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Entry Requirements for Europe

Please inform yourself about all necessary documents before your journey

Holiday in Europe
12 rental companies in 73 cities

Entry Requirements

Note: certain entry and customs regulations in Europe apply to all EU countries, whereas other rules vary from country to country. We have sought to compile as much useful information as possible that applies to all EU countries. However, where a unified approach does not exist we have used Germany as an example. This does not however assume that the rules in Germany apply to other neighbouring states. 
 

Immigration and Customs Information

Entering Germany and the wider European Union (EU)
Citizens of European Economic Association (EEA) States (which includes EU States such as the UK and Ireland) do not require a visa to travel to and work in any EU countries as long as they have a valid passport. Visitors from other countries are either visa-free for 3 months within any half-year period or will require a visa prior to entry. 
 
As part of the so-called 'Schengen Agreement' there are no identification checks when citizens cross the borders between two EU Member States*. This means that if you pick up a motorhome in France and wish to, for example, drive it through Germany, Austria and Italy you will not be required to show ID at these borders. In fact, it is not uncommon nowadays for travellers to pass through a border without realising it. 
 
However, we still recommend that you carry your passport with you at all times as random police checks are possible in any country - quite aside from the need to present valid passports when you arrive at European camping grounds. Please note that Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and as such their border checks do take a few minutes time. As a general rule, we recommend that children have their own passports just to be safe, as the rules on whether children's details can be entered into a parent's passport are always up for debate and being changed from country to country. Further information on general entry requirements in and out of Europe is available on the following websites:
• UK foreign office
• French foreign office
• German foreign office
• Ireland foreign office
• Swedish foreign office
• Norwegian foreign office
• Finnish foreign office
• Icelandic foreign office
• Dutch foreign office
• Italian foreign office
• Spanish foreign office
• Portuguese foreign office 
 
* All EU Member States except the United Kingdom and Ireland, plus Iceland and Norway. 
 

Customs - using Germany as an example

You will notice that customs processing on arrival in Germany is normally quick and uncomplicated and it can even appear that the customs officers are disinterested in making any checks. This is especially so for citizens of states that are members in the European Union. However, strict customs rules do still apply and in the case of airport security your bags will be carefully screened before you pick them up. Items such as drugs, exotic animals and dangerous weapons are not permitted for import. For details of which items are prohibited please contact your local German mission. 
 
Travellers may carry goods from a third country into Germany without incurring duty charges as long as they are for private use or consumption. Please see below the distinctions used to classify items as those intended for 'private consumption'. 
 
Travellers arriving from another EU country
You are entitled to buy goods and services for your personal use in another Member State under the same tax rules that apply to nationals of the country concerned. You can take your purchases with you as you move within the EU without having to pay additional VAT or excise duties. However, Member States have the right to levy excise duties on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages if these products are not intended for personal use. The indicative quantities below are recognised generally as intended for personal use. If you are carrying a larger quantity of such goods, you may be asked to prove that they are intended for personal use at events which justify the purchase of such large quantities e.g. weddings.
800 cigarettes
400 cigarillos
200 cigars
1 kg of tobacco
10 litres of spirits (+ 22 % alcohol content)
20 litres of apéritifs or intermediate products (e.g. sherry)
90 litres of wine, 60 of which may be sparkling wine (45 and 30 litres respectively in Ireland)
110 litres of beer (55 litres in Ireland)
(Source: European Union official website: http://europa.eu). 
 
Travellers arriving in Germany from a non-EU country
The following quantity and value limits apply to items of personal use: 
 
1. Tobacco products, (importer must be at least 17 years old):
There is a higher or lower limit depending on the country you are visiting and a country may choose to only apply the lower limits to land and sea travellers

Higher limit: Lower Limit:
200 cigarettes or 40 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or 20 cigarillos or
50 cigars or 10 cigars or
250 g tobacco 50 g tobacco

2. Alcohol (importer must be at least 17 years old): 
1 litre of spirits over 22% by volume or 2 litres of sparkling wine or liqueur wine
4 litres of still wines
16 litres of beer 
 
3. Other goods including parfume: Up to a value of € 300 per traveller or € 430 for travallers by air and sea. Some EU countries apply a lower limit of € 150 for travellers under 15.
(Source: European Union official website: http://europa.eu). 
 

Entering Germany with a motor vehicle

Visitors are required to attach a nationality sticker to any vehicle registered in a third country prior to entering Germany. You can leave your vehicle in Germany for up to six months at a time and on the condition that it is not sold, given away or used in commercial activity. Any vehicles taken to Germany will be subject to normal customs checks. 
 

Disclaimer

Motorhome Bookers Ltd has sought to compile the above information as accurately as possible as a service to its customers. However, it does not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies or for information or rules that have changed. Legally binding statements with respect to any customs and border protection regulations can only be provided by that country's embassy and consulate situated in your country of residence. More information is also available from your foreign office.