantities: If you're carrying large quantities that could be considered for commercial use, you might need to declare them and potentially pay customs duties. It's essential to check the current thresholds for duty-free goods.

  • Quality and Safety Standards: The chocolate should meet the quality and safety standards set by the EU. This is generally not a concern for commercially packaged and branded chocolates.

  • Animal-derived Ingredients: Post-Brexit, there are stricter rules on bringing products containing animal-derived ingredients into the EU. While this typically refers to meat and dairy products, some chocolates, especially those with fillings, might be scrutinised.

  • Documentation: While it's unlikely for small quantities of chocolate if you carry a substantial amount, having a receipt or proof of purchase might be useful if customs questions it.

So, for typical travel purposes like personal enjoyment or as gifts, taking chocolate from the UK to France should not pose significant problems.

However, staying informed about the latest customs regulations is always a good idea, especially in the ever-evolving context of post-Brexit relations between the UK and EU.

Related Post: Which Country Eats The Most Chocolate?

Can You Send Chocolate to France by Post from the UK?

Sending chocolate from the UK to France by post also involves similar considerations.

Due to Brexit, you must complete a customs declaration form detailing the contents and value of the package.

As a perishable item, chocolate may have specific shipping requirements, so it's essential to check with your postal service for any guidelines on sending such goods internationally.

Packaging should be chosen to protect the chocolate from temperature variations, mainly to prevent melting.

Be mindful of the regulations of different postal services and note that the recipient in France might encounter customs inspections and possibly have to pay duties or taxes depending on the item's value.

Consulting with the UK postal service and French customs authorities is recommended for the most accurate and current information.

How Did Brexit Change the Rules About Taking Food into the EU?

Brexit has significantly altered the rules regarding taking food from the United Kingdom into the European Union (EU), including countries like France. Here’s an overview of how these rules changed:

  • End of Free Movement of Goods: Before Brexit, the UK was part of the EU Customs Union, allowing the free movement of goods, including food items, between the UK and EU countries. Post-Brexit, this is no longer the case, and specific rules now apply to the import of goods, including food, from the UK to the EU.

  • Restrictions on Animal Products: One of the significant changes concerns the entry of products containing meat, milk, and their derivatives into the EU. These items are generally prohibited unless they come with the necessary health certifications. This change can affect various food items, including certain types of chocolates, especially those containing dairy products.

  • Quantity Limits for Personal Use: While you can still carry food items for personal use, there are stricter limits on quantities. This is particularly relevant for items like fish and certain plant products, where specific quantity restrictions apply.

  • Plant and Plant Product Regulations: There are also new rules for bringing in fruits, vegetables, and plant products, which now require a phytosanitary certificate to ensure they are free from pests and diseases. This affects fresh fruit, but typically not processed plant products like chocolate.
  • Health and Safety Standards: Food items brought into the EU must meet stringent health and safety standards. This shouldn’t be a concern for commercially packaged and standard food items but is something to keep in mind.

  • Declaration of Goods: When entering the EU, you may need to declare certain food items, mainly if they fall outside the allowed limits for personal use or require specific documentation.

  • Customs Duties: If you exceed the allowance for personal use, you might be subject to customs duties, VAT, or other charges at entry.

In summary, the changes brought about by Brexit mean that while it is still possible to take food items from the UK into the EU, there are now more regulations and potential restrictions, especially concerning animal products and larger quantities.

It’s advisable to check the latest rules and guidelines from official sources before travelling to ensure compliance and a smooth journey.

French Wine in Two Glasses

Do You Have to Declare Food When Travelling From the UK to France?

After Brexit, there are certain situations where you need to declare food when travelling from the United Kingdom to France.

Here are the key points:

  • Animal Products: If you are carrying meat, milk, or products containing them (like certain cheeses or some chocolates), these items may need to be declared due to strict EU rules on the importation of animal products from non-EU countries.

  • Quantity and Purpose: The need to declare also depends on the quantity of food and its intended use. Small quantities for personal consumption often don't require declaration, but larger quantities, especially those considered for commercial use, do.

  • Restricted and Prohibited Items: Certain food items from a non-EU country are prohibited when entering the EU. It's essential to check the latest guidelines on what can and cannot be brought in. If you have any restricted items, these will need to be declared.

  • Plant Products: Post-Brexit, bringing in plant products, including fruits, vegetables, and certain seeds, may require a phytosanitary certificate to ensure they are pest-free. If you have such items, they should be declared.

