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Day trips to buy cigarettes in the EU?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 23,222 ✭✭✭✭ Sleepy


    Was just looking into cigarette prices around Europe and the most comprehensive data I can seem to find is the list here but it appears a little out-dated

    http://www.the-tma.org.uk/tma-publications-research/facts-figures/eu-cigarette-prices/

    Converting those prices to Euro and adding 25% to allow for inflation, it seems that the price differential on 800 cigarettes in Estonia, Hungary or Lithuania would be around the €250 mark.

    With return Ryanair flights available for about (or even under) €100 if you book enough in advance, it seems to me that there's sufficient financial incentive to make a return trip to purchase enough cigarettes to see you through a month or so.

    With those particular countries, there doesn't seem to be enough of a window between Ryanair flights to do it in a day (and avoid overnight costs) but assuming one travels light and hostels it etc. I can certainly see a weekend away paying for itself...

    Anyone have any experience of doin this? Do any other countries where the flights would be more frequent offer enough of a price differential to make a round-trip worth while?


Comments



  • I've been doing runs to the continent for the last couple of years. Initially i went to Madrid and Barcelona,over and back on the same day but the days could be quite long as generally you'd get the first flight out and last flight home.

    Most of the Eastern European countries that are cheaper for cigarettes are almost impossible to do on a day trip. There's often only one flight out and back so unless you can exit,clear security and leg it back through the duty free in 25-45 minutes you're snookered.

    For the last year i've been going to Belgium for cigarettes. 06.40 flight from Dublin with Aer Lingus and usually return on the 16.00 flight from Brussels. A 15 minute trip on the train from the airport has you in either Brussels city centre or Leuven where you can savour some classy Belgian beers.

    Brussels airport sells the cigarettes duty paid for roughly €50 depending on the brand. I'd usually buy 2000,would do me for roughly 3 months and saves me around €400 when you take the air fare out of it. Brussels airport also has a smoking room right next to the bar near the gates so you can grab a beer and have a few cigarettes before heading home.




  • Would you ever worry about getting caught or do they not check much?




  • AM21 wrote: »
    Would you ever worry about getting caught or do they not check much?

    The sticky at the top of the forum explains the legalities of it all but suffice to say i've never been stopped or had any issues with Customs.




  • Sleepy, the limit for own use is whatever you like,within reason. a real nicotine covered smoker should have no great problem with 15/20 cartons.(EEC)
    ask the customs yourself.

    re belgium i often travel via charleroi,,and buy two cartons. last time they had none on sale in the airport,except for people leaving the EC

    Regards,




  • Was talking about it with Mrs Sleepy last night and came up with the plan to take a weekend trip somewhere for our anniversary in February which we could pay for out of the savings on the cigarettes!

    I'm currently thinking about Prague as a city that has some romance to it (away from the strip clubs! lol) and has good prices for smokes but open to any other suggestions.

    As a fan of Belgian beers, Leuven certainly sounds intriguing lord lucan!


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  • I'll pick up 6 or 8 cartons at a time anytime I'm travelling around the EU with work.
    Stick to purchasing one brand and you shouldn't have any hassle as long as for
    personal consumption.

    Portugal is currently one of the cheapest options compared to France/Italy/Spain.




  • I travel a lot for work but unfortunately it's all to the UK :(




  • Portugal is certainly interesting Gran Hermano. I can find flights for Faro that get you over and back in a (very long) day in October for €100. Assuming €45 a carton for Marlboro or Camel that'd save you €220. Not a bad saving for a day you'd spend most of reading your kindle!




  • It's worth checking whether cigarettes are available for purchase in particular airports/terminals for intra-EU flights. It is not always the case, especially in Italy I've found.

    Italian prices can be found on the Italian government website as they are regulated:
    example: http://www.aams.gov.it/sites/aams2008/files/TABACCHI/PREZZI/PREZZI-AL-PUBBLICO/2013/02-05-13/listino-02-05-13xsito-sigarette.pdf

    In Spain, you can save approx €5 per carton buying in local tobacco shop compared to buying in airport.

    Prices and advice for Portugal:
    http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Travel-g189111-c176797/Algarve:Portugal:Cigarette.And.Tobacco.Prices.html




  • The flights I was looking at were about 4/5 hours apart so plenty of time to get out and get some in the nearest tabac to the airport. As I said, it'd be a very long day and you'd realistically end up spending about €20 on coffees/snacks etc. but perfectly do-able.


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  • Any updates on this topic,Im thinking of a trip soon. I don't mind spending an overnight, where would be the cheapest place(s) within the EU to do this right now? I'm guessing Lithuania or Poland? Current prices per pack of 20 much appreciated




  • Checked the link I put up in my original post and it appears to have been updated with a handy infographic:
    AIT_EU_MAP_MASTER_CIGARETTES4.jpg

    It seems like Lithuania is the best out of the EU countries at about £2.21 or roughly €3 a packet. A quick look at flight schedules for next month on Ryanair shows that if you could fly out on a Tuesday and come back on the Thursday you'd get flights for about €90 but you'd need to budget for 2 nights stay there. Pushing to a "weekend" away, you'd have to fly Thursday to Saturday and prices seem to be about €130.

