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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
For goods valued at under 1,000 kg or EUR 1,000, a verbal declaration at customs and presentation of the receipt of purchase is sufficient.
Higher-valued must be declared at the Customs Office:
1) a brief declaration (air or maritime manifest) to conclude the collection of the goods.
2) a common law declaration (SAD, single administrative document), as well as the accompanying documents to allow their clearance.
The SAD form can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or an approved printer.

An online clearance platform by automated transmission (DELTA) is accessible from the The portal of the General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Taxes (in French).

In the case of deliveries and purchases within the European Community, the declaration of exchange of goods (DEB) or Intrastat declaration must be sent to the Customs Service.

As part of the 'SAFE' standards advocated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the 'Import Control System' (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Programme eCustoms, has been in effect since 1 January 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

The Modernised Customs Code entered into force in 2008 simplifies procedures, for example computerising and centralising transactions.

Since 1 July 2009, all companies established outside of the EU are required to have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if they wish to submit a customs declaration or an Entry/Exit Summary declaration. For more information, please visit the website of the EU Customs Union. For France-specific customs clearance requirements, please visit the the website of the French Customs (in French).

Specific Import Procedures
There are various suspensive systems, both Customs and Fiscal, for storing, using or transforming your goods, consult the pages of the French Customs website devoted to these questions for further information. It is also possible to resort to bonded transit covered by an external transit certificate (T1). In the framework of intra-European trade, some goods are still prohibited or subject to particular formalities (medicines for human use, waste, plants or live animals). For further information, please visit the website of the French Customs (in French).
Importing Samples
For the import, export and re-export of commercial samples an ATA (Temporary Admission) book can be used. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and that it may not be sold.

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls.

 

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs threshold (from which tariffs are required)
EUR 150
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Import duty and taxes are due for goods imported to France from outside of the European Union - whether by a private individual or a corporate entity. France is party to the European Union’s Common Customs Tariff, therefore preferential rates apply to imports from countries which the EU has signed agreements with. Duties range from 0-17%, with the general tariff averaging 4.2%. However, foodstuffs, textiles and clothing still experience some protection measures (quotas, higher tariffs, etc.). Some imports are subject to anti-dumping duties.
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
The sectors of fabrics and items of clothing (high duties and quotas) and foodstuffs (preferential treatment and many tariff quotas, CAP) still experience protection measures. According to the recently published 2019 EU Trade Policy Review (WTO), the sector with the highest average tariffs is the dairy sector (32.3%), followed by sugar and confectionery (27.0%), meat (19.0%), cereals and preparations (17.2%) and fruit and vegetables (13.0%). Concerning non-agricultural products, fish and fishery products (11.8% on simple average) and clothing (11.6%) are the sectors with the highest tariff protection.

More information can be found in the WTO Tariff profile of the EU.
Preferential Rates
For countries with whom a bilateral or a multilateral agreement have been signed by the European Union.

To get further information consult the website of the European Union.

To get further information on customs policies in the European Union, please check the exhaustive report by the European Commission.

Customs Classification
France uses the harmonised system.
Method of Calculation of Duties
Customs duty is calculated Ad Valorem on the CIF value of the goods, in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) for all the countries of the Union. TARIC, the integrated Tariff of the European Union, is a multilingual database integrating all measures relating to EU customs tariff, commercial and agricultural legislation.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
Duties are payable in cash (in Euros, by check, by cash money order, by bank transfer); an extension of the time limit for payment may be granted through systems of collection credit or duty credit.
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)
None
 

List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes.

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Latest Update: June 2022