Citizens of the European Union (EU) enjoy a particular type of freedom that is envied around the world. If you are a citizen of any member EU country, you can travel freely between other EU countries without need of visas, passports, or red tape. Weekend in Morocco, Christmas in Switzerland? Not a problem. Rail transportation throughout Europe is cheap, fast, and very convenient.
Maybe in your European travels you found a place in France. You purchase property and begin packing your household. What do you need to know before you go?
Fortunately, EU benefits also come into play when EU citizens decide to move to another EU country. Close cooperation among EU countries has resulted in less red tape, more flexibility, and easier transit. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to move to France.
How Do I Import Personal Items to France?
If you have been a resident of another EU member country 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 other EU countries.
Depending on your country of origin, you can choose to import your goods via air, sea, or rail. France has a sweet location with convenient access to the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and English Channel – not to mention France shares borders with eight other countries. With all these options, getting your goods there should be pretty easy. You may be able to even drive them yourself over land.
Even as an EU citizen, once you arrive in France, you will need to declare your goods. As long as you are able to demonstrate your EU citizenship and provide the necessary paperwork, the majority of your household goods can be imported duty free. The only exceptions to this rule would be items that are intended for commercial use.
As most countries do, France does prohibit the import of some classes of items, such as firearms, drugs, and agricultural products.
Can I Import a Vehicle to France?
Yes, you can import your vehicle to France and it’s easier than you might think. EU residents can import a vehicle to France for personal use without paying duty. This is great news for you because it means you can drive your car into the country yourself or have it shipped, and never have to worry about paying taxes.
Good to go? Not so fast. New vehicles (purchased less than three months ago or having fewer 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.
The Help You Need is a Call Away
If you are an EU citizen planning to move to France, expert help can save you time and money. Just call us for a free, no-obligation shipping quote. Our team of shipping experts understands how complex an international move can be. We can help you with every step of the process, from paperwork to customs declaration.
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.