When travelling within the EU, there is – strictly – no limit on the amount of tobacco products that can be brought into the UK for ‘personal use’. However, the importation for resale of tobacco products bought abroad (where they are often much cheaper) is widespread – and unlawful.
Enforcement of the law has traditionally been dealt with by the application of a concessional policy, which allowed up to 3,200 cigarettes to be brought in for personal use.
When the limits were originally introduced, foreign travel was nowhere near as commonplace or inexpensive as it is now and, in a bid to reduce the loss to the Exchequer, the concessional limits have been reduced from 1 October 2011. The limit on cigarettes is now 800.
The law has not changed, but anyone coming into the country with more than that number will need to be able to justify that the purchase is for their own use.