We all love to travel inside our caravans, and an extended caravan trip is everyone’s desire. If you are all set to go on your caravan for a longer trip, you might want to reduce your living costs and cook your own meals, snacks etc.
However, on a recent post-Brexit trip to France we found ourselves questioning if you can cross borders with food in a caravan.
So after much research and now personal experience we are here to help.
Caravan trips are a lot of fun and full of wonderful moments. You get to take your time and enjoy the journey, not to mention all the luxury and comfort. What is the point of going on a trip if you do not take your favourite food?
So, the good news is you can cross borders with food in your caravan. There are a few things you need to take into account, though. Let us explore these things in this article in detail.
Can I Cross Borders With Food In My Caravan?
You can cross borders with food in your caravan if you follow the rules. There are restrictions on what you can bring when crossing borders, but luckily, food is not one of them. Most countries do not restrict the amount of food you can bring across the border.
It means that if you are driving to a camping destination, it’s safe to bring some snacks and water for the ride. If you are driving through a country and want to stop for lunch or dinner on your way, it’s safe to go ahead and eat at a restaurant or buy groceries from a store there.
Owning a caravan can be like having your own home away from home. Plus, you have unlimited freedom. Here are the points that you must consider the following points to avoid any unpleasant situations during your amazing trip.
The food you bring across the border is subject to inspection. You cannot bring any food into the country that could be a potential carrier of pests or diseases.
You can bring food from another country if it is in your possession and does not require refrigeration or special handling.
You need to declare the food and make sure that it is not illegal in the country you are crossing the border into. For example, if you are going to France, you need to make sure that any meat products you have with you will be legal for consumption in France.
Lastly, the food must be properly stored and sealed, so it does not leak or spill during your journey.
Can I Take Food to France in my Caravan?
This question is difficult to answer because it depends on what you mean by food. The customs rules for France are very strict about taking goods into the country. If you are talking about fresh food, you can take some of it with you as long as it is not from a restricted list of goods.
You will need to declare any food items over €22 in value and fill out a form declaring the number of goods you have bought from outside the EU. This form must be presented when crossing the border into France, and you must pay any tax or duty due at this point.
If your question refers to canned or dried goods, these can be brought into France without any restrictions as long as they are not on the list of goods. Following is the list of food which you cannot take into France in your caravan.
Foods of animal origin and products of animal origin, i.e., meat, meat-based products, milk, and dairy products
Products imported from third countries (in their packages) except Andorra, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway.
Around 10 kg of food (excluding meat and dairy) from Croatia, Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands Products are allowed.
Other than meat, meat-based and dairy products are allowed in luggage in amounts that vary depending on the foodstuff.
More than 20kg of fishery products are not allowed; less is allowed provided it is from an authorised country and isn’t for commercial use.
France also offers certain duty-free items to those over 17 years of age. It includes tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and motor fuel.
Here is the maximum value of food allowed for people of certain ages
Per traveller aged 15 or older €300
Per traveller under 15 €150
Per traveller aged 15 or older €900
Per traveller 15 and €450
Can I Take Sandwiches Through the Eurotunnel?
Although you can easily take your caravan on the Eurotunnel there are still very strict rules about what you can and cannot bring into the UK through Eurotunnel. Because of food safety regulations, you cannot take chicken, beef, bacon, cheese, or ham sandwiches through the Eurotunnel.
However, milk-based products, meat, fish, or other animal products (eggs, honey) are only allowed if you come from certain countries for personal use. These countries are:
EU, Switzerland, Norway
Liechtenstein, Iceland, Greenland, & Faroe Islands
Can I Take Tinned Food to France from the UK?
Yes, you can take tinned food from France to the UK but make sure it doesn’t contain milk or dairy. Powdered baby milk or baby food (up to a total weight of 2kg) is allowed.
Can I Take Bread to France?
Yes, you can take bread to France if it is compatible with the above regulations.
What Can You Bring from France to the UK?
Travellers can bring food, medicine, and other necessary items into the UK when they return from a foreign country. Meat, meat, and milk products are not accepted at the UK border. Those products may be confiscated if French customs officers search you.
The following are some of the items that travellers can bring from France to the UK:
Medicines & special medicated food, including specialised medicated pet food up to 2kg
Fish (restrictions apply)
Coffee beans and ground coffee / Tea leaves or bags of tea
Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce
Fruits and vegetables (limited amount)
In summary you can take food across borders in or with a caravan but unless it’s absolutely necessary it may simply be much easier to re-stock once you’re in the new country. Heavy fines and punishments can be applied for breaching such rules.