Moving to France -

Moving to France

Moving to France or for that matter any country can become difficult-unless you make yourself aware of the customs regulation details in that country. After all, you do not want your belongings to be stranded in some port in the country. In some countries especially, customs regulations can be very stringent-and you may suddenly find yourself in a puddle. So, do your homework!

The customs regulations information listed on our website have been collected from several sources including information made-available-by embassies and government websites.

Customs Regulations applicable while shipping to France

Moving to a new country is exciting, but it also requires a lot of preparation, paperwork, and planning! If you are relocating to France, read on for information and helpful tips on the required documents, regulations and restrictions for clearing customs at the border of your new home country!


When relocating to a new country, there are a number of important documents you will need to gain entry and establish residency. When arranging your international move, enlisting customs brokering services from your moving company can help you ensure that you have everything you need to clear customs and successfully relocate to France.

When moving to France, you will need:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Visa, Residence and Work Permit
  • 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 you are moving to France permanently and have lived outside the European Union for the previous 12 months, you may import both personal effects (clothing, jewelry, toiletries) and household effects (furniture, rugs, linens, bedding, dishes, other furnishings) free of duty and tax if:

  • You have owned the goods for at least six months abroad before your change in residence
  • You are moving your principal residence to France
  • Your 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 you are importing into France as part of your moving (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
  • You can prove to the Customs Department that you have been living outside the European Union for at least one year prior to moving to France and you are establishing permanent residency in France (by producing a French Resident Card, or carte de séjour or a letter from your French employer)
  • Inheritance:
    • Declaration from notary with inventory of goods, date of death, relationship & French Resident
    • The goods must be shipped within one year from date of death
  • Wedding presents:
    • Marriage Certificate and French Resident Permit
    • Goods must be shipped within one month of wedding
  • Students
    • A list in duplicate, signed and dated, of all the goods you are bringing with you to France, showing the value, make, model, and serial number where applicable
    • Official attestation of attendance at school or university. The scholar's goods must be shipped within one month from date of registration at school or university.

Shipping regulations are different if the customer is establishing a secondary residence in France.


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: allowed, but 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
  • Video tapes, 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


If you are planning to ship your vehicle with you for your move to France, you will need to hire international vehicle shippers with the knowledge of overseas automobile shipping laws and customs regulations to transport your car for you. Some things to remember when importing your vehicle are:

  • 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, horse power 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


Your pet is your most precious cargo, so you want to ensure that he or she will pass customs clearance into France with no problem. To successfully cross French borders with your 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
  • Your pet must be at least three months old
  • You should be present with your pet at customs clearance
  • Your pet needs proof of his or her rabies vaccine and a certificate of good health
  • Endangered species and exotic animals are prohibited
  • Your pet could be subject to quarantine


International moving is a complicated and intricate process, which is why it is so important to find trustworthy international movers. Before choosing an international moving company for hire, be sure to ask these important questions to ensure they are qualified for the job and to aid you in the customs process.Staying informed and always conducting a thorough background check on any potential company will prevent you from falling victim to a common moving mistake.

Need help finding international moving companies in your area? Get started here at by simply filling out our fast and easy free quote form to receive estimates from up to seven qualified movers in your area.


NOTE - Customs regulations of France are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to France (this destination )and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, 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 before you make your move to France.

Major Citie(s) in France

  • Strasbourg
  • Colmar
  • Bordeaux
  • Périgueux
  • Mont de Marsan
  • Agen
  • Pau
  • Moulins
  • Aurillac
  • Le Puy
  • Clermont Ferrand
  • Caen
  • Saint Lo
  • Alen
  • Dijon
  • Nevers
  • Macon
  • Auxerre
  • Rennes
  • Saint Brieuc
  • Quimper
  • Rennes
  • Vannes
  • Orleans
  • Bourges
  • Chartres
  • Chateauroux
  • Tours
  • Blois
  • Châlons sur Marne
  • Charleville-Mezieres
  • Troyes
  • Chaumont
  • Chalons sur Marne
  • Ajaccio
  • Bastia
  • Besançon
  • Vesoul
  • Lons le Saunier
  • Belfort
  • Rouen
  • Evreux
  • Rouen
  • Paris
  • Evry
  • Nanterre
  • Melun
  • Bobigny
  • Creteil
  • Pontoise
  • Versailles
  • Montpellier
  • Carcassonne
  • Nimes
  • Montpellier
  • Mende
  • Perpignan
  • Limoges
  • Tulle
  • Guéret
  • Limoges
  • Metz
  • Nancy
  • Bar le Duc
  • Metz
  • Epinal
  • Toulouse
  • Foix
  • Rodez
  • Auch
  • Toulouse
  • Tarbes
  • Cahors
  • Albi
  • Montauban
  • Lille
  • Lille
  • Arras
  • Nantes
  • Nantes
  • Angers
  • Laval
  • Le Mans
  • La Roche sur Yon
  • Amiens
  • Laon
  • Beauvais
  • Amiens
  • Poitiers
  • Angoulême
  • La Rochelle
  • Niort
  • Poitiers
  • Marseille
  • Nice
  • Digne
  • Marseille
  • Gap
  • Toulon
  • Avignon
  • Lyon
  • Bourg en Brasse
  • Privas
  • Valence
  • Annecy
  • Grenoble
  • Saint-étienne
  • Lyon
  • Chambery's moving services offerings

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