France - taking radio equipment from UK

Hi… yes, I suspect thi shas been asked many times…

I’m travelling to France tomorrow for work and it looks like we’re going to have a spare day. I’m now working out how to squeeze in a quick SOTA activation and now intend to pack radio and battery with me.

Has anyone had any recent experience travelling to France with radio and battery, and more specifically returning to UK? I’m flying into Toulouse.

I have a bad memory flying back from Spain in 2022 and having near new LiFePO4 battery taken off me… I can still see the security person dropping it in their bin!

Any last miniute advice is welcome.

Cheers, Roy M0TKF


I’ve had no issues coming back to the UK from other parts of Europe, most recently from Canary Islands in December, including with LiPo batteries although they were only 3Ah and 2Ah.
I think I once got asked “are these spare batteries for this radio” so I said yes and they were fine with that. I had one of those flame proof charging bags to put them in anyway which might help.

Some people suggest having a printed copy of the rules regarding batteries with you in case you get stopped.


Hello, if your battery pack is smaller than 100Wh no problems. My battery was checked at Toulouse airport last summer. Write on your battery the power capacity in Wh … the police have some problem to multiply Voltage with Current capacity …
I live in Toulouse, be aware that SOTA sites are more than 70 km , about one hour by car.

Enjoy your stay,
73 Nico


Hi Nico,

Thanks for the info and advice. Greatly appreciated.

Fortunately I have a car to use… will probably head south towards Pyrenees…

Thanks again

73 Roy

Hi Roy,
And don’t bring your mini gas soldering pen … the police refused to take in the plane … fortunately I had enough time to send it to my house address by postal mail before takeoff!!!
SOTA contact in VHF/FM is not popular in south france. If you attend to make a contact in VHF, I can try to watch the frequency (not sunday for me).
73, Nico

1 Like

I came back from Austria last month with 2 x 4200 mAH LifePo4 batteries. Security took a good look at them, and the associated capacities, and then it was fine.

All other equipment came through without issue. The security lady’s only comment was ‘you’ve got a lot to carry’!

Next time I will be QRP not QRO - what with the batteries, an IC-705, RM HLA-150V and various antenna parts it made for a very heavy rucksack to be hauling through 2 airports (we were diverted from Innsbruch to Munich) together with a snowboard bag!

Mark. M0NOM



Edinburgh to Helsinki Finnair flight this morning. Security scanned my mobile, laptop; FT817, FT4X, KX2 and three LiPo batteries, no questions and straight through on the conveyer.

Rucksack with avalanche transceiver was divrted, then searched and swabbed for explosive residue.

“What is this for?” enquired the young security
detail (although everyone looks young nowadays!)

“It is an avalanche transceiver,” I said by way of explanation.

“Oh, do you go up mountains?” As the interogation continued.

“Sometimes,” I replied.


Coming back to the UK from somewhere my bag was diverted. It seems to happen a lot to me so I asked what I’d done wrong and got the usual “it’s just random” response.
I gave him a funny look and he said there’s 2 types of random checks - when the computer decides and when it’s quiet and we don’t have much to do :man_facepalming: