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Unsure if this is in the right section of Stack Exchange but, I have a family member coming to the UK (from outside of the EU) in the near immediate future.

They will be bringing a painting with them that contains at least 100g of Amber, if not more. It's a gift.

Will they have to declare this upon arrival? And will they have to pay tax on this?

I am not sure how much the painting costs exactly, but it's less than £100 for sure. It's coming from Ukraine.

Are there any official bodies I can contact in the UK to find out for sure?

Again, apologies if this is in the incorrect section.

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  • What's the value of the painting? – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 19 '20 at 11:31
  • I am not sure how much the painting costs exactly, but it's less than £100 for sure. It's coming from Ukraine. – nopassport1 Nov 19 '20 at 11:31
  • So your concern is specifically about whether Amber gets treated specially? (£100 is well within the standard customs exemption when physically entering the UK) – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 19 '20 at 11:33
  • Correct. I was told by said relative that while entering the EU (specifically Germany), a family friend was taxed on their amber painting. Believe this was due to the amber content - whether that was weight or quality, I don't know – nopassport1 Nov 19 '20 at 11:34
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    Could be this question should be on the "travel" site ? (Which has many "what is the duty on..." questions) – Fattie Nov 19 '20 at 11:44
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the UK does not have any special items subject to tax below the duty free limit. Amber is not a restricted item in all/most countries, as it's neither living/recently dead, nor is it drugs, illegal pornography, weapons, etc.

This covers the restrictions on imports. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668106/Travelling_to_the_UK-_update.pdf

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UK:

I am 99.9999999% certain there are no special fees whatsoever on amber.

Germany:

I am 99.9999999% certain there are no special fees whatsoever on amber. Your friend was mistaken; there was some mixup.

£100 value:

There is absolutely no fees whatsoever on something worth under £100.

Contact:

Phone the UK dudes on +44 0300 322 7900

Unfortunately they only have one of the idiotic "0300" numbers, but, they actually have an instant web-chat, so click away:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries

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