  • Customs Controls: Upon entry into France, you may pass through customs controls where declarations are made. Even if you believe your food items don't need to be declared, it's wise to be prepared if asked about them.

  • Check the Latest Regulations: Since regulations can change, checking the most current rules before travelling is essential. The French customs website or the EU’s official pages can provide up-to-date information.

So, while personal quantities of some food items can be brought into France from the UK without much hassle, it's essential to be aware of restrictions, especially regarding animal and plant products.

When in doubt, it's always safer to declare or check with customs to avoid any potential issues at the border.

What Foods Can You Not Take From the UK into France?

Post-Brexit, certain restrictions have been placed on the types of food that can be taken from the United Kingdom into France, aligning with the broader EU regulations on importing food products from non-EU countries.

The following are some of the key categories of foods that you generally cannot take from the UK into France:

  1. Meat and Meat Products: This includes fresh meat, products made from meat, and certain processed meat products.

  2. Milk and Dairy Products: Fresh milk, cheese, and other dairy products are also restricted. This can include items like yoghurt and cream.

  3. Fish and Fish Products: There are limits on the quantity of fish and some fish products that can be brought in. For certain types of fish, the limit is up to 20kg or the weight of one fish, whichever is higher.

  4. Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables may require a phytosanitary certificate to ensure they are free from harmful pests and diseases.

  5. Eggs and Egg Products: These are also subject to restrictions when entering the EU from a non-EU country.

  6. Honey and Certain Other Animal Products: Honey, as well as some other products derived from animals, are restricted.

It's important to note that these rules apply to commercial and personal imports.

Even if you carry these items in small quantities for personal use, they are generally not allowed.

Processed foods like chocolate, confectionery, olive oil, and other packaged goods that do not contain meat or dairy are usually exempt from these restrictions.

They can be brought into France from the UK.

What is Chocolate Like in France?

Chocolate in France is esteemed for its artistry and superior quality.

French chocolate is characterized by its finesse and elegance, often featuring a high cocoa content that results in a rich and intense flavour.

French chocolatiers are renowned for their craftsmanship, creating exquisite and innovative products such as ganaches, pralines, truffles, and beautifully sculpted chocolate pieces.

The inclusion of unique ingredients like rare spices, herbs, and floral essences is common, adding to the luxurious and diverse chocolate experience in France.

French chocolate reflects the country's long-standing tradition of culinary excellence and innovation.

Where Can You Buy Delicious British Made Chocolate?

Whitakers Chocolates, renowned for our long history in crafting delicious and affordable chocolates, offers a range of options suitable for everyone, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices.

Our top-selling products, such as indulgent Coffee Creams, Neapolitans, Chocolate Wafer Thins, Stem Ginger and Luxury Chocolate Truffles, are the perfect accompaniments to enhance your mocha coffee experience.

Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier

As an expert chocolatier who frequently sends and takes chocolate into the EU post-Brexit, I've navigated the complexities of these new regulations first-hand.

From my experience, the key is understanding the nuances of what can and cannot be transported across borders in this new era.

My work often involves transporting artisan chocolates to various EU countries, including France.

Post-Brexit, this process has become more intricate, requiring careful attention to customs regulations and documentation.

I ensure that my products comply with EU food safety standards and are properly labelled to reflect their ingredients, mainly focusing on the absence of restricted items like certain dairy derivatives.

For personal travel, I've found that carrying small quantities of chocolate for sampling or as gifts is generally acceptable and does not raise issues at customs.

However, I always stay informed about the latest guidelines to ensure compliance, as regulations can evolve.

Final Notes On Taking Chocolate to France From the UK

Taking chocolate from the United Kingdom to France post-Brexit is generally permissible, especially for personal consumption or as gifts in small quantities.

The key is to be aware of and adhere to the new customs regulations that have emerged following the UK's departure from the EU.

This involves understanding the restrictions on certain food items, particularly those containing meat and dairy products, and ensuring compliance with EU food safety standards.

Whether you're a professional chocolatier distributing artisanal creations or a traveller wishing to bring a taste of British chocolate to France, careful planning and adherence to current regulations will ensure your chocolate can be enjoyed across borders without any complications.

The joy and cultural exchange facilitated by sharing chocolate remain undiminished, a testament to its enduring appeal and the appreciation of this beloved treat in the UK and France.