Customs duties on purchases made abroad
Verified 10 September 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
The situation varies depending on whether you have made personal purchases during a trip in the European Union or elsewhere.
Purchase in the European Union
You do not have to fill out a declaration, nor pay duties and taxes when you return to France.
You pay VAT directly in the country where you make your purchases and at the rate in force in that country.
You must comply with the regulations, including:
- from cash transfer,
- import tobacco and alcohol,
- introduction of certain sensitive goods (weapons, endangered wildlife...).
You will have to pay customs duties unless your purchases do not exceed certain values.
You benefit from deductibles for purchases you have made abroad.
reduced deductibles exist for EU residents and frontier workers and travelers from Andorra ..
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Any item whose value exceeds the deductible must be declared to customs.
Travelers from countries outside the European Union have nothing to pay at customs on arrival in France, if the value in quantity of tobacco and spirits in its possession does not exceed the thresholds set.
Otherwise, he must make a declaration to customs and pay the customs duties and taxes prescribed, or he will be confiscated and fined.
Any object whose value exceeds the customs duty-free shall be declared to customs.
In this case, you must pay value added tax (VAT) and customs duties.
They apply to the total price mentioned on the purchase invoice (or to the estimated value of the goods).
If you bring back several items, the deductibles are granted within the allowed limits. Surplus goods are taxed.
You must declare your goods at the customs office where you present them.
The declaration shall be oral or written, depending on the goods concerned and their value.
Who shall I contact
Any false declaration or absence of a customs declaration shall result in:
- payment of customs duties and taxes,
- possible criminal sanctions,
- and confiscation of your goods.
Customs officers will give you a receipt and/or a report.
- General Tax Code, Schedule 4: Articles 50f to 50g CTotal market value of goods admitted free of duty by type of traveler and transport
- Customs Code: Rule 410First-class customs contraventions
- Customs Code: Rule 4112nd Class Customs Contraventions
- Customs Code: Rule 412Third Class Customs Contraventions
- Customs Code: Rule 4134th Class Customs Contraventions
- Customs Code: Articles 413a and 413b5th Class Customs Contraventions
- Customs Code: Articles 414 to 414-2First-class customs duties
- Customs Code: Articles 415 and 415-12nd class customs duties
- Customs Code: Articles 416 and 416aThird-class customs duties
- Calculation of duties and taxes on foreign purchasesMinistry of Finance
- Pass customs in Andorra: tax and deductibleMinistry of Finance