Eurostar on Thursday warned travelers they will face new customs checks from January 1 when going by train between London and the Continent.
The customs checks will come alongside a host of new post-Brexit requirements â€” including passport stamps for EU travelers entering the U.K. â€” that mean passengers should head to the station â€œa little earlier than usualâ€ for departures, the operator said in an email to customers.
Travelers â€œmay need to declare their purchased goods, pay VAT and customs duties if they are worth more than â‚¬300,â€ the operator wrote on its website, noting it is the responsibility of individuals to check the laws on what they are allowed to bring into their destination country.
That includes limits on how much alcohol and tobacco people can carry. According to the Belgian government, people arriving by train in Brussels from London will be treated the same as those flying in from the United States, Egypt or Thailand.
Arrivals will need to declare large amounts of cash, and there may also be curbs on imports of meat products.
â€œFrench and Belgian customs officials will be on board some of our trains to carry out checks. If youâ€™re travelling to Lille, Amsterdam or Rotterdam there will be a designated area where you can declare your goods at the station,â€ the train company told customers.
Eurostar also noted that travelers may need separate insurance in case they fall ill abroad, since the European Health Insurance Card scheme may no longer be valid depending on the outcome of ongoing talks. Those traveling with guide dogs will need extra documentation.
EU citizens heading into the U.K. can continue to travel using identity cards until September, but only passports will be accepted from October 1. â€œYour passport will need to be stamped when you leave and re-enter the U.K., so please check that you have a clear page,â€ Eurostar told passengers in another guidance email.
In a statement last week, the Belgian government said construction would begin this week on temporary customs control facilities at the Brussels-Midi station. However, the announcement was subsequently withdrawn. A spokesperson for the finance ministry said the issue will be discussed by Belgiumâ€™s Council of Ministers on Friday.
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