Customs regulations for your trip to France

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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Customs regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport.
  • Visa, if applicable
  • Packing List
  • Detailed Inventory valued in Euro and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Certificate of change of residence by the French Consulate
  • Certificate of Transfer
  • Non-resale attestation
  • Proof of residence in France
  • Bill of lading (express release) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Sales invoices for items purchased within 6 months prior to import

Specific Information

  • Owner of the goods’ presence for Customs clearance is not required.
  • A visa is only necessary if other documentation cannot be provided.
  • Packing list is not required for Customs clearance, but is required at time of delivery
    • Certificate of change of residence by the French consulate must show that the owner of the goods has established primary residence in origin country for at least 12 months.
      • If less than 12 months abroad, the shipment is subject to more duties and taxes.
  • Certificate of transfer must be on employer letterhead with date of employment in the origin country and date of transfer.
    • Certificate of transfer must also show proof of at least 12 months abroad and primary residence in origin country.
    • This document may not be accepted by all Customs office for free entry.
  • Non-resale attestation must be completed, dated, and signed by the owner of the goods and must mention a vehicle when applicable.
  • Proof of residence in France, such as last phone, electricity bill, or rental contract (less than 3 months old).
  • Sales invoices must clearly identify items, date, year, and place of purchase.
  • Used household goods in the owner of the goods’ possession or use for at least 6 months are duty free if the owner of the goods’ primary residence will be in France.
  • If the payment of duties is required, authorization must be obtained from French Customs prior to arrival.
  • For countries outside Europe items are subject to VAT of 20% plus duties (about 10%).
  • Customs clearance takes approximately 3 to 4 days to clear the effects.
  • For free entry, transfer of primary residence and the owner of the goods must have spent at least 12 months abroad.

Click here to view : Country Guides

You must be able to prove your identity either by providing documents when asked or within 4 hours at a police station. Identity documents can be a passport, a photo driving licence or other documentation provided by a government body.

Concealing the face in public places in France is illegal. This includes balaclavas, full veils or any other garment or mask that is used to conceal the face. Failure to comply with the ban is punishable by a maximum fine of €150. Under this law, forcing someone to hide their face is also a crime and is punishable by a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to €30,000. If the person forced to hide their face is a minor, the sentence is doubled. The law does not provide any exemption for tourists.

Taking food and drink into the EU

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons.

Dutiable Items

Import regulations:

Free import to passengers arriving with goods purchased within the EU which are for personal use only (including the French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion):

a. tobacco products, for passengers aged 17 and over:

  • 800 cigarettes;
  • 400 cigarillos;
  • 200 cigars;
  • 1kilogram of pipe or cigarette tobacco;

b. alcoholic beverages, for passengers aged 17 years and older:

  • 10 liters of spirits over 22%;
  • 20 liters of alcoholic beverages less than 22%;
  • 90 liters of wine (though no more than 60 litres of sparkling wine);
  • 110 liters of beer.

Free import to passengers arriving from non-EU Member States (including Canary Islands, Channel Islands):

a. tobacco products, for passengers aged 17 years and over:

  • 200 cigarettes; or
  • 100 cigarillos (max. 3 grams each); or
  • 50 cigars; or
  • 250 grams of smoking tobacco; or
  • a proportional mix of these products;

b. alcoholic beverages, for passengers aged 17 years and older:

  • 1 liter of spirits over 22% volume, or non-denatured ethyl alcohol with more than 80% volume; or
  • 2 liters of spirits or aperitifs made of wine or similar beverages less than 22% volume, or sparkling wines or liquor wines; or
  • a proportional mix of these products; and in addition
  • 4 liters still wine; and
  • 16 liters of beer;

c. medicines, sufficient for personal requirements;

d. other goods (for air travelers) up to a total value of EUR 430.- (per adult) or EUR 150.- (per passenger aged under 15 years). Such amounts cannot be cumulated by several people.

e. gold/jewellery: must be declared except personal jewellery not exceeding a total weight of 500 grams if it is in regular situation.

Products of animal origin, not originating from an EU Member State, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino or Switzerland, are not permitted to be imported into an EU Member State, with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Faroe Isl., Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries.

