FOR MEMBERS

Can I take Italian meat, cheese and wine into the UK in 2022?

A woman cuts into a wheel of parmesan
Planning on taking a little parmesan into the UK? MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
The start of 2022 marks a new phase in the Brexit process – the introduction of checks of goods at the UK border. But what does this mean for travellers wanting to take some Italian cheese, meat or wine into the UK?

Since the end of the Brexit transition period, travellers who want to bring British food products into Italy have faced strict controls and outright bans on certain items – mainly those containing meat or dairy.

READ ALSO: Why sending parcels between the UK and Italy is more expensive after Brexit

Up until now however, taking Italian produce to friends and family in the UK has been unaffected.

This, however, is set to change in 2022 as the UK begins to introduce its own controls on imports.

Throughout 2022 British authorities have set a series of deadlines for imposing controls on imports from the EU.

This comes with the caveat, however, that British deadlines for controls have already been extended several times because the infrastructure was not ready. It is also not clear at this stage exactly how rigorous checks will be.

January 1st 2022

Implementation of full customs declarations and customs controls.

This refers to businesses importing from the EU on a commercial basis, so won’t affect individuals travelling into the UK, although it’s possible that there will be delays at the ports if businesses are not fully prepared for the new paperwork.

READ ALSO: Brexit: What can Italy’s British residents do about passport stamps?

July 1st 2022

Introduction of checks on specified products including meat and meat products, high-risk food items and certain types of plants. These products will require veterinary certification and physical checks will be introduced at the border.

The rules as written refer to all imports – not only those for commercial purposes – so would cover holidaymakers taking home a little prosciutto as a souvenir, or Brits living in Italy taking salami or ‘nduja as a gift for friends and relatives back in the UK.

What is not clear at this stage is whether UK customs have the capacity to check private vehicles or individual travellers, as well as commercial importers.

The Local has asked the UK government about its policy for private individuals travelling with small amounts of food for personal consumption or to give as gifts.

Bottles of Italian red wines are displayed on the stand of Abruzzo's wine growing cooperative Codice Citra on May 8, 2019 at the TUTTOFOOD fair in Milan.

Bottles of Italian red wines are displayed on the stand of Abruzzo’s wine growing cooperative Codice Citra on May 8, 2019 at the TUTTOFOOD fair in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

September 1st 2022

Introduction of checks on all dairy produce. The same as above, but extended to all dairy produce, so that covers things such as pecorino cheese, as well as milk, yoghurt and gianduiotti chocolates.

September 1st also marks the introduction of checks on live animals, but this does not apply to domestic pets, who are still covered by the Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate rules – full details here.

READ ALSO: What Brexit has changed for British visitors to Italy

November 1st 2022

Checks extended to “all remaining regulated products of animal origin, including composite products and fish products”.

This extends the checks and certification so that it covers a wide variety of products including meat, fish, meat or fish products, dairy products or any products containing those things – for example certain types of jelly sweets contain gelatine, so are classed as animal products.

When considering bringing items into the EU from the UK, a good rule of thumb is to look for anything certified as vegan.

Certain types of plants are also covered by the regulations, which would cover travellers bringing flowers, bulbs or plants for the garden. 

Alcohol

Italian wine, beer and spirits are not covered by extra checks, but have since January 2021 been subject to new limits.

Bringing to an end the cherished tradition of the booze cruise, there are now strict limits on the amount of wine, beer, spirits and tobacco that can be brought into the UK from the EU.

The amounts still allow for bringing a few gifts into the UK, but gone are the days when you could drive the car over to Italy and load up on prosecco, barolo and chianti.

Limits:

  • beer – 42 litres
  • still wine – 18 litres
  • spirits and other liquors over 22 percent alcohol – 4 litres
  • sparkling wine, fortified wine (vermouth, sherry etc) and other alcoholic drinks up to 22 percent alcohol (not including beer or still wine) – 9 litres

Member comments

  1. I assume the limits aren’t cumulative?
    And can you take for example 9 litres of still wine and 4.5 litres of sparkling?
    Can anyone clarify please?

  2. Hilarious, it’s not like UK standards are ever going to be higher than EU standards (which are a tad excessive). Idiocy.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.
Privacy