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For day trippers, shoppers and visitors to Calais, France and Belgium – looking for tobacco shops – wanting to save money when buying wine, beer, tobacco and food.

Tobacco prices France

Tobacco prices France

Revised guidelines from 1st October 2011. TOBACCO guidelines for personal use – 800 cigarettes (was 3,200), 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos, 1 Kg smoking tobacco (was 3 Kg).

September 2015 – The price of Golden Virginia in Belgium is now £5.60 (8.00 euro). 20 Benson and Hedges Gold still costs £4.35 (6.00 euro). In Luxembourg GV costs about £5.43, BH Gold is only £3.69. The the UK Golden Virginia costs £18.08, and Benson and Hedges Gold costs £9.30.

June 2015 – The price of Golden Virginia in Belgium is now £5.40 (7.80 euro). 20 Benson and Hedges Gold now cost £4.35 (6.00 euro). In Luxembourg GV costs about £5.43, BH Gold is only £3.69.

March 25th 2015 UPDATE! – Falling exchange rates see the price of Golden Virginia in Belgium go up to £5.15 (7.40 euro).

March 18th 2015 - UK Budget – Cigarette prices have increased by 16p a packet in the U.K.

March 2015 UPDATE! – Improving exchange rates see the price of Golden Virginia in Belgium drop to £5.05 (7.40 euro), Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.30 (6.00 euro)

March 2015 – Improving exchange rates see the price of Golden Virginia in Belgium drop to £5.15 (7.40 euro), Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.40 (6.00 euro)

Mid February 2015 – Improving exchange rates see the price of Golden Virginia in Belgium drop to £5.25 (7.40 euro), Benson & Hedges Gold still costs £4.50 (6.00 euro) - although the euro price (if you pay with a credit card and not sterling cash has gone up 30 centimes).

February 2015 – Improving exchange rates see the price of Golden Virginia in Belgium drop to £5.30 (7.40 euro), Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.50 (5.70 euro).

December 2014 – A tax increase on Golden Virginia sees prices in Belgium go up to £5.65 (7.40 euro).

September 2014 – A tax increase on Golden Virginia sees prices in Belgium go up to £5.30 (7.00 euro).

July 2014 – A better exchange rate sees prices drop in Belgium and Luxembourg for sterling buyers. Golden Virginia now costs £5.08 a pack (6.60 euro) in Luxembourg. Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £3.90 (5.00 euro) a pack of 20. In Belgium Golden Virginia now costs £5.20 a pack (6.80 euro). Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.50 (5.70 euro). In the U.K. GV costs £17.48, Benson and Hedges Gold now costs £8.53.

May 2014 – Golden Virginia now costs £5.35 a pack (6.80 euro) in Luxembourg. Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £3.87 (4.80 euro) a pack of 20. Tax increases in Belgium mean that Golden Virginia now costs £5.45 a pack (6.80 euro). Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.50 (5.70 euro). In the U.K. GV costs £17.26, Benson and Hedges Gold now costs £8.87.

February 2014 – Tax increases in Belgium mean that Golden Virginia now costs £5.45 a pack (6.80 euro). A pack

February 2014 – Golden Virginia now costs £5.35 a pack (6.80 euro) in Luxembourg. Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £3.87 (4.80 euro) a pack of 20. Tax increases in Belgium mean that Golden Virginia now costs £5.45 a pack (6.80 euro). A pack of Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.50 (5.70 euro). In the U.K. GV costs £16.92, Benson and Hedges Gold now costs £8.38.

In other words buy the guidelines (3Kg GV and 800 cigarettes) and save £874.60 in Luxembourg, £835.40 in Belgium, and £481.76 in France.

January 2014 – The improving exchange rate mean that in Belgium Golden Virginia now costs £5.15 a pack (6.40 euro). A pack of Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.55 (5.40 euro).

August 2nd 2013 – In Belgium Golden Virginia now costs £5.30 a pack (6.40 euro). A pack of Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £4.55 (5.40 euro) in Belgium.

