French Customs Regulations

Find out what goods you can bring into France if you’re travelling, visiting or moving to France.

The French Customs authorities are called Douanes. There is a hotline you can call for any questions relating to goods you can bring in or take back from France.

  • Tel: 0811 20 44 44  or +33 (0)1 72 40 78 50 from outside France

Entering France with gifts and goods from outside the EU

When arriving in France you don’t need to declare goods and gifts purchased or received outside of the EU unless they exceed a certain amount:

  • 430 euros for over 15s arriving by sea or air (900 euros if arriving from Andorra)
  • 300 euros for overs 15s arriving by transport other than sea or air (900 euros if arriving from Andorra)
  • 150 euros for travellers under 15 (450 euros if arriving from Andorra)
The following applies to goods from third countries (outside the EU):

Cigarettes, Tobacco and Alcohol Limits per person aged 17 and over:

  • Cigarettes - 200
  • Or Cigarillos - 100
  • Or Cigars - 50
  • Or Smoking tobacco 250 g
  • Alcohol (over 22°)  1 litres
  • Alcohol (less than 22° alcohol) per volume - 2 litres
  • Still (not sparkling) wine - 4 litres
  • Beer - 16 litres
Meat, meat-based products, milk and dairy products are banned, although there are some exceptions: products from Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland and Norway can be imported. Up to 10 kg of products from Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands are permitted.

Cigarettes, Tobacco and Alcohol Limits per person aged 18 and over within the EU

The following amounts serve as a guide only to what you can bring in from another EU country. If Customs stop you and consider that the quantities you are bringing in are not for personal consumption, you may be liable to pay excise duty and tax.

  • Cigarettes - 800
  • Cigarillos - 400
  • Cigars - 200
  • Smoking tobacco 1 Kg
  • Alcohol (over 22°)  10 litres
  • Alcohol (less than 22° alcohol) per volume 20 litres
  • Wine 90 litres (maximum 60 litres of sparkling)
  • Beer 110 litres

Importing your Household goods to France

If you are moving to France from a country situated outside of the EU, you can import your household goods duty free. You will need to provide a detailed inventory showing the value of your goods in euros, and you should have a receipt for goods less than 6 months old. You may need to get a certificate from the French Embassy in your country of residence, or a work visa or other document stating that you are taking up residence in France.

Vehicles

There are no specific procedures if you are bringing your vehicle to France for less than six months. If staying longer than six months, certain rules apply, see the Page on Importing a vehicle to France, in the Transport Section.

Pets 

Properly identified and vaccinated pet animals may travel freely in mainland Europe, provided they have an EU Pet Passport. Other rules apply if you are bringing your pet from outside the European Union, see the section on Moving Pets to France.

Cash

If you are carrying more than 10,000 euros in cash, you must declare this to the Customs Authorities when entering or leaving France. This also includes money orders and travellers cheques.

It is also possible to declare online up to 2 days before arriving in France. Sign up and create your Prodouane account, fill out the declaration form, which is available in French, English and Spanish, validate, and note down your registration number; you will need it if you are inspected. 

Special Procedures and Banned goods

The following are strictly banned from import into France:

  • Narcotics and drugs (certain medicines can only be brought into France accompanied by a prescription)
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Attack dogs- Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Mastiffs/Boerboels, Tosas and Molossers, unless registered in a studbook recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture in France. 
  • Certain plants and plant products
Certain goods are subject to special procedures before they can be brought into France. These include:

  • Live animals and animal-based products
  • Endangered species of flora and fauna
  • Plant and plant products
  • Cultural goods
  • Weapons and ammunition

Tax Free Purchases

If you are not a resident of an EU country and you have been staying in France for less than six months you may be entitled to a VAT refund. You must be able to prove that you are resident in a non-EU country at the time of purchase (for example with your passport) and the amount you spend must be more than 175 euros. The retailer will give you a form with a bar code and the PABLO logo so that you can claim the refund.  When you leave France, scan the bar code at one of the PABLO terminals near the customs window, or have the form stamped at your point of departure. You can then get the refund via bank transfer or at an exchange office at the airport if you’re leaving by plane.

Further Information