There is so much confusion about travelling with wine and other alcoholic beverages, in fact, there is much confusion about travelling with liquids in general. Long gone are the days when you could carry your liquid memories onto a plane (wine, beer, olive oil, vinegar etc). There is even more confusion about crossing borders with wine/alcohol.
Travelling with liquid basics:
1. You can carry on liquids that are in containers less than 3.4 oz or 100ml and fit in a quart/litre
sized bag (6 inches x 9 inches). All other liquids must be checked.
2. Duty free purchases can be carried on if they are in tamper proof packaging and you have the receipt. If you are connecting with another flight in the US or any country where you must claim
your luggage and re-check it, you will have to put your duty-free purchases in your checked luggage. For more information please visit: Transportation Security Administration.
5 Steps to Travelling with Wine
(Also see: Fodors)
1. Protect your wine from temperature damage and breakage
2. Protect your clothes and the belongings of others.
3. Know the TSA rules-from CATSA: “Alcoholic beverages containing 24% alcohol or less are not
subject to limitations on quantities.” Wine, Beer and Champagne all come under this rule. If you
are going to travel with spirits then the rule is: “The percentage of alcohol by volume is 70%
(140 proof) or less. The quantity does not exceed five litres per person for alcoholic beverages
between 24% and 70% alcohol by volume.”
4. Know your specific airline’s rules about travelling with wine/alcohol. Airlines follow the TSA rules; however, they may have their own rules about luggage weight, the number of bags that can be checked and how the alcohol is packed.
5. Know the duty rules for the country you are bringing wine/alcohol into.
Protecting your wine from temperature damage, breakage and damage to yours and others’ belongings becomes easy, economical and convenient when using a Wine Check. If this isn’t an option, make sure that you use bubble wrap, or commercially produced protective products such as Wine Skins or Vinnibags-be sure to pack in the middle of your luggage to avoid impact damage. We’ve all seen or at least heard about how luggage is treated by luggage handlers. This YouTube video shows how much ‘abuse’ theWine Check can withstand.
Before crossing borders with alcohol, research the duty rules of the country you are entering. The main point to remember is that there is no TSA limit on how much alcoholic beverages containing less than 24% alcohol (beer, wine, champagne) you can check and you can bring more than your duty- free allowance into a country; but, you may have to pay duty on any amounts over the duty-free allowance. The amount of duty and taxes varies from country to country and in Canada from Province to Province. Following is some information and links for some countries to help you travel with peace of mind with
For Canadian duty rules, please visit Canadian Border Services Agency . In general, when travelling internationally, each person who is of legal drinking age can bring two 750ml bottle of wine, or one standard bottle of liquor, or 24 cans/bottles (355ml) of beer or ale. Any amounts over this will be subject to duty and liquor taxes according to the Province in which you land. You only pay duty and taxes when you clear customs, if your flight continues to another Province you are not subject to that Province’s liquor taxes as it is considered paid when you cleared Customs. ALWAYS declare! Of note, to clear up some confusion, although Canada has a Federal law that prohibits travelling from one Province to another with alcohol, no one has ever been prosecuted. A few have even challenged authorities to do so and not been charged. It is an unspoken/undocumented understanding that individuals can travel from one Province to another with alcohol for their PERSONAL use.
For USA duty rules, please visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau. Generally, one liter of alcohol per person may be entered in to the U.S. duty-free by travelers who are 21 or older. Additional quantities may be entered, although they will be subject to duty and Federal excise taxes. Wine may be subject to duties from $0.21 to $0.67 per litre and beer and cider may be subject to duties from $0.02 to $0.05 per 12oz.
For travel into Mexico, please visit Mexonline . Basically, an individual of legal drinking age is allowed up to 3 liters of liquor and Mexico allows up to 6 litres of wine, sparkling, and beer duty-free. Amounts over this are subject to Mexican duties.
For travel into Europe, please visit the European Commission Customs and Taxation.
Generally, an individual over 18 years, can bring a total of 1 litre of alcohol and alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength exceeding 22% vol, or a total of 2 litres of alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% vol. a total of 4 litres of still wine, and 16 litres of beer (only for VAT and excise duty).
**Of note, there are no limits on what individuals can buy and take with them when they travel between EU countries, as long as the products purchased are for personal use and not for resale. Duties and taxes are only charged if the alcohol exceeds the following: Wine & Sparkling – 90L, Beer – 110L, Spirits – 10L.
For travel into China, there are no restrictions for beverages with an alcohol content below 12%. Above 12% alcohol levels, China allows 1.5 litres of alcohol duty-free. Alcohol quantities exceeding the duty- free limit is subject to duty of 50% of the pre-VAT value.
Happy wine travels – bring home some liquid memories – protect your wine.