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Prague airport customs (food)?

Prague airport customs (food)?

Old Dec 7, 18, 7:27 am
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Prague airport customs (food)?

Hi, I'm looking for info from someone who frequently travels into PRG. I'd like to bring some homemade (non-processed) cooked food to a friend. I will freeze it ahead of time and put it in freezer bags in my luggage so it should still be frozen/cold when I arrive. Does anyone know if this will be an issue in Prague? Are they strict about carrying food into the country? I tried to look up info online but only really see that they are strict about meat.

I guess I'm also asking: Do they actually check bags at customs? Do they have dogs smelling for food like in the US (I'm guessing not?)? And if they did find food in my bags, would they just throw it out or would I get in trouble?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 7, 18, 10:18 am
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https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizen...l/index_en.htm

So it will depend where you're coming from.
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Old Dec 7, 18, 10:19 am
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Where do you fly from? If from an EU country (both Schengen and non-Schengen, as well as a few more European countried with special ties to the EU) you won't have to go through customs. As for dogs, when used by customs in Europe, these are trained to find drugs and not food. So you may be risking a lot if you bring self-baked marijuana cookies but nothing at all with bona fide chocolate chip ones.

Last edited by KLouis; Dec 7, 18 at 5:52 pm
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Old Dec 7, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
self-baked marijuana cookies
Even if they're not self-baked!
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Old Dec 7, 18, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Where do you fly from? If from an EU country (both Schengen and non-Schengen, as well as a few more European countried with special ties to the EU) you won't have to go through customs. As for dogs, when used by customs in Europe, these are trained to find drugd and not food. So you may be risking a lot if you bring self-baked marijuana cookies but nothing at all with bona fide chocolate chip ones.
Even within Schengen you go through customs but everybody just takes to 'nothing to declare' exit. Customs in Europe is definitely not as proactive as in other countries but checks can happen.

In Brussels, where most of my trips end, I have seen dogs only once around the baggage carousels when I arrived the same moment a flight from Africa had arrived. I didn't see any dog finding something but when I walked through customs they had caught someone doing something illegal as they had opened a suitcase and I heard the agent say to another one: "the bag did look heavy to me"
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Old Dec 7, 18, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by TimDP View Post
Even within Schengen you go through customs but everybody just takes to 'nothing to declare' exit. ...{snip}...
Well, that can be true or not, depending on the airport's architecture. Travel within the EU (plane, car, train, boats) are considered domestic and as such they are not subject to customs control. Period! On the other hand, fly from Lima to Amsterdam and take a look at the customs agents plus dogs waiting for you at deplaning, in addition to the luggage retrieval area, and you'll realize that they're not there to check you for any kind of "real" food. Also, again based on the airport's architecture, luggage from non-EU countries is often checked, invisible from passengers waiting to retrieve it, in areas located prior to the caroussel...
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Old Dec 8, 18, 1:07 am
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Even within Schengen there are rules about carrying goods. There have been cases in Belgium in the last couple of months were customs stopped people coming back from France by car, checked the contents of the car and fined them because of the goods they were carrying. One example that made the Belgian press (article in Dutch so not gonna post the link) was a women who had 420L of water in her car (50% cheaper in France than in Belgium) and was fined 440 euro.
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Old Dec 8, 18, 6:40 am
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I guess it is rather difficult to bring in to Belgium so much water by plane. Of course, if one has found the way to do so, customs dogs will have problems sniffing it! By the way, are you certain the fine was for smuggling water and not for transporting such a huge weight in her private car? Finally, Schengen has nothing to do with customs regulations, these are (for all practical purposes important for travellers) the same throughout the EU countries (Schengen-members or not such as the UK) but they are different in several non-EU Schengen countries such as Norway (see alcohol import restrictions). Schengen is about free movement across borders, i.e. passport and all other types of border control at mutual borders between member states have been abolished!!!
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Old Dec 8, 18, 10:48 am
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Thanks everyone. I will be flying from the Middle East so I don't know how that will affect things, other than I will surely go through immigration & customs. There will be nothing sketchy about what I want to bring - it's truly just homemade food for a friend (from another friend). Some might have cooked meat in it, though. If it gets confiscated, that's fine. I just wasn't sure how the EU compares to places like the US or Australia, where there can be big fines for non perishable foods. I guess I will try it and see.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 5:49 am
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You might not think it is 'sketchy' but what matters is what a customs officer does and the rules.

It would have been very helpful if you had stated your originating point AND the food you wanted to bring in in your first post because that is rather vital information

I wouldn't bring any meat based products - even if cooked - with you.

See for example this


https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/an...nal_imports_en

or

https://www.visahq.com/poland/customs/
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Old Dec 10, 18, 9:37 am
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Sorry, I don't travel in Europe very often and didn't even think about the originating location being relevant until people starting asking if it was in the EU. (In the countries I usually travel to, there is only one customs exit no matter where you arrived from.) Now I see what the difference would be, though.

I actually don't know yet what type of food it will be....just cooked meals. That's why I couldn't be too specific and was asking more about how strict they are with checking bags and what happens if they find prohibited items.

Thanks for the links though!
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Old Dec 13, 18, 9:39 am
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While at FCO, I saw a dog alert to someone's luggage near the customs exit. The passenger was subjected to a search of their luggage, so just because customs is more relaxed in the EU than in other countries, that doesn't mean it is nonexistent.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Well, that can be true or not, depending on the airport's architecture...
Heathrow has "arrival from EU" channels in addition to the traditional red and green channels.

Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
I guess it is rather difficult to bring in to Belgium so much water by plane.
It's applicable to booze and smokes too. They pay closer destination on arrival from EU holiday destination with significantly cheaper smokes. UK customs used to target booze cruises to France and Belgium.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 6:18 am
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
(…)UK customs used to target booze cruises to France and Belgium.
But the limit, per person, is as under:
  1. 10 litres of spirits
  2. 20 litres of fortified wine
  3. 90 litres of wine (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wines)
  4. 110 litres of beer
So a couple on " a booze cruise to France or Belgium " can bring twice that much...
Do they really bring more than 180 liters of wine so that UK Customs deploy "targeted efforts" to catch those possible criminals?
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Old Dec 22, 18, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by abeyro View Post
But the limit, per person, is as under:
  1. 10 litres of spirits
  2. 20 litres of fortified wine
  3. 90 litres of wine (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wines)
  4. 110 litres of beer
So a couple on " a booze cruise to France or Belgium " can bring twice that much...
Do they really bring more than 180 liters of wine so that UK Customs deploy "targeted efforts" to catch those possible criminals?
The problem wasn't (/isn't) that you were able to bring up to 110 litres of beer into the UK but that these limits only apply under certain circumstances. The relevant Gov uk website states

you don't pay duty or tax on goods you bring in from the European Union (EU) as long as you:
  • transport them yourself
  • will use them yourself or give them away as a gift
  • have paid duty and tax in the country where you bought them
In other words, you could have to pay duties on a single bottle that you were going to resell to someone else.
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