EU 'Duty Free':
of course no longer any such thing as a duty free allowance when
travelling within the EU but there are new guidelines about what you can
"reasonably bring back" with you. There are continuing arguments
about the legality of all this but many travellers believe that UK
customs are currently using these guideline quantities as 'limits'.
A recent court case has resulted in the cigarette limit being raised from 800 to 3200 but be
aware that special conditions still apply in Spain for quantities over
for further info but here is the main gist ...
Bring back into the UK as much EU duty paid tobacco and alcohol as you
like as long as it is for your own use, which includes: • Bringing
back goods for your own consumption.
• Bringing back gifts for family and friends.
cannot: Bring back goods for commercial purposes, which includes: • Bringing
back goods for payment, even payment in kind.
• Bringing back goods for friends and family if they are paying you, giving you the cost price or paying for some or all of your travel
• Bringing back goods for re-sale.
bring back large quantities of alcohol or tobacco goods and are stopped by
Customs you may be asked some basic questions about your trip and
purchases and the purposes for which you hold the goods.
particularly applies if you have with you more than the following amounts
• 3200 cigarettes
• 10 litres of spirits
• 400 cigarillos
• 90 litres of wine
• 200 cigars
• 20 litres of fortified wine
• 3kg of smoking tobacco
• 110 litres of beer
only guide levels based on European law and Customs do NOT enforce any
"If the Officer is satisfied the goods are being
brought into the UK for a commercial purpose, and are not for own use, the
goods, along with any vehicle used to transport them, will be liable to
seizure and may not be returned." You have been warned!
Pets: An complex topic but one well covered by
Volunteer required to write up their own experience so others can
get a real hands-on feel of how it's done!
Camping Cheques + European Guide to
Camping and Caravanning in Low Season:
Camping Cheques @
bought in advance buy a 'fixed fee', 'go-as-you-please', motorcaravan
pitch for 2 people plus hook-up for camping out of high season. Some offer
7 nights for price of 6 too. Refundable if not used. Ferry packages, Free
magazine, Colour brochure. Covers all Europe including Holland/Netherlands and
Denmark, even some in Britain, camping on high quality sites.
www.campingcheque.co.uk or Camping Cheque
UK, 96 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN1 1YF. Tel: 0870 405 4057
Eurocamp has launched its own
'go-as-you-please' service called
Touring Cheque. It's a low cost, low
season option offering savings of "up to 55% on 44 top quality sites
across France and Spain". Vouchers are £9-75 and cover pitch with
electricity for motorcaravan and two adults. Ferry and 7 for 6 packages
are offered too. Hartford Manor,
Greenbank Lane, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 1HW tel: 0870 3667 828 Web:
firstname.lastname@example.org see also
European Fuel Prices
Summer 2005: (Averages in pence / litre)
Holland / NL
Latvian / Estonian holidays then??! Cyprus used
to be very cheap - info anyone?
France: See the dedicated
All Countries: Here
is a really useful link to a website listing a huge number of sanistations from Scandinavia to the
www.eurocampingcar.com/uk, the /uk
version is in English.
Health: If you are a UK resident you
are entitled to any medical treatment which becomes necessary, free or at a
reduced cost, when temporarily visiting an EU country, Iceland,
Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Only treatment provided under the
state scheme is covered. However to obtain treatment you will need to take a
completed Form E111 with you, which you can get, free of charge, from your
nearest post office. *New: As a result of recent changes to
European law a new E111 form has been introduced to replace the old one. If
you are planning to travel to the countries concerned during 2005 you should
apply for the new E111, as the old ones are only valid until 31st December
Dept of Health Info.
Germany: No motorway
tolls. Fierce radar traps in some places particularly at the ends of
motorways and entering towns or pedestrian zones. Free overnight parking on some
parking areas if self contained. Numerous Motorhome Service Points in
tourist areas. Look out for Stellplatz and Entsorgungstation.
Did you know
you can listen to Forces Radio and TV in English in parts of Germany?
They have 2 channels of radio on 103.00 and 101.60 Mhz. It's possible to
listen to British radio all the way throughout the Rheinland and Southern
Lower Saxony from Aachen in the south west almost as far as Hamburg or
Berlin. You can identify the transmitters by RDS, it reads 'BFBS' You can
also watch British TV in that area - on the UK PAL system - but you have
to be near a British Garrison. Check out
Useful guides are Der große
Reisemobil-Stellplatz-Atlas, Deutschland, Nordband and ADAC Camping-Caravaning-Führer
[year] Deutschland/Nordeuropa. (& Südeuropa separately too). Both
are in the 15-19€ region. One source is
wohnmobile.net/. ADAC is the
German equivalent of the AA - RAC.
