Life After Brexit: What Foods You Can Bring Into The EU

Many rules have changed as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. One of this surrounds the types of foods that you can bring in and out of the EU with you if you’re travelling from the UK: Even a simple ham sandwich could leave you in trouble at border control.

It isn’t unusual for Brits to sneak a snack or two into their suitcases, with many tourists reporting that they travel with tea bags, Heinz tomato ketchup and even marmite when they take their annual holidays. But since Brexit, it will be illegal to travel with many of your home comforts. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about what foods you can and can’t bring into the EU on your next trip to Spain:

Understanding the Rules and Restrictions

The reason for the new rules is because of the sanitary and phytosanitary rules that are intended to protect and prevent any harm from occurring to humans, animals, and plants due to diseases, pests, or contaminants. In order to ensure these criteria and met the Eu has strict rules in place and won’t allow the import of certain foods or plants.

These are not new rules. These criteria have long applied to all non-EU arrivals into the EU: this is just the first time that these rules have applied to visitors from the UK. It’s important to remember that this red tape is not intended to make entry into the EU difficult, but to keep its citizens safe.

What Foods are Effected?

The food restrictions outlined above, cover any food stuffs that have meat or dairy in them. In its most obvious forms this means you are unable to travel with ingredients like ham, cheese or sausages, but it also includes any products that include meat or dairy products as part of their ingredients.  Common sugary snacks like chocolate, fudge and fresh custard would all be prohibited items.

Products that you can’t travel with as a result of the prohibition on importing meat are:

  • blood and blood products
  • bone
  • animal casing
  • lard and rendered fat
  • gelatine (which is found in jelly and some type of sweets)

Products that you can’t travel with as a result of the prohibition on importing dairy products are:

  • Milk, butter and cheese

In addition to the restrictions on meat and dairy,if they are intended for human consumption then the following items are also subject to import restrictions. Although they are not banned, they have limits in plce that means that only 2kg per traveller can be included. However, for speed and ease at customs, we would advise that if you can avoid travelling without these products if you can:

  • eggs
  • honey and royal jelly
  • snails
  • live oysters or mussels

What if I’m Travelling With a Baby or Pet?

There are exemptions for limited amounts of baby milk, baby food or pet food. Generally, you are allowed to travel with enough food for your infant or young child to last for the duration of your flight, but it is advised that if you will need baby food or milk for the duration of your stay in Spain, you purchase this on your arrival in the country. The good news is that food in Spain is excellent, and the country is incredibly child-friendly, so you’re sure to find what you need.

In Real Terms, What Can and Can’t You Bring?

Still feeling confused? It’s not quite as straightforward as you might think, so to help you further, here is a list of the most common food stuffs that Brits like to travel with, and whether or not it’s possible to travel with these post-Brexit:

  • Tea bags are OK, because they contain neither meat nor dairy products
  • Marmite, a vegan spread, can be brought into the EU, but Bovril cannot because it contains beef stock.
  • Christmas pudding would be banned because it contains suet, which is a meat product.
  • You could travel with bread but not a sandwich, as you cannot bring even a small amount of butter, meat, or cheese that would be included inside it.
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers are also all banned, so you cannot keep an apple or a banana in your pocket as a snack.
  • Cartons of orange or apple juice are also banned for the same reason

Will customs be checking?

Yes - in total 2,000 new customs agents have been installed in the countries most affected by the UK’s entrance and exit points to the EU: namely, France, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark. Spain will also be more heavily monitoring  goods that are arriving in and out of their main entry points. For your own peace of mind, and ease of entry, it’s important to follow the rules.

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