Moving to France

Moving to France

Ports: Le Havre/ Marseille

Prohibited: Narcotics, Drugs, Explosive, Arms, Pornography, Live Plants, Ivory


Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco

Required Documents:  Separate specific inventory of alcoholic beverages. Possible import license or state liquor license.

Customs Regulations: A) Tobacco products are allowed, but subject to duty or tax. B) A reasonable quantity of wines and hard liquors may be brought in duty free, if it can be considered ‘restants de cave’ (remainder of wine-cellar). 50 bottles of which no more than 15 can be over 22% (about 44 U.S. proof) are considered within the ‘reasonable limit.’ They must appear on the inventory with corresponding values.

Clearance: 4 to 5 days. Customer presence required for clearance? No

Remarks: It is suggested that you contact a French agent prior to shipping.

Diplomatic Removals

Required Documents:  Diplomatic clearances must be required by local embassy in France with French customs authorities and franchise obtained prior to move. Client should also furnish 3 inventories in French listing all electrical items legalized

Customs Regulations: Duty free if diplomatic franchise obtained

Clearance5 to 6 days. Customer presence required for clearance? No


Firearms and Weapons

Required Documents:  Proof of ownership: various registration certificates and licenses to be obtained prior to arrival depending on type of firearms/weapons

Customs Regulations: Very strict regulations of import – some weapons prohibited.

Clearance: 4 to 5 days once licenses are obtained (takes 1 to 2 months). Customer presence required for clearance? May be required.

Remarks: Check with us before shipping any firearms. Do not ship within household goods container. Suggest bringing as accompanied baggage on flight. Arms may be impounded pending issuance of license.

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Required Documents:  (1) 3 Inventories in French with values expressed in French francs dated and signed by importer, listing all electrical items separately legalized by local authority work or residence permit. 2) Documentary evidence of residence, either present or planned is required. A statement from the Town Hall, a certificate from an employer, or a residence permit may be used. 3) Declaration of ‘engagement de non cession’ (change of residency) for origin may be supplied and signed in France.

Customs Regulations: Used household goods are duty free if they have been in the owner’s possession and utilization for at least 6 months and are for the owners and that residency in France will become principal residence.

ClearanceFree entry clearance 5/6 days. If duty payment, authorization must be obtained from French Customs prior to arrival (takes one month to obtain). Customer presence required for clearance? No

Remarks: If client is importing goods for secondary residency, client should contact us prior to shipment since procedure is different and citizenship id important.

New Furniture

Required Documents:  Complete sales invoices clearly identifying items and indicating sale price, date and year of purchase, and place of purchase.

Customs Regulations: Items are subject to VAT if coming from EEC Countries and VAT + duties if coming from other countries

Clearance: 4 to 5 days. Customer presence required for clearance? No


Pets and Animals

Required Documents:  Proof of inoculation, anti-rabid shot. Certificate of good health of less than 10 days.

Customs Regulations: Animals can be subject to quarantine Endanger species and ‘exotic’ animals can inhibit importation.

ClearanceCustomer presence required for clearance? Yes

Remarks: Recommend check with local French agent prior to importation.


Required Documents:  Vehicle should be mentioned on inventory of household goods with registration number. Registration Card. Proof of ownership. Insurance certificate from French insurer.

Customs Regulations: Vehicle should have been owned for more than 6 months prior to move.

Clearance: 4 to 5 days. Customer presence required for clearance? No

RemarksCheck in advance with your destination agent. Almost any vehicle may be entered through French Customs, but some makes are almost impossible to register with highway authorities.

Please note:
The information on this page is intended as a guide and NOT as a complete or definitive resource.
The information on this page should not be used as an authoritative reference.