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A Positive Change from Brexit? Well, one at least, sort of… Apr 22

While not exactly a hidden secret, it appears that with a change to the Duty-Free rules for travellers to Great Britain, there may have been one positive to have come out of Brexit on the 31st December 2020, albeit, with a bit of a caveat.

While it doesn’t appear to be being shouted from the roof tops at the moment and let’s face it, the lack of being able to travel internationally at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic might legitimately play its part in the limited press coverage on the subject, those of us with an interest in Rum and Cachaça can now bring in 4 litres of spirits (of 22% ABV and above) per adult to Great Britain from elsewhere in the world.

A little background history

From 1999 onwards Brits travelling between EU countries and the UK lost the ability to buy duty-free shopping on alcohol and tobacco products, but gained the ability to buy virtually unlimited amounts of goods from within the EU for personal use, without paying duty on return to the UK.

Duty-free shopping remained for those travelling from the rest of the world, but with the following allowances for personal use:

  • 16 litres of beer
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 1 litre of spirits over 22% ABV OR 2 litres of fortified wines, sparkling wines and other alcohol spirits up to 22% ABV

This last allowance could be split, so for example you could bring back half a litre of 40% ABV Rum as well as a 1 litre bottle of, let’s say, Malibu* at 21% ABV

This is how it was until 11pm GMT on the 31st December 2020, when the UK exited the EU. Unfortunately for those in Northern Ireland, the above older rules still apply for those arriving from non-EU countries, although on a positive note, those travelling from EU countries to Northern Ireland will still continue to be able to arrive with unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco for personal use.

Original Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

A Post-Brexit world of travel

So what about the rest of us arriving into Great Britain (made up of England, Scotland and Wales), from the 1st January 2021 from either the EU or the rest of the world? Well, things have been simplified. What was once two different sets of rules, has now been combined into one. So on the one hand those travelling from the EU to Great Britain will see a reduction in their alcohol and tobacco allowances, but on the other hand, those travelling from the rest of the world will see a marked increase in their alcohol allowance.

The new single set of duty-free rules for personal use on alcohol are as follows:

  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of still wine
  • 4 litres of spirit OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine (e.g. sherry or port) or any alcoholic beverage of less than 22% ABV

Again, this last allowance can be split, so for example you can bring 2 litres of 40% ABV Rum as well as 4 and a half litres of Malibu* at 21% ABV (Please note that a 50-50 split isn’t the only option, other combinations are allowed, as long as the total of allowance used equates to no more than 100% of the allowance)

One thing to note with the new rules, is that if you exceed your personal limits, then you will need to pay tax/duty on all the goods in that category, not just the excess amount. So for example, bringing back 6 x 750 ml bottles of rum from the US totalling 4.5 litres, would result in in all 6 bottles of rum being liable for duty and not just the 1 bottle that would take you over the limit.

* Please also note that the use of Malibu is just for example as a spirit drink that is under 22% ABV – it is not in any way an endorsement of the product.

Koloa Rum from Kaua’i

We’re all going on a summer holiday?

While we’re still waiting for the UK government to announce when international travel will be on the cards for holidaymakers this summer and beyond, when that time does come around, it’s worth knowing about the new duty-free rules.

And for those of us Brits, who either travel further afield than the EU or maybe are lucky enough to have family and/or friends visiting from outside the EU, we can enjoy more locally sold Cachaça and Rums from around the world, that maybe we can’t get so easily here in Great Britain.

Granted, in no way does this make up for everything else that’s come about as a result of Brexit, but in these miserable times, I’ll take any silver lining I can find. Further details can be found at the House of Commons Library and in the UK Government’s Travellers Communication Pack.

London Cocktail Week 2013 – Taste of Brazil Oct 10

London Cocktail WeekCome and experience a taste of Brazil.

Enjoy a Caipirinha made with Leblon cachaça whilst browsing the wellies and flip flops at the Havaianas store in Seven Dials.

No reservation and necessary, LCW wristband required.

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The UK RumFest 2011 Oct 09

With less than a week to go, the RumFest Flag LogoUKRumFest 2011 promises to be bigger and better than ever. Back for its 5th year and with over 400 rums to see and sample, RumFest is the biggest rum festival on the UK drinks scene, if not the world. In the words of the Global Rum Ambassador and founder of the UK RumFest, Ian Burrell, it’s “Probably the greatest rum festival and selection of rum, rhums & rons under one roof..”

RumFest Experience LogoOrganised by The Rum Experience, ‘UK RumFest is an international celebration of rum & cane spirit’. Headed by Ian Burrell, The Rum Experience aims to promote rum & cane spirits in both the UK and around the world. And if the continued penetration of premium rum and Cachaça in the UK is anything to go by, I’d personally say that they’re succeeding in that aim.