  • pets need to be identifiable (tattoo or an electronic identification system), vaccinated against rabies and have a health certificate. For more information, please refer to the nearest embassy.
  • maximum of 10 kg of meat, milk and dairy products coming from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland, and Iceland
  • powdered milk for babies, food for children and special medical food (including pets’ food) may be allowed if they need not to be refrigerated prior opening and that it is brand packaged food and the packaging has original seal (unless in use at the time) and its quantity must not exceed the weight of 10 kg originating from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland and Iceland, and of 2 kg if originating in other countries.
  • fish only if it is disembowelled and does not exceed the weight of 20 kg,
  • currency – no restrictions if coming from EU country. Declarable for all travelling outside EU when the amount exceeds 10.000 euro or equivalent in another currency.
  • coats, fur and leather shoes made of protected animals will need special authorization

Prohibited Items

  • Meat and milk and any items thereof from non-EU countries with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Croatia, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries
  • Protected species and products thereof as listed by the CITES (Washington Convention) for example ivory, tortoise shell, coral, reptile skin, wood from Amazonian forests

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Import regulations vary per category of firearms and per country of origin.

Crew members customs regulations:

Free import of the following:

a. 40 cigarettes, or 20 cigarillos, or 10 cigars, or 50 grams of tobacco;

b. alcoholic beverages (distilled or spirits):

  • over 22% proof: 0,25 liter; or
  • up to/under 22% proof: 0,50 liter, or
  • still wines: 0,50 liter;

c. 7,5 grams of perfume and 0,375 deciliter of eau de toilette;

d. 100 grams of coffee or 40 grams of coffee extracts or coffee essence and 20 grams of tea or 8 grams of tea extract or tea essence.

e. personal and non-commercial goods may not exceed a total value of EUR 45,73.

Pets:

Warning: pets without the necessary certificates will be returned to place of origin or destroyed. The regulations below also apply to pets traveling between metropolitan France, French Overseas Departments and regions, French Overseas Collectivities and Territories or transiting if they leave the airport.

  • Cats and dogs are subject to Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003 and Regulation (EU) 576/2013 .For more information and details contact a French embassy/consulate or the French Ministry of Agriculture (www.agriculture.gouv.fr).

EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE RESOLUTION:

a. Cats, dogs and ferrets from French Overseas Departments and Territories (except for French Guiana) must be at least 8 weeks old, and must have a microchip implant. No vaccinations are required.

b. cats and dogs from the United Kingdom do not need a rabies vaccination if holding:

  • Sanitary Certificate issued 10 days or less before transportation; and
  • certificate that the pet has been residing in the United Kingdom for at least 6 months prior to departure or since birth;

c. pets from the following countries do not require the blood test neutralizing rabies virus: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Isl., Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cayman Isl., Chile, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Curacao, Falkland Isl. (Malvinas), Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong (SAR China), Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Fed., San Marino, Singapore, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City (Holy See), Virgin Isl. (British) and Wallis and Futuna Isl.;

d. for import of more than 5 pets, a certificate of movement issued by the local sanitary authorities is required.

Prohibited:

  • puppies and kittens from third countries and French Guiana less than 15 weeks old;
  • puppies and kittens from another EU Member State, if they did not receive a rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to import;
  • the following breeds recognized as dangerous breeds (category 1) are prohibited: any dog of the type Staffordshire terrier (without a pedigree), American Staffordshire terrier (without a pedigree) (Pitbulls), Mastiff (Boerbulls ), Tosa (without a pedigree). Breeds classed as GUARD DOGS (CATEGORY 2), with a pedigree can be imported into France: Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, Rottweiler and any dog of the type known as a Rottweiler without a pedigree, Tosa. Consult a French embassy or consulate for special requirements for import of category 2 breeds and also the carrier for any regulations regarding the transportation of such breeds.
  • Birds are subject to Decision (EC) No. 25/2007. Prior authorization required. For more information and details contact a French embassy/consulate or the French Ministry of Agriculture (www.agriculture.gouv.fr ).

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage can be cleared at any airport in France.

Exempt: baggage of passengers with a destination outside of France, in transit via Paris, international airport Charles de Gaulle or Orly.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Same regulations as for export apply.

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Euro – EUR) and foreign currencies: no restrictions if arriving from or traveling to another EU Member State .
If arriving directly from or traveling to a country outside the EU: amounts exceeding EUR 10,000.- or more or the equivalent in another currency (incl. banker’s draft and cheques of any kind) must be declared.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original certificate of title
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Import declaration
  • Copy of vehicle purchase invoice showing taxes paid

Specific Information

  • Customs duties are dependent on the vehicle’s country of origin; however, all imported vehicles are subject to value added tax (VAT).
  • Duties and taxes are paid when the vehicle is cleared through Customs.
  • The owner of the goods qualifies for duty and tax free entry if the following conditions are met:
    • They have spent more than 12 months abroad
    • They are transferring primary residence to France
    • They have owned / used the car for at least 6 months prior to shipment

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate

Specific Information

  • Pets must be identifiable through tattoo or electronic identification, such as microchip.
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