Moving to France

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Below are document requirements and information regarding French Customs for your move to France. 

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects for France

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.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • 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.

Prohibited Items

  • 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

Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook Entry for France

Wikipedia Entry for France