July 15th 2013 – prices will rise by 20 centimes a pack of cigarettes in France. Marlboro, the No1 brand, rises from 6.60 to 6.80 euro (about £5.96). In the U.K. they cost £7.98. Despite the increases in taxes in France cigarettes are still 25% cheaper.

June 2013 – Prices go up in France again in July and October.

March 2013 – U.K. Budget. Golden Virginia now costs £15.85(a 64 pence increase on last year) in the U.K. In Belgium a pack costs £4.95 (a 20 pence increase on last year). In France a pack costs £9.46. A pack of Benson & Hedges Gold now costs £7.71 in the U.K., in Belgium a pack costs £4.30. In France a pack costs £5.31. Tobacco prices in the U.K. rise by 2% above the RPI every year (since 2010).

2012 October – French tobacco prices increase by 6%. I checked the prices mentioned in the French newspaper article I read. They said a packet of Marlboro cigarettes (one of the top selling cigarettes in France) would cost 6 euro 50 from October. In the U.K. they are £7.39. In other words even after the increase, they will still cost 35% more at home, or 26% less in France. Work it out – buying one sleeve (200) in France will save you about £37.00. Buy 800 and you save nearly £150.

March 2012 – U.K. Budget increases. Cigarettes – 37 pence a packet increase. Benson and Hedges Gold now £7.40 (Belgium £4.10). Hand Rolling Tobacco – Increase in Excise duty from £151.90 per Kilo to £164.11 = £12.21 per Kilo increase (+20% VAT). Total increase £14.61 or 73p per 50gr pouch (GV in U.K. now £15.35, In Belgium it costs £4.75). Pipe Tobacco – Increase in Excise Duty from £84.98 to £91.81 (per Kilo) = £6.83 per Kilo increase (+20% VAT). Total increase £8.17 per Kilo or 41p per 50gr tin (Belgium £5.50, U.K. £10.10). Cigars – Increase in Excise Duty from £193.29 to £208.83 or about 7 1/2 %.

February 2012 – Golden Virginia now costs £4.75 in Belgium.

February 2012 – Fightback! Our friends at Smoking Hot continue with their great work. Why not print these leaflets and give them to fellow shoppers / leave them on the ferry etc?.

We found it easier to download the pdf (opens up after download) – Back / Front.

January 2012 – GV is now £4.50 in Belgium (£14.38 – U.K.) and B&H Gold (200) is now £41.00 (£69.40 – U.K.).

October 2011 – The French Government has announced tobacco and spirit tax increases. The price of tobacco in France will increase by 6% in 2011 and again in 2012.

January 2011 – Golden Virginia 40g pack 7.50 euro.

December 2010 – The E.U. told France it had to abolish a law that suggested travellers may only bring in 1000 cigarettes from abroad. The French Parliament has voted to keep the law, and it now seems likely an infringment case will be followed through by the Commission against France. Despite getting many e-mails about this law, we have not heard of any foreign shoppers being stopped or having goods confiscated.

United Kingdom budget 2010 – Tobacco duty increased from 25th March by 1% above inflation and will then increase by 2% in real terms each year until 2014.

According to our calculations this means that a packet of cigarettes previously costing £5.60 will in 2014, after the last 2% increase cost 9.33% more in real terms or £6.12. Remember to add in the inflation increase automatically incurred every year.

September 2010 – Cigarettes wil increase in price by 6% in France in November 2010. The cheapest cigarettes will now cost 5.40 euro, and Marlboro goes up to 5.90 euro per packet. Rolling tobacco goes up 0.40 euro per 40 gram packet. Apparently legal tobacco sales in France collapsed from 82.5 billion euro in 2000 to 55 billion euro in 2004. Much of that loss can be put down to U.K. shoppers no longer buying tobacco in France and large numbers of French people shopping in belgium where the majority of the customers are now French.

October 2009 – French prices up again. This time it's the price of cigarettes which will rise 6% from 5th October 2009. The last cigarette price rise was in August 2007 when they rose by 6%. Cigars and cigarillos went up by 4% in July 2009.

