FRANCE

INFORMATION FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS

Settling in France

You are moving house to France on a permanent basis (as distinct from a seasonal resident) and you have been living outside the European Union for the last 12 months prior to your arrival in (or your return to ) France.

You may import personal effects (wearing apparel, jewelry, toilet articles, hunting and fishing equipment and similar effects) as well as household effects (furnitures, carpets, dishes, linen, libraries, pictures and similar household furnishings) free of duty and tax, provided you meet the following conditions:

  • those articles have been for your use for at least 6 months before the date of your change of residence.
  • each of those articles is itemized in a comprehensive list, in duplicate, signed and dated, of the goods you are importing into France as part of your moving (in one or more shipments), with the identification of their value;
  • you are in a position to prove, to the satisfaction of Customs, that you have been living outside the European Union for at least 1 year prior to your moving to France and that you are going to settle down in France on a permanent basis, e.g. by producing a French Resident Card ("carte de séjour") or a letter from your French employer.;

To meet the last requirement, an attestation from a French Consulate General (the "certificat de changement de résidence") is the most convenient document. You will need to back up your application for the attestation with some documents like the ones mentioned above (the letter from the employer...);

Entering France to Study: Importation Rules

Provided you can prove, to the satisfaction of Customs, that you have been regularly enrolled with a French school or college, and as long as you do attend the courses on a regular basis when you are in France, you can temporarily import into France, free of duties and taxes, the following items:

  • personal effects (such as body and household linen as well as clothing, even new);
  • items required for your studies (such as laptop computer, pocket calculator or typewriter);
  • household goods (such as used pieces of furniture usually found in a student’s room, china, silverware, appliances).
  • one motor vehicle (with a U.S. or Canadian license plate, as the case may be), as long as you hold a valid U.S. or Canadian insurance policy and you meet the minimum driving age requirement in France (18).

Those items cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of in France. Every one of them must be taken back with you when you leave the country. The authorization to import those items free of duties and taxes is granted by the Customs Office at the port of entry. The request must be supported by:

  • a list in duplicate, signed and dated, of all the goods you are bringing with you to France, showing the value, make, model, and serial number where applicable;
  • an attestation that you have been accepted by a school or college in France (or an attestation of attendance).

The exemption is valid for the entire duration of your studies. You may also apply for several temporary admissions during the course of your studies, provided Customs is satisfied that the goods are for your personal use and are not for any commercial or business purpose.

RESTRICTIONS:

Firearms and ammunitions
Pets
Endangered species
Counterfeit goods
Money and monetary instruments
Meat, Meat and dairy products
Plants and Plant product
Narcotics and psychotropic substances
Medicine

Gifts Sent by Mail

Private individuals in France may receive free of duty and taxes a gift mailed from a foreign country, if the total shipment's value (merchandise's value + shipment's cost + shipment's insurance) does not exceed €45.
Gifts that exceed this amount will be subject to duty and taxes based upon their entire value; there is no €45 deduction for gifts sent from abroad.
The Postal form for the customs clearance (available in any United States Post Office) should be filled out by the sender then joined to the package.
The merchandise sent should be totally free for the French recipient and only for private use. You may mail duty and tax free, subject to some limitations (see table below), tobacco products, perfume, toilet water, coffee and tea.

Goods and miscellaneous articles Quantities
1. TOBACCO
Cigarettes 50 units
or Cigarillos 25 units
or Cigars 10 units
or Smoking tobacco 50g.
2. PERFUMES 50g.
3. TOILET WATER 1/4 liter
4. COFFEE 500g.
or Coffee extracts and essences 200g.
5. TEA 100g.
or Tea extracts and essences 40g.
6. ANY OTHERS GOODS (included the ones above) €45

Medicine

1. MEDICATIONS OTHER THAN NARCOTIC DRUGS

French Regulations limit the personal importation of approved prescription medication to personal use amounts.

