To understand shipping rules from Ireland to France you have to understand Ireland. There are actually two Irelands – the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent country, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Starting in 2021, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will have two different sets of rules for most European economic activities. If you live in Northern Ireland, you’ve got just a few months left to make your move before Brexit is finalized and all the guidance in this guide goes out the window. Until the end of 2020, if you can find a way to get there, you can move your household goods or vehicles from Ireland to France without a ton of red tape or having to pay taxes or duty.
Under the current rules, all you need is a valid passport and documentation to show that you are employed, related to an EU family member, a student, or unemployed with means (by way of a retirement pension or other funds). You can apply for a residence permit free of charge, but it is not required. Just declare your goods with French customs, and with your valid passport, you’ll be on your way in no time. These rules are expected to change for Northern Ireland in 2021, but more on that below.
This guide shares what you need to know about importing your personal household goods or vehicles to France from Ireland, as the rules are currently. The rules for Northern Ireland (as part of the UK) are in flux while Brexit negotiations are ongoing, and on December 31st, 2020, they may go out the window entirely. Reach out to your local customs authorities for the most current guidance.
How Can I Import Personal Items to France?
The English Channel runs between the UK and France, making shipping your goods to France from the UK and Ireland pretty easy. If your move takes place prior to the end of 2020, your imported goods will be received subject to EU rules. This means that you will be able to import most of your household goods tax and duty free.
French Customs officials, called Douanes, handle imports. If you have been a resident of another EU 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.
So again, two potential sets of rules: Northern Ireland, as part of the UK, will only be able to import under EU rules until December 31, 2020. After that date, Northern Ireland will be subject to as-yet undetermined import rules. The Republic of Ireland is remaining in the EU and will not change. As a member-EU country, France does not have special requirements for importing goods from other EU nations. 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.
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.
After December 31, 2020, Northern Ireland will no longer be subject to EU rules. Negotiations are still in progress, so you will need to contact your customs authorities to determine the new rules if you are moving after the end of the year.
Hire an Expert for a Seamless Move
Are you a resident of Northern Ireland and don’t have time to do a deep dive into complex, changing, import laws? Maybe you’re a resident of the Republic of Ireland and just want help with the paperwork. A1 Auto Transport offers extraordinary service to help make your move easy and painless. Our team of international shipping experts is here to help you with every step of the process.
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.