Still misunderstood by many, rum and cachaça continue to enjoy a rise in popularity both in the trade and retail sectors and show’s like RumFest continue to promote the positive range and versatility of cane spirits.

So over the weekend of the 15th The Rum Experienceto 16th October 2011, between the hours of 12pm and 6pm, Kensington’s Olympia 2 will be transformed into a tropical island paradise. Along with the rum tastings; rum masterclasses; live cocktails demonstrations; live Caribbean music; competitions and the opportunity to be among the first to try new rums to the UK market, several new additions this year include a new Tropical Food Market, the Tiki Bar Tender of the Year competition, as well as the trade-only Boutique Rumfest.

This year’s exhibitors include: Angostura, Appleton Estate, Atlantico, Bacardi, Banks, Ron Barceló, Ron Botran, Bristol Classic Rum, Ron Brugal, Bundaberg, Captain Morgan, Chairman’s Reserve, Rhum Clement, Cruzan, Doorly’s, Ron Diplomático, Don Q, El Dorado, Flor de Caña, Germana Cachaça, Green Island Rum, Havana Club, La Mauny, Lamb’s, Leblon Cachaça, Koko Kanu, Mahiki, Mount Gay, Mount Gilboa, Myers’s, Pink Pigeon, Plantation, Pusser’s, Pyrat, Rhum J.M, Ron de Jeremy, Ron Santa Fe, St Barth, Rum Fire, Sailor Jerry, Santa Teresa, St Aubin, St Nicholas Abbey, Toz, Trois Rivieres, Wray & Nephew, XM Royal, Ypioca Cachaça and Ron Zacapa. This isn’t an exhaustive list and I’d certainly expect to see many other brands on show between the Boutique RumFest and RumFest itself.

With RumFest being such an important event on the rum calendar, you can expect to find many of the top people in the rum industry attending, including many of the rum brand ambassador’s, distributors, a number of master distillers and of course several of my fellow rum bloggers. With many of the brands showcasing their latest bottling’s at RumFest along with the many rum tastings and seminars, the Tiki Bar Tender of the Year competition live on stage and the results of the Golden Rum Barrel awards, it really is the place for any rum-lover to be.

Of course, tropical culture isn’t just about drinking rum and in true Caribbean style, the weekend will also feature live bands, playing a mixture of reggae, salsa, samba and zouk. For those who find the tropical beats and rhythms too much, relax with Bacardi at the Dominoes and Daiquiri Zone and try your hand at one of the tropics most relaxing pastimes. To complete the party why not head to the new Tropical Food Market, featuring some of the finest delicacies and cuisine from the tropics. Here you’ll find chef’s competing in the Rum Experience Chef of the Year competition, hoping to win an all expenses trip to Barbados, as well as demonstrations and seminars from the highly acclaimed rum chef Paul Yellin. Having travelled the Caribbean discovering many tropical dishes, let Paul show you how to use rum in your cooking.

2010 RumFest Goody BagTickets are available in advance online at £22 per day or for a weekend pass at £32 per person. Tickets purchased on the day will cost £25 on the door. For your money you will recieve “Access to the world’s biggest Rum Festival, with over 400 rums to sample, 5 Rum sampling vouchers, Live musical entertainment, cocktail master-classes and demonstrations, Free rum master-classes &  rum seminars*, salsa lessons and your exclusive goody bag with branded tasting glass and show guide. *subject to availability.”

For those new to RumFest, the sampling voucher is the show’s currency and will need to be handed over for each sample. 1 voucher = 1 sample. Additional vouchers can be bought from the front desk for £1 each.

There’s also a limited number of VIP tickets for both days, priced at £40 per day, giving: fast track entry into the show; entry into the V.I.P Aged Rum Experience room; an exclusive Rum tasting masterclass; an exclusive rum & chocolate master class; a V.I.P goody bag, including a world exclusive new ‘Burrell Rum Glass’; Caribbean Canapes from Cottons Camden Restaurant and Cocktails from Appleton Jamaica Rum.

Those in the drinks trade can also attend The Boutique Rumfest, where you will have the chance to explore a range of new and boutique distillery rum, as well as attend seminars and tastings such as: Santa Teresa Tasting; Let’s Talk Rum; Diplomatico Tasting; Don’t Fear the Blender; The Art of Distillation; The Grand Tasting; El Dorado Tasting and the Bacardi Legacy Seminar. So make sure you register for the show and head down to the Hilton Olympia between 12pm and 9pm, on Friday 14th October.

So for more rum than any one man or woman could handle, live Caribbean music, great food and a totally tropical weekend, make sure you finish the London Cocktail Week by heading to the UK RumFest 2011.