1.1. Importing medications for personal use by mail or by express shipment:

An Import Permit is required. The application should be filed in advance with :

Agence du médicament
Unité des autorisations d’importation et d’exportation
"Les Portes de Pleyel"
143-145, boulevard Anatole-France
93285 Saint-Denis Cédex
France
tel: 011-331.55.87.36.36
fax: 011-331.55.87.36.32

The application would have to be supported by a copy of the prescription, the indication of the exact quantities to be imported, the designation of the trade and chemical name as well as of the name of the manufacturing laboratory or pharmacy.

1.2. Importing medications for personal use in your luggage:
No Import Permit is required, but you should have with you the prescription dispensed by your practitioner and Customs will have to be satisfied that you are not importing more than would be necessary for you personal use, taking into account the drug type and length of stay (for no more than 3 months).

2. MEDICATIONS LISTED AS NARCOTIC DRUGS

The personal importation of medicine listed as narcotic drugs is strictly limited to a personal use amount.

* as for a rule, for the period of seven days only
* for a period not exceeding fourteen days as far morphine, and its salts, is concerned (provided preparations are not intended for injections)
* for a period not exceeding 28 days with respect to the folloing medications:

    - fenbutrazate and its salts (preparations not intended for injections)
    - fenetylline and its salts (preparations not intended for injections)
    -preparations of levaphacetoperane and its salts
    - preparations of mecloqualone and its salts
    - preparations of methaqualone and its salts
    - methyphenidate and its salts (preparations not intended for injections) pentazocine and its salts, in tablets weighing not less than 300 milligrams and containing no more than 45 milligrams of active compound
    - phendimetrazine (preparations not intended for injection)
    - preparations of pyrovalerone and its salts (other than those listed in Schedule I of the French Health code)
    - preparations of secobarbital and its salts

2.1. Importing such medications for personal use by mail or express shipment:

Two Import Permits are required. The applications, supported by the relevant documentation (refer to 1.1. above), should be filed with:

Agence du médicament
Unité des autorisations d’importation et d’exportation (see address under 1.1.)

and:

Agence du médicament
Unité "stupéfiants et psychotropes"
"Les Portes de Pleyel"
143-145, boulevard Anatole-France
93285 Saint-Denis Cédex
France
tel: 011-331.55.87.36.96
fax: 011-331.55.87.36.92

2.2. Importing such medications for personal use in your luggage:

No Import Permit is required, but you should have with you the prescription dispensed by your practitioner.

OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT THE "AGENCE DU MÉDICAMENT"

Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances

Narcotics and dangerous drugs are prohibited entry into France. Are included in this prohibition:

  • narcotics such as opium, morphine, codeine, thebaine, heroin, methadone and related drugs and substances;
  • depressants such as barbiturates, methaqualone, meprobamate, benzodiazepines;
  • stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines, anorectic drugs, and related substances;
  • cannabis (marijuana, herbal cannabis, cannabis resin, hashish, or hashish oil);
  • hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline and peyote, STP, DOB, MDA, MDMA, phencyclidine (PCP) and related drugs.

There are heavy penalties if imported (prison sentences and substantial fines), both for smuggling them into the country (Customs offense) as well as for mere possession, use, and, of course, delivery and sale (General Criminal Law offense). Violators are not in a position to claim double jeopardy and are liable to customs penalties in addition to penalties provided for under general Criminal Law.

  • If you are traveling to France and need to use prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs for medical purposes, refer to Medicine.
  • If you are traveling to France and you are taking part, in Canada or the U.S., in a pilot program for methadone maintenance, you may carry such quantity of methadone as is required for your treatment during a maximum period of seven days, and provided you have a prescription from your personal physician stating that the methadone is being used under a doctor’s direction and as part of a pharmacologic assistance program.

Travelers' Allowances

You are a resident of Canada or the U.S. and you are visiting France. Or you return to France from a country which is not a member of the Union (1).

You may qualify for a personal exemption which allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying customs duties, excise taxes or Value Added Tax.

Articles totaling €175 (if you are 15 or over) or €90 (if you are under 15) may be entered free of duty or tax - provided, of course, they are not prohibited or otherwise restricted. You may also import duty and tax free, subject to some limitations (see table below), tobacco products and alcoholic beverages (provided you are 17 or over), perfume, toilet water, coffee and tea , as well as medicinal products and motor fuel.

