Taking food into Europe whilst caravanning.

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Mar 14, 2005
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Please explain why you thing the present regulations are complicated?

It would be far more complicated to make it possible for individuals take some items that are restricted under certain circumstances, the present system of simply banning the transfer is simple to comprehend and is easy to enforce.

You may not agree with it, and you might nit understand why it's restricted, but there are plenty of other regulations and restrictions which do not necessarily conform to our own sensibilities which we know we should comply with.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Of course. But the rules are the same.

Also, when we used to travel by car to sites like many do, we stocked up with food. So not that unique.


John
Tell me about it. When going by car or with the caravan even the Prestige pressure cooker came with us. I can only recall it ever being used twice, and that’s when I cooked myself some moules mariniere, but without pressurising them., so a decent saucepan would have sufficed.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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That’s a bit of an irrelevant reply and way out of context. Why not pick on drug runners also…..way more dangerous.
TBH I think drug runners as much as we detest them are in a total minority and more than likely in most cases are not entering the country illegally! I am buying a boat from my daughter's family as way easier to enter Britain that way and they can bring as much SA food as they like! :D
 
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TBH I think drug runners as much as we detest them are in a total minority and more than likely in most cases are not entering the country illegally! I am buying a boat from my daughter's family as way easier to enter Britain that way and they can bring as much SA food as they like! :D

When I said drug runners I should have referred to the fact that most come in by air, sea or land in cargo not in someone’s baggage or insides.

Many of the items being discussed for entry into the EU are banned from entry into South Africa without a permit. So sauce for goose etc…. We divert anyway.
 

Damian

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The topic is about foodstufs and those being banned from entering France.
It is NOT about those who cross the channel illegally, or drug runners.

Keep to the topic not divert elsewhere or those posts will be removed.
 
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The restrictions on foodstuffs aren’t just a French restriction they apply throughout the EU, so anyone taking their caravan to Spain or the Netherlands by direct ferry also has to abide by the same restriction. WRT France it may not be widely known that the French Customs do have countrywide roaming units with the authority to stop and search any vehicle. So the heartfelt relief on getting through Calais or other French port may be premature. 🙁
 
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I don't disagree. But the nasties are covered by banned items. Just like the New Zealand and Australian examples provided. It does not need to be complicated. Not sure if the present situation is properly enforceable.

John

Things can't get much more complicated if roasted walnuts can be brought into the country, but not ones that aren't, as I learnt when entering New Zealand.

I suspect that many of these apparent idiosyncracies have evolved over the years as a result of specific local prevailing situations.
 
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Well we wish we had just packed the fridge as normal. No one checked or even looked like they were going to check for a sneaky bottle of milk or pack of bacon. Lesson learned for next time. :)
You were lucky. Buts its foolhardy to assume that just because you are not aware of anyone having been stopped and searched for contraband previously, does not mean you might get away with it in the future. Why risk committing a criminal act when it's perfectly simple to comply with the laws of the country you wish to be a guest in?
 
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We would take the chance as the most they will probably do is confiscate the food. I doubt very much if you would get a criminal record as to get a criminal record you would need to go though the court process and to be found guilty.
I am sure that they have bigger fish to fry than someone trying to smuggle a couple of kgs for their own consumption. More than likely the goods came from the EU in the first place. :D
 
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I can imagine the outcry if someone arriving from Europe introduced a disease by bringing in banned substances. U.K. is due to introduce similar restrictions following our departure from the EU. But they have once again been delayed after businesses have spent millions in preparing for the new checks. The excuse this time for the delay is to keep the cost of living down.
 
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Just saying…. On our recent tour to Norway and back it felt at times like the entire ship was full of motorhome and caravan owners, so many travelling… No checks at all and I think fridge policing is the last thing on the mind of harassed border staff. To go through say 50 to 100 fridges per ship would produce the kind of chaos that the most belligerent French border staff could only dream of. This summer at least nobody was interested,

Steve
 
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Just saying…. On our recent tour to Norway and back it felt at times like the entire ship was full of motorhome and caravan owners, so many travelling… No checks at all and I think fridge policing is the last thing on the mind of harassed border staff. To go through say 50 to 100 fridges per ship would produce the kind of chaos that the most belligerent French border staff could only dream of. This summer at least nobody was interested,

Steve
Again I'd say you've been lucky, and you should not use that particular experience to suggest "why bother" about import rules. Granted on some occasions some rules are politically motivated, but most contraband food items are banned for good reasons based on past experiences, and sadly visitors may not realise the real risks they might be posing to the country you are entering.

