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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.

If you travel with 10000€ or more, report to customs the sums, securities or values. Drugs, counterfeits and endangered wildlife, whether animal or plant, are prohibited. Certain goods are subject to restrictions (medicines, foodstuffs, pets, weapons or works of art).
Crédits :

You must comply with the regulations, including:

Other case

You will have to pay customs duties unless your purchases do not exceed certain values.

On your return from abroad (outside the EU), declare to customs the goods purchased, the goods prohibited and respect the deductibles, in value and quantity.
Crédits :

You benefit from deductibles for purchases you have made abroad.

Please note

reduced deductibles exist for EU residents and frontier workers and travelers from Andorra ..

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Tableau - Maximum authorized amounts per category of passenger and type of transport

Category of traveler

Total market value of goods admitted free of duty

(per person)

Travelers over 15 years of age - Air or marine


Traveler over 15 years old - Other mode of transport


Traveler under 15 years of age - Regardless of mode of transport


Any item whose value exceeds the deductible must be declared to customs.

In quantity

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.