(Country code: FR)
Maximum Coverage = Maximum Declared Value for Carriage for the Priority™ Worldwide service.
Import controls are imposed by the French government and can take the form of prohibitions such as blockades, embargoes, boycotts, and sanctions or they can take the form of import licensing and permit requirements for controlled commodities. Import controls may be product specific, technology specific or country specific.
The Customs Department holds the list of commodities and areas that are under control and/or require an import license. Contact the Customs Department or utilize their web site www.finances.gouv.fr/douanes/ to determine if the goods being exported or the shipping destination is under control.
Examples of goods subject to import licensing controls:
- biological reagents
- dual-use goods; i.e. software, computers, machines and machine parts
Senders should determine import restrictions from the country's authorities before posting:
- animal products
- anti parasite products
- baby's comforters and dummies
- bees, beeswax and leaches
- books and publications
- chemical matches
- colouring matter
- electric blankets
- foodstuffs, prepared
- fruit and vegetables
- fruit machines intended for use in authorized casinos
- helmets, motorcycle
- infant care articles
- instruments, measuring
- jewellery, imitation
- metals, precious
- motor cycle helmets
- pearls and precious stones
- plants and parts of plants
- radio elements
- rubber articles
- seeds, roots and bulbs
- straw hives and small hives
- syringes and needles
- television receivers
- terminal equipment
- wadding, felt, woven fabrics
- war materials
- wood and articles of wood
Meat, meat products, milk and milk products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate from the country of origin.
Articles consigned as "Unsolicited Gifts" are acceptable and will be allowed entry free of any duty or VAT providing the shipment is valued at less than 45 EURO, originated from and consigned to an individual, and is individually wrapped. Multiple gifts can be consigned in one shipment so long as the individual parcels enclosed are individually tagged with the recipients name, are individually wrapped and the value does not exceed the per person limit of 45 EURO. Shipments consigned to companies as gifts for an individual may be denied entry as gifts. They will be subject to full duty and VAT. Generally, most articles can be consigned as gifts, except those articles noted prohibited or restricted for import (see General Import Prohibitions and Restrictions).
The importation of certain classes of merchandise may be prohibited or restricted to protect the economy and security of France and other EU member states, to safeguard consumer health, well being, and to preserve domestic plant and animal life. Some commodities are also subject to an import quota or a restraint under bilateral trade agreements and arrangements. In addition to Customs requirements, many prohibited or restricted imports are subject to laws and regulations administered by other French Government agencies for which the French Customs Department is the enforcer. These laws and regulations may, for example, prohibit entry; limit entry to certain points; restrict routing, storage, use; require treatment, labelling or processing as condition of release. Customs release only takes place when the additional requirements are met. These requirements apply to all importation types, including shipments made by mail. The exporter should make certain that the French importer has provided proper information to (1) permit the submission of necessary information concerning packing, labelling, etc. and (2) ensure that necessary arrangements have been made by the importer for entry of the merchandise into France.
In addition to items considered non-mailable matter, the following are prohibited:
- all forms of fibers
- animals, live
- Atlantic red tuna (Thunnus Thynnus) originating from Belize, Panama, or Honduras
- bark from resinous timber
- certain U.S. Beef hormones
- chestnut timber
- cotton seeds
- cuttings and seedlings of the grape vine
- doping Products
- dura mater (the tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull)
- gambling machines
- hemp Cannabis
- items having a flexible metal blade entirely contained in a plastic, paper, or fabric sheath
- lighting conductors comprising of radioactive elements
- lottery tickets and material
- l-trytophane and any items having L-trytophane as an ingredient
- material contrary to public order
- material harmful to young people
- medical thermometers containing mercury intended for human us
- metallic yarn or trimmings of gold thread
- pearls coated with lead salts
- plants live, flower bulbs, cut flowers
- products containing Lead Salt & Nickel
- psychotropic Products
- pyjamas and nightdresses made of artificial fibers that are not fire-retardant
- resinous timber
- rubber erasers that are similar in appearance to food products that are easily ingested
- seed potatoes
- silicone used for plastic surgery
- toys and games containing copper sulphate
- tube feeding bottles
- vegetable colouring matter
- viagra & Vitamins.
