Country Guide: France
Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.
Updated: August 25, 2016
Used Household Goods and Personal Effects
- 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
- 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.
- Original certificate of title
- Current vehicle registration
- Import declaration
- Copy of vehicle purchase invoice showing taxes paid
- 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
- Vaccination record
- Veterinary health certificate
- Pets must be identifiable through tattoo or electronic identification, such as microchip.
- Alcoholic beverages must be registered and are permitted within the limits indicated by persons 17 years and older as accompanied baggage (include a separate and detailed inventory of each item and an import license / state liquor license may be required):
- Wine (4 L)
- Beer (16 L)
- Alcohol not exceeding 22% alcohol by volume (2 L)
- Alcohol exceeding 22% alcohol by volume (1 L)
- Only “Fond de Cave” (15 bottles).
- Tobacco products are subject to duty or tax payments and can be imported by persons 17 years and older as accompanied baggage.
- Firearms and weapons (proof of ownership, registration / certificates / licenses are required and must be obtained prior to import).
- Contact agent for specific information as some weapons are prohibited.
- Medications for personal use only are permitted.
- Customs clearance takes approximately 3 to 4 days once required documentation is obtained.
- Weapons, ammunitions, and explosives
- Products made from animals (ivory, turtle shell, etc.)
- Endangered flora and fauna species and products made from them
- Items protected by the 1973 Washington Convention (CITES)
- Narcotics and drugs
Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.
Cultural and Other Information
CIA World Factbook Entry for France
Wikipedia Entry for France