June 2009 – Golden Virginia up 8% in France. Rolling and pipe tobacco have gone up between 5 and 10% in France. Cigarette prices remain unchanged.

(April 22nd – United Kingdom Budget news. Cigarettes up 7 pence a packet of 20, Rolling tobacco up 14 pence per 50 gram packet)

January 2009 – Tobacco prices have not gone up again this year in France.

August 2007 – All tobacco prices have gone up 6%. A packet of Marlboro now costs 5.30 euro (expect to pay about £3.70.

January 2007 – No increase again in French tobacco prices.

March 2007 – the EU has told France to remove end its policy of imposing a minimum price for tobacco products. EU law only allows for minimum taxation levels.

26th November 2003 – The French Government has reduced the expected 20% increase due January 2004 to 10%. There was no increase in 2005 or 2006.

For United Kingdom shoppers this means tobacco use to be about 35% cheaper in France – from January 2004 they are now 20% cheaper.

European Court judgement concerning internet purchases of wine and tobacco (23rd November)

Tobacco is cheaper in France and even cheaper in Belgium. Supermarkets don't sell tobacco in France. Prices at TABAC's are regulated so it doesn't matter where you go. Buying 10 cartons of cigarettes in Belgium will save you about £200 at United Kingdom prices, in France about £185. Pouch tobacco offers the biggest saving especially when bought in Belgium.

Although HM Revenue and Customs suggested limit for personal consumption is now 800 (was 3,200) cigarettes, this is a guideline only. Warning

Not available in France and Belgium.

Why no TABAC at Cite Europe?

British Government wisdom; Mug an old lady and keep your car, go slightly over the tobacco limit and get your car confiscated.

TAKE CARE! Criminal gangs operate in France and Belgium targeting British cars. More

Other tips

Beware of counterfeits!

brazza tabac calaisLe Brazza TABAC

This guide is published by to encourage United Kingdom citizens to shop in France and Belgium and beat the appalling Customs and Excise crackdown on European Shoppers, as well as excessive taxation in the United Kingdom.

route 66 tobacco luxembourg

Route 66 Tobacco in Luxembourg

French anti smoking campaign (in French).

All about the new anti smoking laws in France (from February 2007).

Anti counterfeiting group.

Anti Fraud, run by the National Fraud Authority.

Dates / News

April 2008 – There have been some tax increases in Belgium and Luxembourg. Shopkeepers are trying to hold their sterling prices, but with a continuously weakening Pound, prices have risen this month.

January 2008 – Prices unchanged in France, but increases in Luxembourg and Belgium, mainly due to the lousy exchange rate.

January 2007 – Prices unchanged in France, but increases in Luxembourg and Belgium.

January 2006 – Prices unchanged in France, but small increases in Luxembourg and Belgium.

January 2005 – Prices unchanged again, but the manufacturers are changing their prices (some up, some down).

January 2004 – 10% increase this year.Seems like they will not increase for a few years now as a result of the protests from French TABAC's.

9th August – Shop in France now! Cigarettes are going up 17% in late OCTOBER and rolling tobacco by 14.2% (from 4.20 euro to 4.80 euro).

20th September 2003 – More bad news. From an article in Le Monde. Prices are to increase again in January 2004 by 20%. In January 2003 a packet of cigarettes cost 3.90 euro, at the end of October it will cost 4.58 euro and next January it will cost 5.48 euro. The price difference with Spain (2,50 euro the package), Luxembourg (2,90), Italy (3,30) or Belgium (3,70) will weigh on the activities of the 34,000 tobacco dealers in France. According to a White Paper, "the market of smuggling represents today 6% of the total market of the sale of tobacco in France". One wonders if they realise that this will rise substantially as it did in the United Kingdom.

January 2003 – The Hoverspeed Court victory has seen a substantial increase in the allowances. However, British Revenue and Customs are now (uniquely) subjecting United Kingdom citizens to checks on the way out of England as well. We think this is scandalous.

