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Customs and Tax free

Customs

WARNING !
For personal items not requiring customs procedures (camcorders, bikes, etc. ), we recommend that you keep documentary evidence of the origin of the item with you, to avoid any inconvenience on your return.
You may be handed certification authorising the free movement of your goods when you provide documentary evidence of origin.

You are arriving from another European Union country

When travelling within the European Union, you do not have to pay tax on goods purchased for non-commercial use when you return to your country.
Goods exceeding the following amounts are considered as being commercial nature :

  • Tobacco : 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos (small cigars weighing a maximum of 3g each) or 200 cigars or 1kg of smoking tobacco.
  • Alcoholic beverages :
    • Spirits (whisky, gin, vodka, etc...) : 10 liters
    • Fortified wine (vermouths, port, madeira,etc...) : 20 liters ; Wine (of which 60 liters max. can be sparkling wine): 90 liters
    • Beers : 110 liters.

You are arriving from a non-European Union country

Customs procedures are still carried out at borders. However, no tax or duty on goods is applied to purchases under €175 (€90 for travellers under 15 years old).
Exemption is also granted for the following quantities :

  • Tobacco : 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars ou 250g of smoking tobacco. For tobacco only, an assortment of items within the same category is permitted.
  • Alcoholic beverages : 2 liters of wine with either 1 liter of more than 22°, or 3 liters of less than 22°. A tax-free allowance only applies to these two categories and for travellers aged 17 and over.
  • Perfume : 50g
  • Eau de toilette : 1/4 liter
  • Coffee : 500g or 200g of coffee extract or concentrate
  • Tea : 100g or 40g of tea extract or concentrate.

When returning from Andorra, the following tax-free exemptions apply

Duty free value allowance, foodstuffs

  • per passenger aged 15 years and over : €300
  • per passenger aged under 15 years : €150

Duty free value allowance (other than foodstuffs)

  • per passenger aged 15 years and over : €900
  • per passenger aged under 15 years : €450

Quantitative tax-free exemptions

  • Tobacco : 300 units for cigarettes, 150 units for cigarillos, 75 units for cigars or 400g of smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol : table wine: 5 liters, and either 1.5 liters of strong spirits of over 22° or 3 liters of alcoholic drink of less than 22° (including sparkling wines)
  • Perfume : 75g
  • Eau de toilette : 3/8 liter

Legislation

Currencies

It doesn’t exist legislation in France concerning the amount of money that you might carry for travelling.

However, whether you are a french resident or not, you must declare any monies, securities or cash amounting to or greater than €10,000 to French customs, when entering or leaving the European Union, from 15 June 2007.

Counterfeits

Importing, exporting or holding counterfeit object, even for a personal use, is prohibited by the French legislation (confiscation of the goods, fines customs, legal proceedings).

Specific procedures

Certain goods are subject to specific regulations on entering or leaving the European Union, in particular :

  • weapons and ammunition,
  • cultural goods,
  • fauna and flora species,
  • protected wild flora and derived products,
  • live animals and animal products,
  • plants,
  • medicine and medicinal products (except for personal use),
  • wine, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and other controlled products.

For more information

Airport customs for travellers, Phone number : +33 (0)5 61 30 01 10
Airport customs for freight, Phone number : +33 (0)5 61 16 40 60

You can also find information on the french Customs Service Website www.douane.gouv.fr or call the Customs service info center, Phone number : +33 (0) 811 204 444 .

The French Customs Service provides information in the form of brochures produced by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to help you to travel with peace of mind.
Other sources of information : Consulate or Tourist Information Office in the country you are travelling to.

Tax free sales

Tax-free sales in the shops in duty-free areas are only available if you are leaving for a non-European Union country or for a French overseas department or territory. Quantitative tax-free exemptions (tobacco, alcohol, perfume, etc.) or customs values (€90) apply.

Remission of tax

Travellers, you have your usual residence in a non-European Union country or in an other country, the VAT can be deduced from the price of the goods that you buy in France.

Conditions :   

  • The goods that you buy must be retail purchases made as a visitor and must not be for business purposes
  • To be in France for less than 6 months.

Please note that not all shops are duty-free and some goods do not qualify for duty-free treatment. These include foodstuffs, manufactured tobacco products, unmounted precious stones and weapons.

How to obtain the remission of tax ?

The total value of your purchases (including VAT) in a single shop on the same day must be over €175.

When you make your purchase the retailer will give you a VAT refund form consisting of two sheets to be signed by the retailer and yourself, if you decide to use the VAT refund scheme. By signing them, you are undertaking to complete certain formalities.

The latter must be stamped by customs when you finally leave the European Union, within 3 months following the date of purchase, and the pink slip must be returned to the seller before this period expires. If you are unable to get your slip stamped by customs within this period, send it, together with supporting documents, to the following address :

Direction régionale des douanes et droits indirects
Fiscalité, transports et politiques fiscales communautaires (Bureau F/1)
11 rue des Deux Communes
93558 Montreuil
FRANCE

This information does not have any contractual value.