The shortest distance between France and England is 21 miles over the English Channel. Imports from London to France are generally shipped over sea and take only a matter of days to arrive. England is well known for its foggy weather, and western France is much the same. However, the South of France, sitting on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea, offer a warmer, continental climate.
If you are moving from England to France, you may have a lot of questions about what you can bring with you, and how. Will you owe duty and taxes? Are you allowed to bring your private vehicle? This guide is intended to give you the basics of importing goods from England to France.
How Can I Import Personal Items to France?
France shares a border with eight different countries and has many options for transporting your goods. With the UK right on the other side of the English Channel, personal and commercial goods move between the two countries by sea freight every day. For this reason, the process is pretty simple for now.
Prior to December 31, 2020, you can move your personal goods to France from England tax and duty-free. After that date, the rules are likely to change, making your move more complicated due to the uncoupling of the UK from the European Union.
How Do I Import Personal Items to France?
If you have been a resident of England for at least the past year and intend to move your primary personal residence to France, you can import your personal goods tax and duty-free. As a member-EU country, France does not have special requirements for importing goods from England…yet. England is leaving the European Union officially as of January 1, 2021, at which point the requirements for imports will change.
You still can’t bring prohibited or restricted goods (firearms, drugs, etc.) with you, and you will need to provide a detailed declaration of your imported goods. Contact your local customs officials for updated guidance if your move will be taking place in 2021.
How Do I Import a Vehicle to France?
EU residents can import a vehicle for personal use without paying duty. However, new vehicles (purchased less than three months ago or with less than 3000 km on the odometer) are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) unless you have a valid receipt showing that VAT has already been paid in your country of origin. You will need to provide proof of ownership for your vehicle, such as a clear title.
Again, after December 31, 2020, this guidance will likely change due to the finalization of Brexit.
Want a Convenient Way to Import Your Belongings?
If you have questions or concerns about how to navigate this complex regulatory environment, contact your local customs officials or hire an expert. At A-1 Auto Transport, we have an experienced team that specializes in the regulations governing international imports. Our international shipping experts are ready to handle all the details, making your move easy and stress-free.
The UK’s agreements with EU member countries are in flux, pending the completion of negotiations. Until December 31, 2020, you can import your goods from England to France under the EU rules. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Save yourself the time and hassle by hiring the professionals at A1 Auto Transport. You can complete the form at the top of this page to receive a free overseas shipping quote. Our international shipping experts are standing by to help answer your questions and find out what you need to know, when you need to know it. Whatever the rules are, you can count on A1 Auto Transport to get the job done right.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.