6th January 2003 – PRICES GO UP IN France

- Tobacco prices increased substantially in France on January 6th – the most expensive cigarettes increased by 8% and the least expensive of 13% to 16%. The average increase was 15%. For health reasons, taxes on cigarettes went up by 17.5% and on hand rolling tobacco by 25%.

On average compared with the United Kingdom, cigarettes are now 39.44% cheaper in France, rolling tobacco 55.67%, pipe tobacco 36.65% and cigars 52.61%.

January 2001 – Customs and Excise are having a vigorous campaign to stamp out tobacco smuggling. You may be stopped and told in great detail what you can bring back. If you are caught after this you will face confiscation of your goods and perhaps your vehicle as well. The real smugglers who go by foot face no penalties other than the loss of their goods. The Mafia, who smuggle with container loads must be laughing as their hold on the market is strengthened.


Fake cigarettes – always look for tar content i.e. nic: 1.0mg and tar: 12mg. Fakes don't have this information.

Warning! – shops often use a generous exchange rate when working out the Sterling CASH price, so do take plenty of sterling cash when buying tobacco to get the best prices. Whilst you can pay by credit card, bear in mind that the price that shows on your statement will be about 7% more than the sterling prices listed in the shop.

CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in France – increased fraud means they are turning down shoppers cards if their spending deviates from the norm. Take your mobile – you can often sort the problem out over the phone.

Warning! The popular 24 hour tobacco shops in Adinkerke, Belgium are closed 10.00pm – 6.00am

Shopping and Ciggies? Try Centre Commercial Mi-Voix if you want to buy both booze and baccy when in France shopping.

Knock, Knock?

Believe it or not, but even if you are only slightly over the limit and they let you through, you may get a visit and house search afterwards by C and E. So much for civil liberties in a modern society.

Careful! – pouch tobacco in France is sold in 40g packets, in Belgium they are 50g. Get a receipt, particularly if buying in Belgium, you may need it for customs.

AVOID buying tobacco in local pubs from Luxembourg – if you don't have a receipt it will be confiscated.

Why is there no TABAC at Cité Europe? We often get asked this question. In France TABAC's are effectively a union. The sale of tobacco is also regulated. The number of TABAC's in a town depends on its population. The population of Coquelles is just 1,200 people so it is allowed one TABAC, hence no shop in the shopping centre.

If you smoke or know a smoker why not buy your Xmas presents in France and Belgium? Remember you are giving these items as presents – never admit to taking money for them, even from your family.

Prices in France

Prices are regulated in France and increase annually. In 2003 however cigarette prices went up on average just over 9.5% in January. Rolling tobacco a whopping 18.30%. However, the exchange rate was much lower than the previous year and the rise in prices year on year was effectively more. Cigarettes went up by a further 17% October 20th. In January 2004 the increase was about 10%. These increases are part of a deliberate French Government strategy to reduce the number of people smoking in France.

Unavailable in France

Some cigarettes are not available in France and Belgium. We know that the following are not available in France; Consulate Menthol, Sovereign, Silk Cut 100's, Royals (at the Euroshop in the Eurotunnel Terminal the following are available; Rothmans Royals, Silk Cut 100's). In France More are called TIME Menthol.

In Belgium you cannot get Berkley, John Players Navy Cut non filter, Senior Service non filter, Pall Mall non filter. 2008 – Dorchester and Sovereign are no longer available. there is a new brand to replace them though – Sterling Superkings. 2009 – Regal cigarettes are no longer available in Belgium.

In Luxembourg you cannot get Berkeley, Mayfair, and Sovereign.

