Customs and borders

When arriving on the island of Ireland, like other countries, there are some customs and borders procedures you need to know about


Visitors to the island of Ireland from a non-EU country must pass through custom controls at their place of entry.

Customs operate green and red channels at most ports and airports. If you need to declare goods over the duty and tax-free allowances for non-EU visitors you must use the red channel. Pass through the green channel if you have nothing to declare.

Certain goods are prohibited or restricted to protect health and the environment. These include meat and poultry products.

For goods obtained within the EU

There are no limits imposed on importing tobacco and alcohol products from one EU country to another. Travelers should note however that they may be required to prove at customs that the goods are for personal use only.

For goods obtained outside the EU

For travelers to either the Republic or Northern Ireland, there are circumstances for allowances on duty-free goods. Travelers must be arriving either directly from a country outside the European Union (EU), or from a non-EU country via another EU country, or from the Canary Islands, Channel Islands or Gibraltar.

Duty-Free Allowances

You are allowed to bring in goods (including gifts, souvenirs, perfume and clothing) free of duty, the combined value of which does not exceed:

  • €430/£390 in the case of an individual aged 15 years or over (approximately 550 US dollars*)
  • €215/£173 in the case of an individual aged under 15 years (approximately 270 US dollars*)

Be aware that the above monetary allowances do not apply to any individual item which exceeds the values above. So if you bring in something worth more than the relevant limit of €430/£390 or €215, you must pay import charges on the full value. If you are bringing back any duty-free goods you bought when you travelled out from Ireland, these count as part of your allowance.

You are allowed to bring in goods free of duty in the categories below (tobacco, alcohol etc) subject to the limits indicated.

Tobacco products

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco

Allowances are on a fractional basis, for example 100 cigarettes plus 50 cigarillos would be the limit together.

Alcohol products

  • 1 liter of spirits (more than 22%) or 2 liters of intermediate products (eg port, sherry, etc, but not sparkling wine) or
  • 4 liters of wine or 16 liters of beer


  • 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette

Customs Duty, Excise Duty and VAT (sales tax), where applicable, are charged on goods in excess of the duty free allowances.

Sales Tax (VAT) refunds

Visitors to Ireland from non-EU countries can claim back taxes on purchases made in Ireland; shopping in Ireland is subject to a sales tax of 21% or 17.36% of the net price. Always look for the "Tax Free Shopping" sign in the windows of participating stores. To avail of your tax refund, complete a valid tax refund document, which you can obtain from participating stores. Present this and goods to customs on departure from the EU and you can receive your refund on the spot at some airports; otherwise, you can mail your tax refund document to the store and a refund will be issued. Selected shopkeepers will offer you the Horizon Tax Free Shopping card, a new paperless method of obtaining tax refunds brought to you by FEXCO Tax Free Shopping. With each purchase, the card is swiped and tax free eligible items are logged. At the end of your trip, hand in the card to the FEXCO Tax Free Shopping desk at Dublin or Shannon Airport. You can apply for a card online at

*Subject to currency fluctuations