Can I take snacks into France?
as long as they do not weigh over 2kg. You can also carry certain plant- or animal-based foods such as honey, snails and live oysters, as long as you have under 2kg. There is also a separate exception that allows up to 20kg of certain fish products – see EU rules here.
You can also bring in items containing products of plant origin but processed, crushed, powdered, cooked etc... so that would inlude eg. biscuits and baked beans (however it may be safer to put the latter in hold luggage however, in case considered too 'liquid' for cabin rules).
The following items are all prohibited: All meat and dairy products (no bacon, cheese, ham sandwiches, etc.!) No products containing animal-derived products, including milk (so no suet puddings, custard, sweets or cakes containing gelatine, and even chocolate – as it contains milk). Plants and fresh-cut flowers.
You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Bread is generally allowed (as long as it's not spread with butter and made into a ham sandwich) but most types of biscuits and cakes are not. Plants are also covered by the rules so this includes fresh fruit or vegetables which are banned, as are cut flowers.
Solid foods are allowed. Liquids must be stored in sealed containers no larger than 100 ml and packed in a single, transparent plastic bag (20 x 20 cm). Liquid foods, soups, foods in sauces, and soft or creamy cheeses are not allowed in the cabin. Non-transparent containers larger than 100 ml (cans, etc.)
If you are travelling in the EU you can carry meat or dairy products with you as long as they are for your own personal consumption. This also applies to plants or plant products, such as cut flowers, fruit or vegetables as long as they have been grown in an EU country and are free from pests or disease.
The same applies to salad cream, which despite its name does not typically contain any dairy, but only processed ingredients of vegetable origin, such as vinegar, oil, sugar etc. It also contains a small amount of dried egg, but eggs are acceptable as they fall under neither the meat nor the dairy rules.
As a general rule, you cannot bring meat, meat products, milk and milk products (e.g. charcuterie, cheese, yogurt) into the EU. You must declare any animal products you have in your luggage and present them to Customs.
I have a different opinion => Yes you can bring chocolate to France. For the production of chocolate not fresh milk, but milk powder is used. Chocolate therefore is not considered a dairy product. The import of milk powder from third countries is allowed up to 2.5 kg.
What food items can I take into France?
You are not allowed to take meat or meat products to France apart from fish or fish products (up to a maximum of 20kg). You are not allowed to take milk, cheese, yoghurt or other milk-based products except for infant milk, infant food or food required by humans or pets for medical reasons.
You are not allowed to bring any dairy or meat products into the EU from the UK and so don't be tempted to pack chocolate, biscuits, Bovril or any other products that contain prohibited ingredients. The only exception is powdered infant milk and special foods required for medical reasons. Read more on the EU website.
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.
You can no longer take products of animal origin, such as any food or drink contain meat or dairy, or plants and plant products into the EU in your luggage, vehicle, or person. There are certain exemptions to this rule for quantities of powdered infant milk, infant food, confectionary, specialised foods and pet feed.
Important: you must declare to Customs any goods in excess of €150, €300, or €430 (see table opposite) that you are carrying, and pay the corresponding duties and taxes. The customs declaration may be oral or written, depending on the goods and their value.
You can carry food both in hand luggage and checked baggage. Keep in mind that food products should be contained in commercially branded packaging with the original seals unbroken. Some airlines may refuse the carriage of fresh products with short shelf-life, especially on a long-haul flight.
If the food items are snacks that are commercially packaged and remain closed, it is generally fine to bring across borders. Bags of chips, nuts, candy, and similar foods that are not quickly perishable are acceptable. Beef jerky and other meat products are not always allowed.
Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags. Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in your checked bags if possible.
What about travelling from the UK to France? EU restrictions on transporting food products are stricter, and travellers are not allowed to carry any meat, animal-derived or dairy products. Therefore, taking cheese back into France from the UK would not be permitted.
Items containing plants that have been processed, crushed, powdered or cooked are allowed so things like non chocolate biscuits or baked beans (but not with sausage) should be ok.
Can I take tea bags to Europe after Brexit?
There are exemptions for limited amounts of baby milk, baby food or pet food. So tea bags – that popular import by Brits the world over – are OK. Marmite, which is vegan, is allowed but Bovril, which contains beef stock, is not (although Bovril has launched a vegan alternative which would be allowed in).
In France, like in many other countries in Europe, drinks might be a little bit expensive, so if you want to save money, always take a reusable water bottle with you. In the city, you will certainly find some places to fill it, especially in the public gardens and tourist places.
*Confectionery, chocolate or cakes (including Christmas cake, Simnel cake or cakes containing nuts) are permitted from any country as long as they are for your personal consumption and do not contain fresh cream or high levels of dairy products.
Taking meat and dairy products into the EU
- powdered infant milk.
- infant food.
- special food for the dietary management of a diagnosed disease, disorder or medical condition.
- pet food required for medical reasons.
You must declare all food products. Failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties. The following are generally admissible: Condiments: ketchup (catsup), mustard, mayonnaise, Marmite and Vegemite and prepared sauces that do not contain meat products.