Reminder of post-Brexit rules for bringing items from the United Kingdom into France

I am confused as to what I am allowed to bring to France from the UK now after Brexit; can you please clarify the rules? After Brexit there are many changes to what you can do in France and these vary depending on the purpose and reason for the trip.

Here is a summary of the key points to know to bring objects into France. Also note that the UK also has similar rules regarding travel in the other direction.

Items that you cannot bring due to animal and plant health rules

There are certain food items that you cannot move across the UK border to France, regardless of the reason for travel, due to EU animal and plant health rules.

These are mainly meats and dairy products, including processed meat products such as pork pies or Bovril.

“Dairy products” include cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, etc. However, up to 20 kg of fish are allowed and for some other animal products, such as honey, up to 2 kg is allowed.

You also cannot bring in plants or fresh parts of plants, such as seeds, fruits, and vegetables, with a few exceptions such as coconut, banana, pineapple, and dates.

You cannot bring firewood and logs.

Read more: Brexit: what you can (and cannot) bring to France from the UK

Alcohol and tobacco: articles with specific limits

There are specific limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco that can be imported, per quantity. Above these you need to make a declaration and there will be VAT, excise duty and customs duty payable on the above amounts.

You cannot bring more than 16 liters of beer, four of wine, one liter of alcohol over 22% alcohol or two liters of another strong alcohol less than 22%.

As for tobacco, you can bring 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos, or up to 250g of roll-your-own tobacco or up to 50 cigars.

Cash above 10,000 €

Cash, travelers’ checks or prepaid credit cards with a cumulative value greater than € 10,000 must be declared. This can be done in line no more than 30 days before the date of travel or at customs upon arrival in France by presenting specific proof form.

It is not clear on the official French websites if, after declaring online, you can then go through a “nothing to declare” channel on arrival; we check with Customs.

Bring other items

In theory, all the items you bring with you to France are potentially subject to French VAT (20% for most items) and in some cases to customs duties (percentage levy, variable depending on the product from 0 to 22%) where it is not proven that the item was manufactured wholly or mainly in the UK or the EU. However, many items, such as furniture, have an import duty rate of 0%.

The impact of this depends on the reason for the trip.

Vacation / short visit

Your regular travel essentials, clothing and toiletries, etc., probably won’t be a problem, and if that’s all you take with you to France, you’ll likely go the “nothing to declare” and no questions lanes. will not be asked.

By the rules, however, any big ticket items you bought in the UK as souvenirs or gifts etc. must in particular be declared if they are accumulated above certain traveler deductibles (personal allowances).

For VAT, per adult (for their own business), this is 430 € if arriving by plane or boat or 300 € if coming by train or car / van, as well as 150 € per child under 15 years old. For customs duties, the passenger allowance is € 1,200.

Taxes are payable in full on all items taking you above the franchise levels.

You will find more details and examples concerning these direct debits in This article.

Bring items to a second home

As above, essential personal items in your luggage are unlikely to be a problem, but whatever is visible you bring to furnish the second home, or items of DIY equipment and materials, etc., must in theory be declared.

VAT, and potentially duties, may be due on these, although readers’ reports vary as to how strictly this is applied, with many reports being ignored, for example on arrival by car via Eurotunnel in France.

One reader said his car was “chock full” of kitchen parts, a dinghy and furniture, but border officials “weren’t interested,” another said they turned up. at customs but that officials were also not interested in their new glass table which was being carried to the roof.

But to be scrupulous, customs officials told The Connexion that you had to bring an inventory of what you are transporting and present it to customs at the border.

There is a tax exemption for items which are brought in temporarily before being brought back to the UK (such as DIY or gardening equipment), but in theory there is a specific form to be completed for these (UK -Uni also has its own version to make sure they are not taxed when brought back to the UK, called request an exemption for returns of goods).

Read more: Rules for transporting furniture from the UK to a second home

Bring objects when moving to France

If you move to France then you are exempt from VAT and customs duties, in theory limited to items you own in the UK for at least six months. Ideally, you should have proof of the latter but a French customs officer said it is usually sufficient to certify it.

This exemption from VAT and taxes concerns personal effects, but not, for example, tobacco and alcohol, work vehicles, mobile homes or certain professional equipment.

To benefit from it, you must transfer all the inventoried goods within 12 months of your residence in France, either in one go or in several trips.

During the first trip, you must provide on paper an inventory to the Customs service (customs) showing the total of the items to be brought, with the estimated values, in two copies.

The Customs Service has indicated, for example, that if you bring bathroom products, you do not need to list each toothbrush, but give an estimated value for “hygiene products”.

If you are bringing a car or motorcycle with you, it should be in inventory.

You must also complete the form Cerfa 10070 * 03 and bring all relevant documents proving that you have lived in the UK and are now moving to France.

Note that the UK has similar rules, relating to the transfer of primary residence or temporary visits, when transporting goods from France to the UK.

Use a moving company

Whether bringing items to a primary or secondary residence, one option is to use a specialist international moving office instead of bringing the items yourself, in which case the office will take care of the declarations. required.

He may have to use the services of a French agent to help him with customs procedures on the French side.

Read more: Moving companies face new rules after Brexit

General information from the French Customs service can be obtained (in French and English) in the United Kingdom on 0033 (0) 1 72 40 78 50, or in France on 0800 94 40 40.

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