Whilst border staff might be involved with spotting contraband, often the actual search and identification of items might be undertaken by flying squads from relevant inspectorates such as Agriculture & Fisheries, Customs and Excise, Trading Standards or the equivalent organisations in other countries.

Whenever you cross a boarder's which has restrictions you are at risk of being stopped and searched, and they generally come down hard when contraband is suspected or found.

Its irresponsible to suggest that travellers should not bother with such legal requirements.
 
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Must be old fashioned but to me its all about respect, we always follow reasonable rules set by other countries, did so with masks and will do the same with food.

I also agree. But would be much happier if I thought the rule were actually reasonable. I will abide by them. But as I said earlier. it would be very easy to allow travellers to bring sufficient for say 2 days use. And, in my opinion, far easier to police.

John
 
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I
Again I'd say you've been lucky, and you should not use that particular experience to suggest "why bother" about import rules. Granted on some occasions some rules are politically motivated, but most contraband food items are banned for good reasons based on past experiences, and sadly visitors may not realise the real risks they might be posing to the country you are entering.

Whilst border staff might be involved with spotting contraband, often the actual search and identification of items might be undertaken by flying squads from relevant inspectorates such as Agriculture & Fisheries, Customs and Excise, Trading Standards or the equivalent organisations in other countries.

Whenever you cross a boarder's which has restrictions you are at risk of being stopped and searched, and they generally come down hard when contraband is suspected or found.

Its irresponsible to suggest that travellers should not bother with such legal requirements.
I did not suggest that, nor would I ever give such advice. Just reporting.

Steve
 
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.....recently been through French customs with a caravan without a search of anything.
French officers probably disgruntled at having to stamp every UK passport in and out of France and check for overstays!
 
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.....recently been through French customs with a caravan without a search of anything.
French officers probably disgruntled at having to stamp every UK passport in and out of France and check for overstays!
Guess they might be even more disgruntled when the new electronic/biometric border checks into the EU are instigated. Eurostar is cancelling routes to Disneyland as they want to concentrate on the capital to capital services. They may also cancel trains stopping at Ashford in Kent, again to concentrate on the capital to capital routes for Paris, Bruxelles and Amsterdam. Our equivalent system is scheduled for a year later. It might be so much easier if we were all tagged with something like the autoroute tags😂
 
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Basically its meat and dairy products that you are banned from taking into the EU, there is a long list but should not concern law abiding travellers. Also having just returned from the UK solo, we was stopped and searched by customs at Caen, on our return via Rotterdam, we was in the EU column and drove straight through, some UK registrated cars and bikes tried the same they were stopped and made to go into the none EU lane. Passports are stamped to make sure you don't stay longer than 90 days in each six month period, there are exceptions.
 
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We had no issues entering France via Dieppe. On our return we were inspected for 'bodies' in the 'van as is customary. At no time was there any interest shown in the contents of the fridge or any cupboard apart from the wardrobe.
 
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Basically its meat and dairy products that you are banned from taking into the EU, there is a long list but should not concern law abiding travellers.
I'm sorry but this is giving a mixed message. Are you suggesting a citizen who complies with all other laws, can disregard the destination countries food restriction laws?

We had no issues entering France via Dieppe. On our return we were inspected for 'bodies' in the 'van as is customary. At no time was there any interest shown in the contents of the fridge or any cupboard apart from the wardrobe.

If the law sets out what must not cross a boarder, the broader enforcement can if they choose to, search any person or vehicle crossing the boarder. Just because you were not searched for food contraband on this occasion, does not set a prescidence to be assumed for others to try to smuggle.

These food rules may seem petty, but there will have been some good reason in the past which has caused these restrictions to be introduced. Smuggling is illegal.

For all you know a car behind you may have been taken apart, whilst you drove off unawares.
 
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