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BREXIT

A message to Brits in Spain from the ambassador and Spanish authorities

The British Ambassador to Madrid and the Spanish secretary of state for migration launched a joint message for UK nationals living in Spain about the new residency card.

A message to Brits in Spain from the ambassador and Spanish authorities

HMA Hugh Elliott and Hanna Jalloul sought to provide reassurance about the new card which came into operation last week. 

You can view the video here .  

They said the green residency certificate (whether A4 or credit card sized) remains valid proof of residency status under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the transition period. 

HMA Elliott reminded British residents of their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. 

“You will be able to continue to live and work in Spain,” he said.

“UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future) and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated. That’s why it is so important that you register as a resident as soon as possible.”

Speaking about the introduction of the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) Hanna Jalloul said: “If you already have a green residency certificate, you don’t have to apply for a new status as a resident in Spain, and the documents you already have as an EU resident in Spain remain valid.

“And most importantly, as long as you are legally resident in Spain before 31 December your rights are guaranteed. . . I encourage anyone who does not yet have your residency certificate to apply to the immigration authorities as soon as you can.”

The Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones has published a comprehensive Q&A document (in both English and Spanish) to provide answers to the questions UK Nationals may have about their residency status and the new process.

You can find the document here. The British Embassy is updating its Living in Spain guide (gov.uk/livinginspain) to reflect the new residency process and will be providing further information on www.facebook.com/britsinspain.

Member comments

  1. Hello,

    I have been in Spain for 6 years but I don’t have the green certificate or card, but I do have NIE (number). It’s a long story which I won’t bore you with now. I have made an appointment to get the TIE on Tuesday as from what I understand, without one of the ‘green’ documents, I need a TIE. Anyway, as always, I don’t understand the form! Under “DATOS RELATIVOS A LA SOLICITUD (7) – 4.2 SITUACIÓN EN ESPAÑA
    I believe I’d be one of the following two. Do you know? I really do not want to F it up this time.
    □ RESIDENCIA INICIAL (sin certificado de registro o TIE previas)
    □ RESIDENCIA CON CERTIFICADO DE REGISTRO DE CIUDADANO DE LA UNIÓN

    I’d really appreciate your help.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Summer travel between Spain and the UK: What can I not pack in my suitcase?

If you're travelling between Spain and the UK this summer and want to take some of your favourite treats with you, here's what you should know about the food and drink rules post-Brexit so you don't get caught out by customs.

Summer travel between Spain and the UK: What can I not pack in my suitcase?

Flying to the UK from Spain

For those flying to the UK from Spain, the rules are relatively lax.

Note, if you’re spending the summer in Northern Ireland there are different rules on food and animal products. Find them here. 

You can bring the following products from Spain into the UK without worrying about any restrictions:

  • bread, but not sandwiches filled with meat or dairy products
  • cakes without fresh cream
  • biscuits
  • chocolate and confectionery, but not those made with unprocessed dairy ingredients
  • pasta and noodles, but not if mixed or filled with meat or meat products
  • packaged soup, stocks and flavourings
  • processed and packaged plant products, such as packaged salads and frozen plant material
  • food supplements containing small amounts of an animal product, such as fish oil capsules

Meat, dairy, fish and animal products

If, like many of us, you have friends and family already putting in their orders for stocks of jamón serrano, know that the rules on bringing meat, dairy, fish and other animal products into the UK are relatively relaxed. You can bring in meat, fish, dairy and other animal products as long as they’re from the EU, so your jamón and Manchego cheese are safe. 

what food can and cannot bring between spain and the uk

You will still be able to bring cured Spanish ham from Spain to the UK. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
 

Alcohol allowance

For many, the big one, but there are some limits on how much booze you can bring in from Spain and the EU more generally. How much you can bring depends on the type of alcohol, so get up to speed on the limits and make sure your favourite Rioja and Cava aren’t taken off you or heavily taxed:

Limits:

  • beer – 42 litres
  • still wine – 18 litres
  • spirits and other liquors over 22 percent alcohol – 4 litres
  • sparkling wine, fortified wine (port, sherry etc) and other alcoholic drinks up to 22 percent alcohol (not including beer or still wine) – 9 litres

It’s worth knowing that you can split your allowance, for example you could bring 4.5 litres of fortified wine and 2 litres of spirits (both half of your allowance).

Flying into Spain from the UK

While British borders are laid back when it comes to travelling with food and drink, the rules are much tougher when entering the EU from the UK.

Most importantly, tea bags – longed for by Brits the world over – are allowed. Marmite, which is vegan, is also fine to bring but Bovril, which contains beef stock, is not.

Travellers arriving in the EU from Britain can, according to the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC), bring the following quantities of alcohol, so if you fancy a British tipple in Spain over the summer such as Pimm’s it is possible, within reason: 4 litres of still wine and 16 litres of beer, 1 litre of spirits, or 2 litres of sparkling or fortified wine.

If you arrive in the EU from a non-EU country, you cannot bring any meat or dairy products with you. That means no Wensleydale, no Cornish Brie in your ploughman’s lunch and no British bacon to enjoy in Spain for English breakfast fry-ups.

Ploughman's lunch

British cheese for your Ploughman’s lunch is not allowed. Photo: Glammmur / WikiCommons

The EU’s strict rules mean that all imports of animal-derived products technically come under these rules, so even your custard powder to make rhubarb fool or bars of your favourite chocolate are now banned, because of the milk.

Be aware, however Spanish customs do not always check your suitcase, so you may be able to get away with bringing in a small packaged item such as a chocolate bar, without it being confiscated. 

Similarly, if you’re planning on asking a friend or family member to bring you over some sweets, cakes, or other home comforts, be aware that the ban includes all products that contain any meat or dairy as an ingredient – which includes items like chocolate, fudge, and some sweets (because of the gelatine.)

You are allowed to bring a small quantity of fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, some egg products, and honey. Restricted quantities of fish or fish products are also allowed: eviscerated fresh fish products (gutted, with all the organs removed), and processed fishery products are allowed up to 20 kg or 1 fish, so you can enjoy some Scottish smoked salmon in Spain over the summer if you want.

If you’re travelling with kids, note that powdered infant milk, infant food and specifically required medical foods are allowed up to 2kg, as is the case for pet foods. 

Clotted cream for cream teas won’t be allowed to be brought into Spain. Photo: Tuxraider reloaded / WikiCommons

This means that even the classic British summertime favourites such as sausage rolls, scotch eggs, packaged trifle and clotted cream for your cream tea will not be allowed because of the meat and dairy they contain.

It is worth noting that these strict EU rules also apply to sending products by post, so if you were hoping to get around the newly applicable legislation by having someone send you a delivery some Devon fudge, they will probably be intercepted and confiscated by Spain’s postal service, unfortunately. 

READ ALSO: Are there limits on bringing medicines into Spain?

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