Importing from Within the European Union

Taxes and registration requirements for vehicles from EU (European Union) countries...

No duty is charged on a used vehicle imported for personal use, provided that VAT has been paid in the EU country where it was bought, that the vehicle is at least six months old (date since first registration) and has driven at least 6,000 Km prior to entry into France.

For a new vehicle bought in another EU member state, the TVA must be paid in France unless the French Fiscal Services are provided with the original receipt stating that VAT has been paid and, and there is proof of a valid foreign registration of the vehicle. (A new vehicle is one that was first registered less than six months before or has not driven more than 6,000 Km.)

  1. Take the vehicle's original registration documents and receipt of sale to the Centre des Impots. A fiscal certificate (Quitus Fiscal) or tax clearance form is issued. In some instances, there are customs and Tax charges payable, depending on the age/mileage of the car.
  2. There are two ways to identify that the car is of a recognised type in France or in the EU. Either by the identification number given by the manufacturer for cars produced in series (Certificate de Conformité Europeen) or with a “Attestation RTI" (Reception à Titre Isolé) from DREAL.
  3. If the car is more than four years old it will need to pass a côntrole technique, the French roadworthiness test (similar to the MOT); this must have occurred less than six months previously (two months if a contre-visite or re-test is required). Roadworthiness certificates from other countries are not acceptable as an alternative - the car must pass a French côntrole technique.
  4. Apply to the motor registration department at the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture for the form: Demande de certificat d'immatriculation d'un véhicule. This initiates the process of registration. A dossier will be opened.

Supply:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence/address (property title deeds, rental contract, utility bill, insurance certificate)
  • A copy of the foreign registration certificate
  • Copy of the Certificat de Conformité Europeen (issued by the manufacturer or their agent) or an Attestation RTI
  • A copy of the certificate of purchase and customs clearance certificate (issued by the Centre des Impots)
  • Côntrole technique certificate if required

There is a fee due based on the CV engine power of the vehicle.

The Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture will detail where the documents should be sent. The DREAL (Directions Régionales de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement) might ask for additional documents.

The car owner is notified when they should return to the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture, where the registration document, and new registration number are issued.

Next, new number plates (plaques d'immatriculation) must be ordered, made and fitted.

  • Carte Grise have information on how to register a car from the UK (in French)
  • Carte Grise have information on how to import a car to France (in French)