With respect to tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, when an allowance is only partially used for one type of products, the remainder may be made up of one or more products from the same category. For example, if you are bringing into the country 100 cigarettes (i.e. half the tobacco allowance), you may use the rest of the allowance to bring 50 cigarillos - or else 25 cigars. If you have bought 1 bottle of still wine, you may also bring duty and tax free half a liter of spirit over 22° volume or 1 liter of fortified wine.

This is an individual exemption. It may not be grouped or combined with other members of a family or with other travelers. This means that a group or family of four people over 15 years of age may not claim exemption with respect to an article worth €700 (175 x 4).

Any item worth more than the maximum amount of the allowance (€175 or €90, as applicable) or imported in excess of the limitations on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, perfume and toilet water, coffee and tea and motor fuel, will be subject to duty and tax.

If you are bringing several items into the country, those whose combined value does not exceed the maximum amount will be entitled to free entry. However, goods made up of several components and carried simultaneously in the same vehicle will be held to form a single set, even if several invoices are involved (e.g. parts of stereo set).

Personal effects in current use (including bicycles) which are clearly of a non-commercial nature may be imported duty and tax free. Those items cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of in France. Every one of them must be taken back with you when you leave the country.

Goods and miscellaneous articles Quantities
1. TOBACCO
Cigarettes 50 units
or Cigarillos 25 units
or Cigars 10 units
or Smoking tobacco 50g.
2. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Still wines 2 liters
and
either spirits over 22 degrees volume 1 liter
or fortified wines of 22 degrees volume or less 2 liters 2 liters
3. PERFUMES 50g.
4. EAUX DE TOILETTES 1/4 liter
5. COFFEE 500g.
or Coffee extracts and essences 200g.
6. TEA 100g.
or Tea extracts and essences 40g.
7. MEDICINES (*) In proportion to the traveller's personal requirements
or Tea extracts and essences 40g.
8. MOTOR FUEL Quantities contained in a normalmotor car fuel tank and in anemergency can containing not morethan 10 liters
9. OTHERS GOODS
Per traveler aged 15 years and over €175
Per traveler aged under 15 years €90.

(*): the traveler should have a prescription from his personal physician if the medication is subject to such a prescription.

(1) The following countries are members of the European Union: Austria (excluding Liechtenstein), Belgium, Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Finland, France (including Monaco and the Overseas "départements" of Guadeloupe, Guiana, Martinique and la Réunion), Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain (excluding Ceuta & Melilla and the Canary Islands), Sweden and the U.K. (including the Isle of Man, but excluding the Channel Islands and the British Dependent Territories).

Firearms and Ammunitions

France has stringent regulations on firearms and ammunition. As a rule, firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France. Under French legislation, weapons and their ammunition fall under eight categories.Firearms and their ammunition are listed under categories I, IV, V, VII and VIII.

  • Categories I and IV (Offensive, Defensive and Competition Firearms):
  • e.g.:
    - machine guns and submachineguns;
    - all automatic, semiautomatic and repeating rifles intended for use as military weapons;
    - all semiautomatic rifles firing more than 3 shots, repeating rifles firing more than 10 shots and air or gas rifles whose magazines hold more than 5 cartridges;
    - practically all handguns (pistols and revolvers), except starter guns and alarm pistols - provided they are not intended to fire bullets or shot;
    - the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORIES I AND IV

You may only do so if you are intending to take part in a sporting event organized under the auspices of a member of a licensed Rifle Association. You will have to submit to Customs at the port of entry the official invitation to take part in the event, specifying the dates, venue, types of weapons to be used, etc.

The amount of ammunition allowed into the country varies according to the category of firearms involved. Check prior to departure with the Association responsible for the organization of the sporting event in which you are taking part.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORIES I AND IV

You may only do so:

    - if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - a Certificate of Possession ("autorisation de détention") issued by the local "Préfecture" in France;
    - if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - a specific Import Permit ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions").

