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Old 24.09.2013, 20:44
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Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

OH is away for 3 weeks and I am working some whacky hours so have decided to make life easy for myself and am planning on going to that temple of the French ready made meal, Picard, in St Louis, to stock up on some easy ready made meals.

My only problem is, what category do frozen ready-made meals containing meat come under for customs - the 500g per person fresh/lightly marinated/roasted meat category (excluding poultry) or the 3.5kg per person meat preparations having a meat content in excess of 20%?

I ask because now that I drive a car with Jura plates, I am stopped every time I pass through Basel main customs crossings (coming from France).

I will be buying the usual suspects - pasta dishes, shepherd's pie, meatballs, quiche, pizza, boeuf bourgignon, fricassé etc. Yup, we'll be eating well these next few weeks
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Old 24.09.2013, 20:46
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

No problem, cooked meals is the 3.5kg allowance, and of course the meat is only a proportion of the meals.
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Old 03.10.2013, 23:40
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

Hi Ecb

Where exactly is the Picard in St. Louis? I'll be moving to Basel in Dec, and more than likely will need couple of trips there!

can I get there by public transport?

cheers
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Old 04.10.2013, 09:57
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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My only problem is, what category do frozen ready-made meals containing meat come under for customs - the 500g per person fresh/lightly marinated/roasted meat category (excluding poultry) or the 3.5kg per person meat preparations having a meat content in excess of 20%?......

I will be buying the usual suspects - pasta dishes, shepherd's pie, meatballs, quiche, pizza, boeuf bourgignon, fricassé etc.
Is horse included in the 500g restricted set or is it like chicken in the 3.5Kg?
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Old 04.10.2013, 10:09
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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Is horse included in the 500g restricted set or is it like chicken in the 3.5Kg?
Depends.

Horse meat is 500g, horse sausage is 3.5kg

Tom
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Old 04.10.2013, 10:26
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

Thanks to all for the clarification.

Interesting observation about some plates being stopped more than others. I have BE plates and go to Alsace from time to time and so cross at the same point. I have yet to be stopped. Same for crossing from Germany.

Crossing at the Great St. Bernard (VS) is another matter. I am often stopped and questioned. The questioning is only cursory, however since French is my "father" language.

Could it be a Suisse Romande vs Suisse Alémenique thing going on?
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Old 04.10.2013, 10:35
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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Hi Ecb

Where exactly is the Picard in St. Louis? I'll be moving to Basel in Dec, and more than likely will need couple of trips there!

can I get there by public transport?

cheers
It's on the Rue d'Altkirch towards Hegenheim. Closest transport is the terminus of the no. 3 tram next to the Bourgfelden border. About ten to fifteen minutes walk, at a guess. There may be other French bus services, but would certainly take longer if you're coming from Basel.

Last edited by Ace1; 04.10.2013 at 11:07.
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Old 04.10.2013, 10:42
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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Interesting observation about some plates being stopped more than others. I have BE plates and go to Alsace from time to time and so cross at the same point. I have yet to be stopped. Same for crossing from Germany.

Crossing at the Great St. Bernard (VS) is another matter. I am often stopped and questioned. The questioning is only cursory, however since French is my "father" language.

Could it be a Suisse Romande vs Suisse Alémenique thing going on?
I don't think so. It's more about identifying 'local' people who may be doing a lot of cross-border shopping and not declaring it or sticking to the limits, or if it's the French then trying to find Swiss people actually living in France and not declaring their cars, etc. (This latter much less so since the bi-lateral agreements of five or six? years ago).

We used to be stopped by both on a regular basis when we had BS plates, but nowadays with OW it's maybe about once every two or three months, and then only a cursory 'anything to declare?' question. Maybe a document check once a year or so. And one or other of us would be crossing at least one way on a more-or-less daily basis during the week.

So i think it's more about proximity of the plates' home to the border in question than anything else.
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Old 04.10.2013, 11:31
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

Based on experience of friends, it's the opposite. The further from the border you appear to be from, the more likely you are to be stopped.

They expect is BS and BL people to (a) know the rules and (b) shop regularly enough that we don't need to stock up. You dodgy people from far away are no doubt doing a huge shop, don't really know the rules (unless you post on EF of course, ecb) and will not know that "trying it on" doesn't work. So they'll stop you.
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Old 04.10.2013, 11:56
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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Based on experience of friends, it's the opposite. The further from the border you appear to be from, the more likely you are to be stopped.

They expect is BS and BL people to (a) know the rules and (b) shop regularly enough that we don't need to stock up. You dodgy people from far away are no doubt doing a huge shop, don't really know the rules (unless you post on EF of course, ecb) and will not know that "trying it on" doesn't work. So they'll stop you.
Those experiences might be more related to the time and place than the plates, then. As I say we used to be stopped quite regularly, and that certainly lessened significantly when we switched to distant plates, but our crossing are normally at commuter times and direction, so perhaps if you're coming back into Basel at 1900 the expectation is that you've just done a big shop in St. Louis. Whereas of course we would never come back into Basel at that sort of time.
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Old 04.10.2013, 14:26
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

The checks are certainly much more regular on Saturdays than during the week -- again, on the basis that everyone does their big weekend shop.
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Old 04.10.2013, 14:33
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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I ask because now that I drive a car with Jura plates, I am stopped every time I pass through Basel main customs crossings (coming from France)
There's another member on here with NE plates who also always gets stopped on the Basel border.... no smoke without fire I say

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Old 04.10.2013, 14:49
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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There's another member on here with NE plates who also always gets stopped on the Basel border.... no smoke without fire I say

Well he was driving a pimpmobile so what do you expect.

( and he does look 'Portugese' apparently.)
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Old 04.10.2013, 17:58
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

If I have my ZH car im stopped about 70% , if in my BS car its well...never.
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Old 04.10.2013, 18:06
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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Based on experience of friends, it's the opposite. The further from the border you appear to be from, the more likely you are to be stopped.

They expect is BS and BL people to (a) know the rules and (b) shop regularly enough that we don't need to stock up. You dodgy people from far away are no doubt doing a huge shop, don't really know the rules (unless you post on EF of course, ecb) and will not know that "trying it on" doesn't work. So they'll stop you.
It's this. Because I got fed up of being stopped and asked a rather chatty officer. The reply was to the effect that checks are made at random, but if people have travelled further, there is an obvious motivation to want to buy more.

We lived for almost 8 yrs in Baselland and I got stopped perhaps twice in all that time. Now I have a hit rate of some 90%.
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Old 04.10.2013, 18:41
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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If I have my ZH car im stopped about 70% , if in my BS car its well...never.
That's wierd, compared with the <1% for our OW plated cars. I wonder whether there's a bit more profiling going on that I had previously imagined.
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Old 04.10.2013, 20:19
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Re: Customs' Allowances and ready prepared meals

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That's wierd, compared with the <1% for our OW plated cars. I wonder whether there's a bit more profiling going on that I had previously imagined.
Mine is also RHD so might have something to do with it, but get stopped even if SWMBO is in the car and as its dark interior its not immediately clear which side the wheel is on.

It has reached the extent where I always use the main german basel border now as I rarely get stopped there. If I use a smaller border its nearly guaranteed.
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