    A bit of searching might get you better flight dates but honestly, it looks like most of Eastern Europe would be worthwhile doing if you have the ability to be flexible about your flight days as, obviously enough, weekend flights tend to be more expensive.




  • Any update on cheaoest prices for a day trip




  • Adinkerke in Belgium is supposed to have cheapest tobacco related products.




  • Starting to run low on my stash that i brought back from the US in March. From what I can find, Spain or Portugal seem to the cheapest at €5 a box for Marlboro.




  • I am here in Southern Spain at the moment, I am thinking to bring back 800 Duty Paid Spanish cigarettes as I am entitled to do, I am wondering however could I also bring back 200 Gibraltar non-EU Duty free Cigarettes for a total of 1,000 in total?




  • Guzman, no issue with the Gib tobacco.
    Done it many times in the past.




  • theguzman wrote: »
    I am here in Southern Spain at the moment, I am thinking to bring back 800 Duty Paid Spanish cigarettes as I am entitled to do, I am wondering however could I also bring back 200 Gibraltar non-EU Duty free Cigarettes for a total of 1,000 in total?
    If you get stopped by customs in Ireland they will not be interested in what was paid for where; they will just count the cigarettes. Per the stated policy, if it's more than 800 they could be regarded as not for personal use and therefore confiscated.

    By your rationale, you could stockpile duty free tabs with multiple trips between Gibraltar and Spain and then bring all of them, plus your 800 no-questions-asked allowance, into Ireland. You can't. 800 is 800.




  • BeerNut wrote: »
    If you get stopped by customs in Ireland they will not be interested in what was paid for where; they will just count the cigarettes. Per the stated policy, if it's more than 800 they could be regarded as not for personal use and therefore confiscated.

    By your rationale, you could stockpile duty free tabs with multiple trips between Gibraltar and Spain and then bring all of them, plus your 800 no-questions-asked allowance, into Ireland. You can't. 800 is 800.

    My own interpretation was that you are only allowed 200 from outside the EU and 800 from the EU for an absolute max of 1,000. I rang Customs today and they said this was ok, however I really don't want any trouble or seizure.

    E.g. Man in Turkey (Non-EU) buys 200 he can carry it across the border to Greece and pickup 800 in Greece and bring the combined 800 Duty paid and 200 non EU Duty Free back 1,000 with only 200 non-EU ever permitted.

    What is the situation here?




  • theguzman wrote: »
    My own interpretation was that you are only allowed 200 from outside the EU and 800 from the EU for an absolute max of 1,000. I rang Customs today and they said this was ok, however I really don't want any trouble or seizure.
    I can't imagine they would make a fuss over 1000, but the guideline is 800 and you never know.
    theguzman wrote: »
    E.g. Man in Turkey (Non-EU) buys 200 he can carry it across the border to Greece and pickup 800 in Greece and bring the combined 800 Duty paid and 200 non EU Duty Free back 1,000 with only 200 non-EU ever permitted.

    What is the situation here?
    Same deal. Once you go through customs at the end of the journey, the duty arrangements reset. So on a journey from Turkey to Greece you get a duty free allowance of 200, but that duty-free status ends once you're in Greece. If you then take the 200 out of the Schengen area, the fact they were once duty free cigs from Turkey is immaterial: they're subject to the same rules and quotas as cigarettes bought in the EU.

    Similarly, you wouldn't be able to buy 200 in Turkey, fly to Egypt and pick up another 200, fly to Morocco and pick up another 200 and then expect to get through customs in Ireland because you bought all 600 under the duty free limit. The allowance resets each time you go through customs; it can't be carried across multiple borders on multiple journeys.


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  • BeerNut wrote: »
    I can't imagine they would make a fuss over 1000, but the guideline is 800 and you never know.

    Same deal. Once you go through customs at the end of the journey, the duty arrangements reset. So on a journey from Turkey to Greece you get a duty free allowance of 200, but that duty-free status ends once you're in Greece. If you then take the 200 out of the Schengen area, the fact they were once duty free cigs from Turkey is immaterial: they're subject to the same rules and quotas as cigarettes bought in the EU.

    Similarly, you wouldn't be able to buy 200 in Turkey, fly to Egypt and pick up another 200, fly to Morocco and pick up another 200 and then expect to get through customs in Ireland because you bought all 600 under the duty free limit. The allowance resets each time you go through customs; it can't be carried across multiple borders on multiple journeys.

    Perfect, thanks for that info, I'll stick to the 800 to be safe so, better get through with 800 than none at all.


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