In order to obtain it, you should file Form CERFA n° 11192*01 in five copies with:

Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects
Section des matériels de guerre, des armes et munitions et des biens à double usage - Bureau E/2
23 bis, rue de l’Université
75700 Paris 07 SP
France
Tel: 011-331-44-74-46-80
Fax: 011-331-44-74-45-85

The Form is available in all Customs ports of entry as well as in Customs Infocenters such as:

Centre de renseignement des douanes
Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects
23 bis, rue de l’Université
75700 Paris 07 SP
France
Tel: 011-331.55.04.65.10
Fax: 011-331.55.04.65.30

Customs duties will have to be paid (at a rate of 4.5% to 5.7% according to the type of firearms or ammunition), as well as VAT (at a uniform rate of 19.6%). But if the articles are worth less than 1,200 F, you may qualify for a personal exemption Travelers’Allowances. And, if they have been available for your use for at least 6 months before they are cleared in Customs and provided they are itemized in the list of goods imported into France as part of your moving Settling in France, you may import them free of duty and tax.

  • Category V (Hunting Firearms):
  • i.e.: - shotguns (single shot) such as12-, 16- and 20-gauge; - centerfire hunting rifles (provided they are not included in categories I or IV); - weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels more than 48 cm (19 in.) in length or which are more than 80 cm (31-1/2in.) in overall length - provided they are not designed to fire ammunition used in firearms of categories I and IV; - the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT HUNTING ARTICLES FALLING UNDER CATEGORY V

You are allowed to bring into the country two weapons on a temporary basis as well as 100 cartridges for each weapon. No Import Permit is required but the imported firearms and ammunition must be declared orally with Customs at the port of entry.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS HUNTING ARTICLES INCLUDED IN CATEGORY V

You may only do so if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - the Import Permit mentioned above ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions"). Applications should be filed on Form CERFA n° 11192*01, completed in 5 copies and mailed to the French Customs & Excise Service, Office of the Common Agricultural Policy and of the Commercial Policy, Division of War Implements, Arms & Amunition, and Dual Use Items (refer to the above paragraph).

Customs duties and VAT will have to be paid, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s exemptionor you brinng the weapons into France as part of your moving and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer also to the above paragraph).

Possession of centerfire hunting rifles and hunting combination guns falling into Category V must be registered with the local "Préfecture" in France.

  • Category VI (cold steel)
  • i.e.:
    - bayonet, saber-bayonet, dagger, dagger-bayonet
    - bludgeon
    - cross bow
    - Ninja stars
    - lachrymal aerosol

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS OR DURING YOUR VISIT COLD STEEL ARTICLES INCLUDED IN CATEGORY VI

You may only do so if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - the Import Permit mentioned above ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions"). Applications should be filed on Form CERFA n° 11192*01, completed in 5 copies and mailed to the French Customs & Excise Service, Office of the Common Agricultural Policy and of the Commercial Policy, Division of War Implements, Arms & Amunition, and Dual Use Items (refer to the above paragraph).

Customs duties and VAT will have to be paid, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s exemption or you bring the weapons into France as part of your moving and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer also to the above paragraph).

  • Category VII (Firearms for Sporting or Recreational purposes)
  • i.e.:
    - rimfire rifles (other than those listed under category IV), such as 22 long rifles;
    - air or gas rifles (other than those listed under category IV);>br> - starter guns and alarm pistols (other than those listed under category IV);
    - the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VII

You may do so. No Import Permit is required. You just have to declare orally the weapons and their ammunition with Customs at the port of entry.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VII

No Import Permit is required. But you should declare the imported articles with Customs at the port of entry. Customs duties and VAT may be assessed, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s allowance or unless you bring the articles as part of your moving to France and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer to previous paragraphs).

