Rail (UK)

Eurostar’s response to food c


IN RAIL 923 (page 16), mention was made of the new food regulation­s for cross-Channel travellers, and the restrictio­ns on what can be taken into the EU.

A Eurostar spokesman is quoted as saying the company had created a ‘Brexit Hub’ on its website that refers passengers and staff to the changes in food regulation­s.

As it happens, I was already on the case following an email from reader Francis Messenger, who had read about UK lorry drivers having their home-made sandwiches confiscate­d at EU borders because the contents of their tuck boxes included barred foodstuffs.

He asked if the same now applies to UK travellers before they are allowed to board a Eurostar service and/or on the return journey. Does this also mean limitation­s on the onboard offerings?

As is usual with such queries, I initially consulted Mark Smith (The Man in Seat 61) and was surprised to find that he didn’t know himself. I looked at the Eurostar website, but (as is sadly the norm with railway websites nowadays) found it useless at providing such basic informatio­n.

It would seem to me very common for passengers to buy sandwiches before the journey from shops at St Pancras, and they need to know if they should be careful what they buy. Obviously, Eurostar doesn’t think it important enough to mention.

I had looked at the ‘Eurostar and Brexit’ section (obviously the ‘Hub’ that was referred to in RAIL), but only found details about passports. Nothing about food.

I emailed Eurostar’s press office, also asking that if items are bought, taken on board but not all consumed, is there a problem on arrival in Paris/Brussels?

The company simply drew my attention to the Brexit Hub, adding that the arrangemen­ts apply to any mode of transport. It also volunteere­d that there has been no change to the food served or sold on trains, as this “must be consumed on board”.

That in itself is significan­t. I doubt many would realise that such food cannot be taken off the train. Indeed, as other food can be (see right), how would anyone know?

Anyway, back I went to the said Brexit Hub, but still found not a word on food, so I had to ask again and this time I was told that I had to click a ‘customs’ tab on the Hub.

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