August 2003 – These brands are now available – Mayfair Superkings, Silk Cut Purple 100s, Benson and Hedges Silver 100's, Mayfair Sky Blue, Club King Size. If you know of any more please let us know – e-mail us

Foot Passengers – click here for more information

Shops in Calais – Only the Continent (now Carrefour Mi-voix) Shopping Centre has a Tobacco Shop

For best prices pay in Sterling cash.

brazza tabacBar-Tabac, Le Brazza. 149, Bd. Gambetta, 62100. Calais. Tel: 0033 321 34 33 11. Open: Monday – Saturday 6.30am – 9.00pm. Sunday 7.30am – 3.00pm. Takes CC's, (£'s and euro. Directions; A16 exit 43, right at roundabout. 100m on right. "I am just writing to say that I found all of your staff to be very polite and helpful." – more

Café Tabac Le Mercure. 221 Bd. Lafayette (opp. Match). Tel: 0033 321 96 78 68. Open: Monday to Saturday 7.15am – 7.30pm. Sunday Closed. Takes CC's, (£'s and euro. Directions; Centre Ville – opposite Match Supermarket – plenty of parking. English spoken, parking for coaches and cars. October 2009 – LOOKS LIKE IT HAS CLOSED.

La Maison du Cadeau Civette. Tel: 0033 321 34 59 79. 2, Bd. Jacquard, 62100. Calais. Open: Monday – Saturday.

A la Civette Tabac-Loto-Cadeaux. Tel: 0033 321 34 64 54. 15, Place d'Armes, 62100. Calais.

Tabac Le Cyrano. 86 Bd. Jacquard. Tel: 0033 321 34 43 32.

Café – Tabac, Le Persan. 75, Bd. Gambetta, 62100. Calais. Tel: 0033 321 34 62 34.

Café – Tabac, Le Saint Germain. 51, Place d'Armes, Calais. Tel: 0033 321 97 49 90. Open: 6.00am – 1.00am daily.

Café – Tabac, Le Salengro. 71, Av. Roger Salengro. 62100. Tel: 0033 321 96 23 36.

Others (if you find any of these helpful please let us know)

Le Balto. 23 Bd. Alliés. Tel: 0033 321 34 50 30.

Gérard Leroy. 43 Av. Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Tel: 0033 321 96 12 51.

Bar Tabac Le Flash. 43 rue Four à Chaux. Tel: 0033 321 36 36 23.

Donald Lockwood. 94 rue Descartes. Tel: 0033 321 34 38 98.

Jean-Marie Brunelot. Centre Commercial, rue Henry Matisse. Tel: 0033 321 96 43 02.

Agnes Maquignon. 377 Av. Roger Salengro. Tel: 0033 321 96 23 36.

Le Calumet. 145 rue Fontinettes. Tel: 0033 321 36 65 89.

Le Mazarin. 15 rue Royale. Tel: 0033 321 34 58 46.

Chantal Lebrun. 140 Bd. Lafayette. Tel: 0033 321 82 27 02.

Jean-Claude Mulard. 119 Bd. Victor Hugo. Tel: 0033 321 97 53 47.

Le Cluny. 18, rue Fontinettes. Tel: 0033 321 35 68 92.

Tabac Nation. 21 Bd. Egalité. Tel: 0033 321 96 73 66.

Le Comptoir. 52 rue Duc de Guise. Tel: 0033 321 34 35 66.

Le Narval. rue Constance Cronie. Tel: 0033 321 34 67 19.

Cafe Tabac Le Diplomate. 51 rue Thermes. Tel: 0033 321 34 57 35.

Cafe Tabac Le Nemrod. 79 rue 11 Novembre. Tel: 0033 321 97 58 10.

Cafe Tabac La Fayette. 94 Bd. La Fayette. Tel: 0033 321 36 51 03.

Le Palaray. 95 rue Massena. Tel: 0033 321 85 65 59.

Cafe Tabac Le Gauloise. 94 rue Descartes. Tel: 0033 321 96 38 58.

Le Pénalty. 43 Av. Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Tel: 0033 321 96 79 07.

Cafe Tabac Le Gersch. 17 rue André Gershell. Tel: 0033 321 96 08 80.

Le Templier. 76 rue Marc. de Lattre de Tassingny. Tel: 0033 321 96 72 05.