  • Category VIII (Curios, Relics, Replicas and Unserviceable Firearms)
  • i.e.:
    - any firearm of a model designed prior to 1870 (1886 for French Military firearms) and manufactured before 1892;
    - any firearm rendered permanently inoperable or checked by the Testing Center of Saint-Étienne;
    - replicas of models designed prior to 1870 and incapable of firing cartridges with a metallic hull or casing.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT ARTICLES INCLUDED IN CATEGORY VIII

You may do so. No Import Permit is required. But you should declare the articles with Customs at the port of entry.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VIII

Curios or Relics:

No Import Permit is required. But the articles should be moved in-bond (and under cover of a "T1" transit declaration) from the port of entry to a Technical Center for examination and evaluation. The Curio and Relic determination will be made by the: Centre technique des armes et munitions

Carrefour Zéro nord
Route de Guéry
B. P. 172
18015 Bourges Cédex
France

Unserviceable Firearms:

No Import Permit is required. But the articles should be moved in-bond (and under cover of a "T1" transit declaration) from the port of entry to a Technical Center which has sole responsibility in France for rendering firearms permanently inoperable or for making the determination that imported firearms have been rendered unserviceable in conformity with applicable French rules and regulations:

Banc officiel
5, rue de Méons
Z. I. Molina-Nord
B. P. 147
42004 Saint-Étienne Cédex 01
France

Replicas of Antique Firearms:

No Import Permit is required. But the Replica determination will be made by Customs at the port of entry.

As with firearms included in other categories, Customs duties and VAT may be assessed on imported firearms falling under category VIII, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s allowance or unless you bring the articles as part of your moving house to France and you are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer to the previous paragraphs).

Pets

I. Dogs,cats and ferrets

The European Union adopted new measures for the importation of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) into the EU member states.

In order to bring their dogs, cats and ferrets from the United States into France, travelers must abide by the following conditions:

Until October 1st, 2004:

  • each family is limited to 5 animals. Every animal must be at least 3 months old (or otherwise travel with the mother).
  • every animal must be identified by a microchip (standard ISO 11784/11785) or a tatoo. If the microchip's standard is different, you must bring your own scanner in order to read the microchip.
  • every animal must have a valid rabies vaccination (if it is the first rabies vaccination for the pet, you must wait 30 days before departure)
  • a health certificate executed no more than 10 days before the arrival of the pet(s) into France must accompany the pet(s). The health certificate has to be signed by an official veterinarian (certified by the USDA). The list of USDA Area Offices of Veterinary Services may be consulted at the following URL address:www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/area_offices.htm

From October 1st, 2004, the regulation will be the same, except a few changes:

  • the health certificate will be valid for 4 months after signature by an official veterinarian (certified by the USDA) or endorsement by the competent authority (USDA). The list of USDA Area Offices of Veterinary Services may be consulted at the following URL address:www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/area_offices.htm. However, it is strongly recommended to do the health certificate a few days before departure.
  • the blood test is not required for animals coming from Canada and the United States.

II. Domestic pet rodents (rabbits, hamsters, mice...)

You may bring into France a maximum of 5 domestic rodents. A health certificate (in French), executed not more than ten days prior to arrival into France by a national licensed veterinarian of the country of export must accompany the rodent.

III. Pets reptiles not intended for sale

You may bring into France a maximum of 5 pet reptiles (by family), provided:

  • they are not sold under any circumstances;
  • they are accompanied by a health certificate executed not more than ten days prior to arrival and bearing the signature of a licensed veterinarian of the country of export;
  • they must be free of evidence of disease (in particular, of lesions of the skin).

IV. Pet birds

Pet birds may be brought into France, although one family is only allowed to bring 2 birds of the Psittaciformes (parrots) order and 10 birds of other small species.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • a valid health certificate, executed by a licensed veterinarian in the country of export within ten days before the arrival and showing that the animal is free of evidence of disease, should accompany the bird;
  • the following written pledge should also be submitted to Customs, in French at the port of entry.

"Je soussigné (nom, prénom du propriétaire), certifie être le propriétaire du/des oiseaux (descritpion:race, couleur, taille, âge,). Je m'engage à ne pas les revendre et j'accepte tout contrôle que les services vétérinaires estimeraient nécessaires d'effectuer à l'adresse suivante (adresse du propriétaire).

Date, signature.

English version: "I, (owner's Full Name), certify I am the owner of this/these bird(s) (description:breed, color, size, age). I undertake not to sell them and to accept any sanitary visit considered necessary by the Veterinarian services at the following address: (owner's address in France).

Date, signature.

