Responsible for Customs & Immigration at the UK Border. Border Force Officers work to protect the UK at departures and arrivals and may stop and ask you questions about your journey and items you are carrying.
Border Force website houses useful information about travelling through the border including advice on how you can prepare yourself so that you’re processed as quickly as possible. Click here to read the guide.
Passports and travel documents
Always produce a valid passport or travel document for yourself and any child you are travelling with. If you have a different family name or you are not the child's parent, we may ask for proof of your relationship or a letter of travel consent from the parent.
E Gates are an automated self service option that eligible travellers can use at passport control, they are a quicker way to cross the border. The e Passport gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.
Have your passport ready to help speed up your immigration process. See below if you are eligible to use the electronic immigration gates.
Who can use eGates?
- Citizens of the UK, EU, EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America who are 12+ and hold a biometric passport
- or members of the Registered Traveller service
Travellers will still need to see an officer if they are:
- travelling with children under 12 years
- travelling on their National Identity card or with a passport that does not have a biometric chip
- coming to the UK for short term study (under six months), specific types of work or reasons. (if you are from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America see below).
- holders of Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Certificate of Sponsorship (up to 3 months) or
- those due to undertake a Permitted Paid Engagement
- family members of an EEA national seeking to join them in the UK
Are you from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA and coming to the UK to study for up to 6 months?
Do Not use the eGates You must see a Border Force officer to get a stamp in your passport.
Large sums of cash
You must declare any sums of cash of 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling to or from a country outside the European Union.
For more information, click here.
Rules on restricted or banned items
Just because an item is on sale in another country, it does not mean that it can be brought to the UK. You need to be aware of the rules on restricted or banned items.
Never bring banned goods into the UK
Never carry anything into the UK for someone else.
Never smuggle an animal into the UK.
Carrying goods that are banned or restricted, for which you don’t have the necessary licence or permit is illegal – if you get caught smuggling, there are severe penalties including imprisonment. It is important that you follow the advice below.
If you are unsure of any item you are carrying, you must speak to a Border Force Officer.
Counterfeit goods, drugs or offensive weapons
Never bring in counterfeit goods, drugs, offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material.
Endangered Animals & plants
Never bring in animals or plants including live animals, birds and plants, or goods made from them, such as jewellery, shoes, bags and belts, even if they were openly on sale in the countries where you bought them, unless you have a valid CITES permit.
This also includes caviar, ivory, coral, shells and crocodile, alligator and snake skin taken from endangered animals.
Tobacco, alcohol, and gifts
There are allowances on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol, and gifts you can bring into the UK. For further information click on the link below.
Restrictions on food products
There are restrictions on food products that you can bring into the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use.
For example, you cannot bring in meat or dairy products. Restrictions also apply to fish products, egg and honey products, and some fruit and vegetables.
You may need a licence to carry some prescription medicines into the UK.
Further Information on all Customs allowances, restrictions and prohibitions click here.