Moving to France

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Customs Regulations for France

  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa (original)
  • Residence and Work Permit (requirement may vary depending on nationality)
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Certificate of Change of Residence obtained from the French Consulate with Customer’s signature indicating dates of stay abroad
  • Attestation de non-cession (signed original stating Customer has lived abroad for at least one year, has owned all items for more than six months, and that goods will not be sold for 12 months)
  • Proof of residence in France (Certificate of Residence, lease contract or utility bills)
  • Letter of professional transfer from employer indicating date of employment abroad
  • Valued inventory in French (valued in French Francs) dated and signed by Customer – three copies
  • Inventory must indicate contents of each carton
  • List all electrical items separately (purchase invoices required) must show brand name and serial number
  • Delivery address in France with access, floor, entry code if any

If the customer is moving to France permanently and has lived outside the European Union for the previous 12 months, he or she may import both personal effects and household effects free of duty and tax if:

  • Customer has owned the goods for at least six months abroad before change in residence
  • Customer is moving principal residence to France
  • Customer’s shipment arrives within one year from the arrival date reflected on the Change of Residence
  • Each of the imported articles is itemized in a comprehensive list, in duplicate, signed and dated, of the goods being imported into France (in one or more shipments), with the identification of their value
  • If SECOND shipment anticipated, it must be stated at the time of the first importation
  • Customer must prove to the Customs Department that he or she has been living outside the European Union for at least one year prior to moving to France, and establishing permanent residency in France (by producing a French Resident Card, or “carte de séjour” or a letter from French employer)
  • For inheritance:
    • Declaration from notary with inventory of goods, date of death, relationship of French resident
    • Goods must be shipped within one year of date of death
  • Wedding presents:
    • Marriage Certificate and French Resident Permit required
    • Goods must be shipped within one month of wedding
  • Students:
    • Official attestation of attendance at a school or university. The scholar’s goods must be shipped within one month from date of registration at the school or university

In France, the following articles are prohibited for importation under any circumstances:

  • Paints, polishes, and cleaning solvents
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Live plants
  • Ivory, all animal skins
  • Pornographic material
  • Explosives & matches
  • Counterfeit goods

Some articles require special authorization or the payments of duties and taxes to clear French customs. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol (must be inventoried separately with brand name, type, amount, number of bottles, and value – Import License or Liquor License may be required)
  • Tobacco products (subject to duty or tax)
  • Medications (may be limited to “personal use amounts”, may require proof of prescription)
  • New items less than six months old (subject to tax if arriving from EEC countries or tax and duties if coming from other countries, and must be documented with sales invoices)
  • Works of art, oil paintings, sculptures, antiques, etc. (should have Certificate of Authenticity)
  • Videotapes, fax machines, telex machines and books (will be held temporarily by customs until necessary authorization is obtained for each item)
  • Coats, fur and leather shoes made of protected animals (will need special authorization)
  • Meat and dairy products (France has complex requirements, restrictions and limits that apply to importing food as well as meat and dairy products)
  • Plant products (may require permits or inspection at port of entry by Plant Health Inspection Service)
  • Guns, weapons and ammunition: highly regulated, and require various registrations and certificates and have the authorization from the French Defense Ministry (provide make, caliber, serial number and purpose)
    • Some weapons are strictly prohibited (firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France)
    • Do not ship with household goods

Customers moving to France may import vehicles into the country provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Expatriates who intend to remain in France for a period of time may import one auto duty-free as personal effects
  • Foreigners may import an automobile duty-free provided the owner has been living abroad for more than one year, the car has been owned for six months prior to import, and the car is correctly registered as a commercial car
  • Automobile must not be disposed of within two years of entry into France
  • The automobile must be listed on your inventory, including the year, make, model, chassis engine, horsepower and registration numbers
  • Certain makes are not permitted
  • Vehicle must pass inspection for compliance with French standards and must be road-worthy
  • Documents required for auto shipping:
    • Purchase Invoice (original)
    • Original title showing owner’s name and vehicle serial number
    • Insurance Certificate from French insurer
    • Registration Card (original)
    • Plate numbers

To successfully cross French borders with a pet, the requirements are:

