Moving to Paris, France as an American

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Moving to Paris, France as an American
Moving to Paris, France as an American

Paris is well-known around the world as the City of Lights, a romantic destination prized around the world for its extraordinary architecture and culture. Moving to Paris from America will take more than just high school French. You will need to carefully plan your move to avoid unexpected complications. 

For one thing, learning a little French will go a long way. Beyond just making it easier to get around, having a working knowledge of French will allow you to converse and make friends with the French people more easily. They will appreciate your efforts to learn their language, even if it’s a little clunky at first. 

This guide will give you an overview of what it takes to move your belongings from America to Paris, France. 

How do I Import Personal Items to France? 

If you have been a resident of America 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.  These items must be goods that you have personally used for at least six months in America prior to your move.

Taxes will be calculated based on the declared value of your inventoried goods if the goods you are transporting are for a second home or commercial use. 

Unlike some countries, you can import your goods in multiple shipments. However, you must transfer your personal goods to France within a year of becoming a resident.  Remember, anything you import into the country cannot be sold, loaned, assigned, or leased for at least a year after you imported the goods into France.  

For customs declaration you must present:

  • Two copies of a detailed inventory or manifest of your imported goods.
  • Cerfa 10070 form (declaration)
  • Documentation to prove your previous residence in another country, and your new residence in France.

Important: Outlets in Europe are designed differently and have different voltages than American outlets. In America, most outlets are 110 volts. In Europe it’s double, at 220 volts.  For this reason, you should plan to purchase new appliances upon your arrival in Paris. Even if you can get your item plugged in, the difference in voltage could fry your appliance or cause a fire.

How Do I Import a Vehicle to France? 

Paris is considered one of the most walkable cities in the world, and public transport is cheap and easy to access. For those reasons and others, you may decide to skip importing your vehicle. Importing a vehicle to France from America can be complicated. French Customs officials, called Douanes, maintain stringent guidelines for imports. All imported vehicles must meet French regulations and all paperwork must be complete.  

You will be responsible for:  

  • Providing a bill of sale for your vehicle, as well as valid vehicle registration.
  • Ensuring that your vehicle is clean of foreign soil
  • Freight and insurance fees
  • Duties, taxes, and other fees (import processing, logistical services, customs brokers)
  • Car over 50 years old – no import tax/5% VAT
  • Car over 30 years old – no import tax/5.5% VAT
  • Motorcycles – 9% import tax/20% VAT
  • All others – 10% import tax/20% VAT
  • Registration and insurance requirements (These are specific to the individual French State or Territory you are moving to.)
  • Even more fees for transport, storage, and delivery charges to get your car from wharf to wharf.

Say Oui to Getting the Help You Need

International moves can be complicated and stressful. It’s hard to navigate the rules of a foreign country, particularly when you don’t speak the language. At A-1 Auto Transport, our dedicated team of shipping experts understand what it takes to make a move easy and successful. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation shipping quote. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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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.

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