A La Havane. 218, rue Mollien. Tel: 0033 321 96 63 72.

Le Transmanche. 1200 Av. Charles de Gaulle. Coquelles. Tel: 0033 321 82 00 96.

Outside Calais

L'Agriculture Café-Tabac. 4500 rue du Pont d'Oye, Vieille-Eglise. 62162. Open 7.00am – 10.00pm.daily. Tel: 0033 321 35 81 20.

Shopping Centres

Centre Commercial Auchan – there is no tobacconist here.

Centre Commercial Mi-voix. Tobacconist Dereep. Tel: 0033 321 96 71 96. Open: 9.00am to 7.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Cité Europe Shopping Centre – there is no tobacconist here either – why not?

Save in France or Belgium

When buying up to the suggested British Guidelines for tobacco purchases abroad you will save loads of money – Tobacco prices in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Sample Prices

The most popular cigarette brands in the United Kingdom (2001)

Position – Brand – % of Market

1 – Lambert and Butler King Size (Imperial) – 15.93%

2 – Benson and Hedges Special Filter King Size (Gallaher) – 12.55%

3 – Mayfair King Size (Gallaher) – 7.48%

4 – Superkings (Imperial) – 7.13%

5 – Rothmans Royal King Size (Rothmans United Kingdom – 5.98%

6 – Silk Cut King Size (Gallaher) – 5.88% – Marlboro Lights King Size (Imperial) – 5.77%

8 – Regal King Size (Imperial) – 5.22%

9 – Sovereign King Size (Gallaher) – 4.40%

10 – Embassy No. 1 King Size (Imperial) – 4.18%

11 – Lambert and Butler King Size Lights (Imperial) – 3.73%

12 – Superkings Lights (Imperial) – 3.29%

13 – Richmond King Size (Imperial) – 2.86%

14 – Berkeley Superkings (Gallaher) – 2.73%

15 – John Player Special King Size (Imperial) – 2.41%

16 – Mayfair King Size Lights (Gallaher) – 2.33%

17 – Silk Cut Ultra (Gallaher) – 2.32%

18 – Berkeley Superkings Menthol (Gallaher) – 2.06%

19 – Berkeley Superkings Lights (Gallaher) – 1.95%

20 – Marlboro King Size (Imperial) – 1.79%

The United Kingdom Tobacco Market (From the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association)

There are around 15 million adult smokers in the United Kingdom which equates to one third of the adult population.

United Kingdom consumers spent almost £12.5 billion on United Kingdom duty-paid tobacco products in 2000.

Sales amounted to 56 billion cigarettes, 2.8 million kg of hand rolling and pipe tobacco and 900 million cigars.

The United Kingdom market for tobacco products has declined. In recent years this trend has been accelerated by the rapid growth of bootlegging and smuggling.

Between 1993 and 2000, cigarette sales fell by 38%.

Over the same period sales of pipe tobacco, hand rolling tobacco and cigars fell by 57%, 39% and 30% respectively.

In 2000, non-United Kingdom duty paid consumption of cigarettes stood at around 30% of total consumption. 70% of hand rolling tobacco consumption avoided United Kingdom taxes.

The United Kingdom Tobacco Manufacturers

Gallaher Ltd, Imperial Tobacco Ltd and Rothmans (UK) Ltd are the main companies supplying the United Kingdom market.

Whilst cigarettes are the main product, the companies also manufacture hand rolling and pipe tobacco's and cigars for the United Kingdom and export markets.

Useful Outside links

Customs tobacco – We really like what this group is doing challenging Customs and holding them to account. "A blog on issues and experiences of U.K. Customs and Smoking Ban. Guest posts welcome. Note:- We use the term U.K. Customs for simplicity of understanding, their official title is HMRC and are under U.K. Border Agency now.". Please remember though, that any tobacco brought back from a trip, must be solely for your own personal use (small amounts may be gifted).

HMRC are SHITE – HMRC Is Shite. This blog is "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)." Do a search for articles under "tobacco" – scary stuff.

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