  • Every pet must be identified by a microchip or a tattoo. In case of identification with a tattoo, the tattoo must be clearly readable and applied before July 2011
  • The pet must be at least three months old
  • Customer should be present with pet at Customs clearance
  • The pet needs proof of his or her rabies vaccine and a certificate of good health
  • Endangered species and exotic animals are prohibited
  • All pets are subject to quarantine

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to France

At International Sea & Air Shipping, we offer range of services; we specialize in overseas moving; including shipping personal effects and household goods, export packing and crating, and shipping internationally, cars and boats. Whether you’re relocating from the USA for Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse or any other major city or town in France, you can count on our dedicated teams of professionals to, handle everything smoothly and professionally, from beginning to end.

At International Sea & Air Shipping, our moving specialists will assist you with every aspect of planning your move. Find out more about all our available moving services and options to decide what best suits your needs based on certain criteria:

  • • Your moving timeline. When do you need to be in France? Should you ship your goods via air or sea freight?
  • • Your real estate plans. Will you be renting or buying?
  • • Your fragile items. Do you require custom crating services?
  • • Your family/household size. Are you moving alone or with family? For business or personal reasons?
  • • Cubic feet estimate. How large is your shipment?

How Much Does It Cost to Move to France?

Schedule a home survey to receive an accurate estimate to ship your goods. One of our moving specialists will visit your home, assess your belongings and provide you with a free quote for your desired services. The cost will vary based on the cubic footage of your shipment, the method of shipping (air vs. sea freight) the services you require (packing and custom crating), and many other factors.

The process of shipping to France takes 4-6 weeks depend on the size of your shipment and the origin. Our employees will pack your household goods and personal belongings in seaworthy packaging, after which they will be transported by sea, while small consignments will be sent by air. We will visit you at your home and will discuss with you what is required in order to move to France. We will draw up a detailed inventory and will explain to you the specific regulations for the customs clearance of your belongings, to ensure you are fully prepared for moving to France. By ensuring thorough preparations and by engaging reliable movers of International Sea & Air Shipping International Movers, we will ensure that you will have no surprises when moving to France.

About France

You don’t have to live in Paris to get the highly romanticized lifestyle that makes France the epicenter of arts and culture. This Western European country has many destinations filled with art, literature, fashion, fine cuisine and picturesque scenery. Being the second largest country in Western Europe and the second largest economy in the EU, residents of France can enjoy a high standard of living – complete with internationally ranked schools, health care and human development.

The country is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, GermanySwitzerlandItalyMonaco and Spain.

For those interested in art architecture, France is home to some of the most iconic structures in history, including the Eiffel Tower, Notredam and the notable Louvre Museum, which make the location one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.

France ranks fourth in the Fortune Global 500, just behind the U.S., Japan and China, but ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom. The country is also the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural products.

I would very happily use this company again

“We have moved many times around the world, but this was our first experience of having to organised everything ourselves. We had excellent customer service throughout with the staff always ready to answer questions and help when possible. I could not fault the packers who were thorough and careful. There were times when I needed a hand with things that I was doing in the house and they were always quick to help me.

We had two containers a 40′ and 20′ to get into a house with tight access. They unloaded it all and placed furniture exactly where we wanted it. We had two pieces of furniture with minor damage so not bad for 548 boxes.

I would very happily use this company again and recommend it highly. It wasn’t the cheapest quote I got but in my experience that is not always a good path to follow. Their pricing was in the middle of other quotes.”

– Nne Kennedy

International Moving to France

Are you planning a move to France? International moves require thorough research, preparation, and qualified overseas shippers to ensure your goods arrive safely in your new country. Before you do anything, let International Sea & Air Shipping assist you with the logistics of relocating to France.

International Sea & Air Shipping is an international moving company offering door-to-door moving and relocation services worldwide. As a leader among international moving companies, we’re proud to provide full container service and lift van services both to and from the USA with complete documentation, custom assistance, insurance, shipping, storage and inland transportation. If you’re relocating your household goods and personal effects in an overseas move, we’re here to help. International Sea & Air Shipping is an international mover you can trust to simplify your move.