Austrian & Swiss Motorways
& Czech Republic: You need a windscreen sticker called a
vignette to travel on these motorways. They can be obtained at the border
crossing (customs) and sometimes in the service areas just prior to
entering the country. The Swiss rules are "...purchase
the motorway vignette in
Switzerland at post offices, customs offices, gas stations, garages and
cantonal vehicles registration offices and abroad from the Swiss National
Tourism Offices, automobile associations, partners of the Deutsche Post
AG. The motorway "vignette" is valid from December 1st of the year prior
to its designated year until January 31st of the following year. It
is sold for a price of CHF 40 and must be affixed to the vehicle’s
windscreen (one "vignette" per vehicle). Any driver using a toll
motorway without a valid "vignette" will be liable to a fine of CHF 100
and at the same time required to pay the CHF 40 price of the "vignette".
For Austria the "vignettes" can be purchased
at the border crossings or in petrol stations near the motorways. They are
valid for various time lengths such as 1 week, 1 month, 3months, or a
year, we don't know the cost at this time. (Let
NB New rules
for > 3.5t in 2004/5. The Austrian Tourist Board sent me this "All
vehicles with a weight of ~more than~ 3.5t must be equipped with an
on-board device, the so-called GO-Box. This weight only applies to the
vehicle towing the caravan/camper van. The toll system, which does not
require the driver to stop or use a certain lane while the toll is
collected, has been in operation since January 2004. The system is as
simple as can be; it consists of two components visible to the driver -
the toll gantries and the on-board units. Drivers are obliged to install
the so-called GO-Boxes in their vehicles. The size of the GO-Box is that
of cigarette box. It ensures accurate toll collection from inside the
vehicle. Communication of the small unit that is mounted on the inside of
the windscreen and the toll gantries is based on microwave technology. The
GO-Box is available from circa 220 GO-service and sales outlets (mostly
Petrol- and Service Stations) in Austria and neighbouring countries. The
GO-Box is available for a one-off processing fee of €5 (£3.30) including
20% VAT. The relevant vehicles are then broken down into three categories
and toll is calculated on the basis of the number of axles, currently from
€0.13 (£0.09) per kilometre. Installation is free, as the driver can
easily and quickly mount it him-/herself. The GO-Box is simply glued onto
the windscreen with the attached adhesive tape. Tolls are charged
electronically; either from a credit stored in the GO-Box (pre-pay) or by
deducting the amount easily and conveniently from a debit, credit or
petrol card at a later date (post-pay). Safe transmission between GO-Box
and toll gantry ensures that tolls are collected reliably. The distance
between the GO-Boxes inside the individual vehicles and the toll gantries
is short and with sound technology. The system therefore guarantees to
register every passage of a vehicle subject to toll. As such, the GO-Box
provides a highly effective system in avoiding toll dodging. More details
and tariff information can be found on www.go-maut.at This website also
offers an online toll calculator. Additionally, you will need a weigh
bridge certificate with your vehicle registration documents. You can keep
your box until the end of your holiday, it costs €5. Vehicles under 3.5t
will only need a toll label for Austrian motorways, which is €7.60 for 10
days and €21.80 for 2 months and can be purchased at service stations
close to the Austrian border or sales outlets at the border and is affixed
to your windscreen. I hope to have been of help, please do not hesitate to
contact us for further information. Wishing you a safe journey through
Austria!" Anyway watch out it'll be here soon - and note that bit
about needing a weighbridge certificate!
"Campeggio in Italia"
the Italian Tourist Club publication lists all sites in Italy and mentions
urban parking spots for overnight stops for motorhomes. Available mail
order from Stanfords bookshop Tel: 020 7240 3611. (we'd like to hear
about good web sites for Italian information).
Getting Gas / LPG in
Europe: Unfortunately there's virtually
no standardisation of LPG bottles and fittings in Europe.
Some motorcaravanners travel with assorted bottles and/or adaptors to
suit. If visiting several countries, especially in the south, you
may have to consider some of this equipment as disposable otherwise
you'll finish up carrying empty bottles from the UK, France, Spain and
Italy perhaps even more than one type from some countries to say nothing
of assorted regulators! It has become slightly easier if you have
a newer post-2004 'van because the remote wall-mounted regulator allows
you to simply change a pigtail or add an adapter to a 21.8LH pigtail to
accommodate almost any European bottle.