Information regarding Customs can be found in "Customs Requirements" of the Canada Postal Guide.
Commercial goods that exceed a value of 76 euros require an invoice.
Gifts do not require an invoice. The address side of gifts must bear the words ENVOI ISOLÉ GRATUIT.
Customs declarations must contain sufficient information for the application of duties and controls. France grants duty-exemption to up to 23 euros.
Consular Invoices - None
Certificates of Origin - Certificates of Origin are required for the importation of any Textile products valued at over 45 Euros. Exceptions from this requirement include marked and mutilated samples; luggage made up of textile materials, canvas bags, and bona- fida gifts. A Certificate of Origin is recommended to be provided for every commodity subject to import licensing and /or quota restrictions from some origin countries and is required for all textile products imported into France that originate in Hong Kong, Macao, or Singapore regardless of the value.
Certificate of Origin Form A - A Certificate of Origin Form A may be required for goods under formal entry claiming preferential duty or exemption under the various agreements of Generalized System of Preferences. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in the possession of the Importer at the time of entry. Origin of the goods must be detailed on the commercial invoice.
EUR 1 form Import - An EUR 1 form may be required for goods under formal entry claiming preferential duty or exemption under various bilateral agreements by the European Union countries and some specific countries or groups of countries. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in possession of the Importer at the time of entry. Origin of the goods must be detailed on the commercial invoice.
Quotas - Quotas have been assigned by the European Union to specific countries for specific products, which allow for the controlled importation of specific products.
Commercial Invoices - Invoices are required for all dutiable shipments relating to commercial transactions between companies and companies; companies and individuals, regardless of the value. Commercial invoices should show freight, insurance and similar charges as separate items when applicable, regardless of the INCOTERM used on the transaction. It must be in French for export shipments or accompanied by a translation. It can be in any official language for import shipments and, if required by customs, must be accompanied by a translation. A party who is knowledgeable of the transaction, must furnish translation, if requested.
NOTE: Items mailed using Xpresspost - International service require an additional copy of the commercial invoice/CN23.
Specific invoice details are required for a number of commodities including the following:
- Marked/mutilated samples - the words "mutilated samples" or " marked samples, not for resale" as applicable;
- Software on CD's and floppy disks - The value of software must be shown separately from software support;
- Textiles - the fabric breakdown, whether knit or woven and, for clothing articles, the gender.
Dangerous Goods Certification - Some goods will, in addition to the standard documentation noted above, require DG certification
i.e. perfumes, liquor, chemicals, etc.
Declaration of Antiquity - A declaration must be shown on the invoice for goods over 100 years old. The statement must include the words " circa date" followed by the year of manufacture whether known or estimated.
Import permits - Permits are required from Service des Titres du Commerce Exterieur (SETICE) for the following:
- cinematographic film
- livestock, animals parts
- milk and dairy products
- textiles and clothing
- wheat, barley and other grains.
All goods categorized, as non-document commercial goods shipped to France must have a proper value declared and proper description provided which should convey the shipper's intent related to the goods as well as any special processing requirements that exist for the goods shipped. Everything has a value, whether or not a transaction took place. Failure to properly document value of any goods will result in delays and or additional fees as deemed necessary in addition to warehouse fees.
There are three primary entry types for importing into France:
1. Standard Clearance Procedure
2. Simplified Clearance Procedure
3. Simplified Declaration Procedure
The first two procedures apply to all shipments regardless of value; the third one applies to shipments of commercial samples below EUR 45 and/or to negligible value shipments below EUR 22, and provides duty and tax relief.
Tobacco, drugs, medicines, strategic materials, CITES commodities, alcohol and other licensable commodities, cannot be processed under the simplified declaration procedure.
Import transactions exceeding 38,200 EURO in value must be conducted through an approved banking intermediary.