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What goods to declare to customs ?

Not always but sometimes, I’m wondering how much money I can bring with me to travel and how much products I can bring home without the need to declare it at customs.

After reading the legal rules published by the spanish government, I got surprised of the quantity for some categories. I really thought that the amount will be higher and in contrary, it is lowest.

Everybody may know that if you bring with you 10.000€ or more you will have to declare it but do you know that you can’t buy more than 430€ of products per person if you travel by plane !!!!

For example, you take a flight to go to Poland and you

buy one camera, one laptop and one painting, let’s say that each product cost 500€ so it means that you have spent 1500€. According to the law, you have to declare it because the amount has exceeded the legal amount of 430€.

Therefore, if we have to follow the rules, almost each time that we travel, we have to visit the customs. Fortunately, there is not an automatic control from customs officers and it is based more about our honesty. I don’t say that there is no control at all, generally the control is done randomly or when they detect and/or got information about some suspicious travelers.

Following the rules in case if you want to know, take note that I translated it from the official webpage of the spanish government and if you want to know which rules are applied to your country, you have to check with your government since it can exist a lot of differences.

Means of payment, exit or entry in national territory of metallic currency, bank bills and banker's drafts:

  • Amount equal or superior to 10.000€ per person (6.000€ for non-EU people) and per trip that it should be declared by using the form established for the effect before the customs services.

Exemption of import duties, VAT and special taxes, it will be exempt goods contained in the personal luggages of the travelers with the following limitations and requirements and always in none commercial character:

  • Travelers by land. Goods in which global value doesn’t exceed 300€ per person.
  • Travelers by sea and air. Goods in which global value doesn’t exceed 430€ per person.

For the 15-year-old minor travelers, no matter the type of transport, the global value of the goods will be 150€.

It will not be taken in account the value of the personal baggage of the traveler when it is temporarily imported or re-imported after its temporary exportation. Neither it will be taken in account the value of the medicines necessary for personal use of the travelers.

Regardless of the previous values, it will be exempt from rights and taxes according to the following quantitative limits.


  • 800 cigarettes, 400 small cigars, 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco (200 cigarettes, 100 small cigars, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco for non-EU people).

Alcohol and alcoholic drinks:

  • Alcohol and alcoholic drinks of alcoholic degree superior to 22% vol. or ethyl alcohol not denaturalized of an alcoholic degree equal or superior to 80% vol. for 10 liters (1 liter for non-EU people) or alcohol and alcoholic drinks of alcoholic degree inferior to 22% vol. for 20 liters (2 liters for non-EU people).
  • Wine for 90 liters and beer for 110 liters (4 liters of wine and 16 liters of beer for non-EU people).

The 17-year-old minor travelers will not benefit from the exemption applied to the tobacco, alcohol and alcoholic drinks.


  • In the means of transport used by the travelers, it will be exempt from the import duties, VAT and special taxes, the fuel contained in the normal tank and the quantity of the same content in a portable tank that don’t exceed 10 liters.

Personnel of the means of transport:

  • The monetary thresholds (value of the goods contained in the luggages of the travelers) and the previous quantitative limits will be reduced to the 10th part for the personnel of the means of transport during the international traffic and on the occasion of the trips carried out in the exercise of his professional activities.

Take note that non-EU people can reclaim VAT (IVA) on some large purchases when they leave the country.