WARNING:Many birds are registered as "Endangered Species" according to the Washington Convention. In such case, a specific permit is required in the country of departure and in the country of arrival. Please check our page "Endangered Species".

V. Other species

For other pets than those mentioned in I to IV above or pets listed in I to IV above but intended to be exported to France in greater quantities than those allowed for under the standards regulation, please call our office: 1 202 944 6375.

WARNING:

France is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. International trade in species listed by the Convention is unlawful unless authorized by permit. This includes, for example, wild birds, reptiles, crustaceans, fish as well as any part or product (such as skins, feathers, eggs) and products and articles manufactured from wildlife and fish. Permits to export from Canada or re-export certificates are issued by Environment Canada (Convention Administrator - Canadian Wildlife Service - Ottawa - ON K1A 0H3). Permits to export from the US or re-export certificates are issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Office of Management Authority - Department of the Interior - Washington, DC 20240). Permits to import into France are issued by the Ministère de l’aménagement du territoire et de l’environnement (direction de la nature et des paysages - sous-direction de la chasse, de la faune et de la flore sauvages - bureau des échanges internationaux d’espèces protégées - 20, avenue de Ségur 75302 Paris 07 SP - France).

Endangered Species

France is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This treaty restricts the trade and movement of specific animals (fish, reptiles, birds, insects, mammals, including marine mammals, crustaceans and mollusks) and plants as well as of any recognizable by-products made of their fur, skin, bone, etc…

Imports of these animals and plants may only be made under cover of a CITES import permit, issued by the French Department of the Environment. All ivory and ivory products are generally prohibited.

In order to apply for a French CITES import permit, a CITES export permit delivered by the country of origin is usually required. You have to refer to your local autorities as to know how to get an export permit.

If you plan to import into France fish or wildlife, or any product, article or part:

  • from Canada: check with Environment Canada - Convention Administrator - Canadian Wildlife Service - Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3 - Canada - tel: 1-819-997-1840;
  • from the US: check with the US Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service - Division of Law Enforcement - P.O. Box 3247 - Arlington, VA 22203-3247 - USA. Tel: 1 800 358 2104

If you need a CITES import permit into France, submit your application, with the relevant documentation, to one of the 26 Direction régionale de l'environnement (DIREN). You can find their addresses and phone numbers on the web site: www.environnement.gouv.fr

Food, Meat and Dairy Products

France has complex requirements, restrictions and limits that apply to importing food as well as meat and dairy products.

As a rule, you can only bring into France some food products, provided they are not prohibited or otherwise restricted (meat and dairy products).

You should check in advance with:

Sous-direction de l’hygiène alimentaire
Service de la qualité alimentaire et des actions vétérinaires et phytosanitaires
Direction générale de l’alimentation
Ministère de l’agriculture et de la pêche
175, rue du Chevaleret
75646 Paris Cédex 13
tel: 011-331.49.55.84.17
fax: 011-331.49.55.51.06

Plants and Plant Products

There are prohibitions and restrictions (import permits) on plants and plant products imported into France. As a rule, all plants and plant products should be presented for inspection, at the port of entry, by officers of the Plant Health Inspection Service ("contrôle phytosanitaire").

You should check in advance with:

Sous-direction de la protection des végétaux
Service de la qualité alimentaire et des actions vétérinaires et phytosanitaires
Direction générale de l’alimentation
Ministère de l’agriculture et de la pêche
175, rue du Chevaleret
75646 Paris Cédex 13
France
tel: 011-331.49.55.81.53
fax: 011-331.49.55.51.06

Endangered species or threatened species of plants and plant products are also covered by the provisions of the CITES Convention. Where importation is not prohibited, those will require an export permit from the country of origin and a French import permit, issued by the Ministry of the Environment. Refer to Endangered Species.

French Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Intruments

There is no limit in terms of total amount of monetary instruments which may be brought into or taken out of France nor is it illegal to do so. However any individual who transports more than €7,600 (or their equivalent) in currency or monetary instruments into or out of the country must file a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instrument ("déclaration de sommes, titres et valeurs").

For the purpose of this reporting requirement:

The country means the European territory of the French Republic, the Overseas departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and the Réunion.

Are therefore subject to the reporting requirement transportations of currency or monetary instruments to or from:

    - Monaco;
    - the French Overseas Territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis & Futuna);
    - the French territorial collectivities of Mayotte and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon;
    - the French islands of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin;
    - the other Member States of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.);
    - "third-countries" (not belonging to the European Union).

Currency or monetary instruments means all forms of payment that are bearer negotiable:

    - French or foreign bills and coins;
    - checks drawn on a third party;
    - traveler’s and postal checks;
    - letters of credit and bills of exchange;
    - cash vouchers investments securities and others bearer or negotiable stocks;
    - gold bullion and gold or silver coins officially quoted.

How to file the Report?

A form is available from Customs Offices throughout the French territory as well as in the Embassies or Consulates General of France in the Member States of the European Union; but the Report may be filed on any unofficial paper.

The Report should include the following information:

  • on the reporting individual: full name, nationality, home address, date and place of birth; and, if the currency and/or monetary instruments are being transported on behalf of a third party (individual or business): full identification of the owner;
  • on the currency and/or monetary instruments transported: the following formulation (written in French):
  • "Je déclare être porteur des sommes, titres ou valeurs énumérés ci-dessous, dont le montant total est égal ou supérieur à €7,600.";
    - whether it is exported from or imported into France;
    -the breakdown of the currency and/or monetary instruments according to their nature, specifying the amounts in each category.

    The Report must be filed in three copies, each one signed and dated.

    Where and when to file the Report?

      - If the currency and/or monetary instruments are being transported to or from a country which does not belong to the European Union, the Report must be filed in all cases with the Customs Office at the port of entry.
      - If the currency and/or monetary instruments are being transported to or from a Member State of the European Union, the report must be sent, at least 15 days prior to the date of the intended travel (and together with an addressed envelop to allow you to receive one stamped copy of the Report) to the following address:

    Service des titres du commerce extérieur (SE.TI.CE)
    Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects
    Ministère de l’économie, des finances et de l’industrie
    8, rue de la Tour-des-Dames
    75436 Paris Cédex 09
    France

    The stamped copy of the Report must be kept with you at all times during your travel in France.

    FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS REPORTING REQUIREMENT MAY RESULT IN SEVERE PENALTIES.

Counterfeit Goods

Imports into and exports out of France of counterfeit goods violating trademarks are offenses under French general Criminal Law and such goods are deemed to be "prohibited" under French Customs Law.

The introduction of such goods in France - even under cover of a customs international transit procedure - or their shipment out of the country are therefore subject to specific penalties under the Customs code, distinct and additional to those provided for under general Criminal Law.

Since the act of importing or exporting counterfeit trademark goods is an offense under the IPR code and a separate one under the Customs code, violators are not in a position to claim double jeopardy. They are liable to customs penalties, as well as to penalties provided for under general Criminal Law.

IPR violations (trade- or servicemarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs, etc...) attract, under French general Criminal Law, a sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of one million francs. Those penalties are doubled in the case of a repeated offense or where the violator is or has been related to the injured IPR holder.

As far as imports or exports of counterfeit trademark

goods are concerned, they are also offenses under Customs Law and attract the following additional sentences:

  • up to three years’ imprisonment;
  • forfeiture of the counterfeit goods, as well as of the involved conveyances (vehicle, vessel or aircraf);
  • a fine at least equal to the value of the goods, but not exceeding twice that value.

With respect to the importation or exportation of goods violating copyright laws or copying protected industrial designs, Customs officers who come across articles which they suspect to be pirated copyrighted goods or to be violating industrial design laws, may detain those goods for a period of up to ten days to allow the right holder to initiate criminal proceedings or proceedings in tort. When instituting proceedings, the right holder is required to post a security to pay compensation to the owner, importer or consignee if no IPR infringement is subsequently established in court.


Source: Embassy of France in the US


We keep these regulations updated but because such regulations are subject to change without notice, we strongly recommend you to consult your local embassy or consulate before you make your move.
# 1 Directory of International Movers is not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of these customs information.

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