What You Need to Know About Relocate to France

When moving to a new country, you would be required to know the rules and regulations as well as the step by step process of relocation. Our guide provides you with details on how to segregate your items and ship them through the mode feasible to your budget. In case you are moving to France, from outside the European union, clearing your goods from the customs can take up to a month as it involves paying taxes and duties on all items included. Citizens of Europe would be required to provide detailed records stating that they have paid the necessary taxes on the items. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep all documentation ready before you ship your belongings. Your furry friends need another set of documentation to be kept ready for their move. Vaccinations, micro-chipping and pet passports will be required based on the country you are traveling from and the type of animal. Mixed breeds of Pitbulls, Mastiffs, Staffordshire terriers and Tosas are banned in France.


Household Goods and Personal Effects

Before packing your items to transport, it would be helpful to know the rules and regulations of the customs so you don’t wind up forfeiting or paying double for them. There are certain restrictions on alcohol, tobacco and animal products. Many products can be tax-free only if you are bringing them for personal use. Items for any other use will have to be paid for at the customs. Contact us to know more on what you can and cannot take to France.

Shipping Household Goods and Personal Belongings
Firstly, you would be required to prepare a detailed list of everything you plan to ship to France. Your packing list should include three categories; namely household goods, personal affects and fragile items (art pieces, select furniture, glass, mirrors, etc.) Once you have done that, you can contact us to know which mode of transportation would be feasible for your kind of items and budget.

Depending on when the items would arrive in France, you would have to decide whether they should be delivered to a storage unit until your arrival or to your home where everything will be set up for you. Older French cities do not have elevators so carrying your goods and setting up by yourself could be a challenge.

An extra layer of protection is good to have just in case of damages during the move. Contact us for insurance options for the same.

If you are moving from within the EU, you would be required to present a receipt of the taxes paid for your items. Then you would be able to import your items duty free. On the other hand, if you are coming from outside the EU, you would have to pay 20% VAT plus duties and will have to present a sale invoice showing the price, and date and place of purchase of each item on the list. Also, it would be helpful to get the complete packing list translated into French. This is applicable to items used for 6 months and above.

In case you are sending your shipments in parts, you would have to show all your items at the first time while all items included should arrive within a year of your entry into the country. You would need to visit your local France consulate to obtain a Certificate de Changement de Résidence (Change of Residence Certificate) stating your change of residence to France.

No Receipt for Your Items
In case you do not have the receipt for your goods, you would need to provide additional documentation for the same. Wedding presents are duty free only within a month of your marriage date. For this you will have to provide your French resident permit along with your packing list stating that all these items were gifted.

Inherited items are also eligible for duty-free. In this case, you would need to provide the packing list, French residence permit and official documentation stating the date of death of the person you inherited from and your relationship to the deceased. This is applicable only for a year from date of death.

Rules Within the EU
As long as the items are for personal use, they are duty-free. You can carry any amount of cash with you but amounts over EUR 10,000/- should be declared. As long as it is unopened and does not require refrigeration, you can carry up to 10kg of powdered milk, children’s food and special medical food for pets.

Travelers over 17 can carry limited tobacco products as follows:
– 1kg smoking tobacco
– 800 cigarettes
– 400 cigarillos (max. 3g each)
– 200 cigars

Travelers over 17 can carry limited alcohol as follows:
– 110 liters of beer
– 10 liters of spirits over 22%
– 20 liters of alcoholic beverages less than 22%
– 90 liters of wine (only 60 liters of sparkling wine)

Rules for Outside the EU
If you are coming from out of the EU, you would have to pay for duties accordingly. As long as it is unopened and does not require refrigeration, you can carry up to 2 kg of powdered milk, children’s food and special medical food for pets.

You can carry a combination of the below as long as it does not exceed the overall limit. Travelers over 17 can carry limited tobacco products as follows:
– 250g smoking tobacco or 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos (max. 3g each) or 50 cigars
– Travelers over 17 can carry limited alcohol as follows:
– 2 liters of table wine
– 16 liters of beer
– 1 liter of spirits over 22% or 2 liters of dessert wine that’s less than 22% and sparkling wine
Any amount in cash or cheque above EUR 10,000/- will be required to be declared. Any gold above 500g jewellery will also have to be declared to the customs.

Only certain animal products from non-EU countries are prohibited. For details visit the official European Union website. You can carry with you:
– Up to 20kg of prepared/processed dried or fresh fish per person
– Non-medical animal products up to 2kg per person
– 250g of caviar
For more detailed instructions on restrictions, visit the European Commission website. You can also contact the customs information center at +33 (0) 172 40 78 50 or visit them online here.

Prohibited Items
The following items are restricted in France:
– Narcotics
– Counterfeit items.
– Products or objects with pornographic material of minors
– Certain plant and plant products
– Endangered species of wild fauna and flora
– Animal products that are not from the EU or countries specified
– Ferocious breeds of dogs (unless registered in a studbook recognized by the Ministry for Agriculture, the Food Processing Industry and Forestry)

Storage Options

Heavy items can be quite an expensive affair if you’re planning to transport them to France from outside the EU. It is recommended to sell as much as possible so that you transport as less as possible to save costs. In case you have a few items you could not sell and do not plan to transport, there are storage options available for the same; short and long term. New or used home furniture and décor can be purchased in France for reasonable prices.

Moving With Your Furry Friends

Firstly, your pet has to be ISO 11784/11785 compliant with a 15-digit microchip. You can get your own scanner, in case the microchip is not ISO compliant. A tattoo, given before 3rd July 2011, is also acceptable as identification but has to be before getting a rabies shot and also has to be clearly visible.

If you are coming from within the EU, your pet will require a passport which should include all the necessary vaccinations, indicate other medical exams and state the overall health. Proof of rabies vaccination should specifically be included.

More details on vaccination periods and number of pets allowed is mentioned in the French Ministry for Agriculture.

Young Pets
Until a pet reaches 12 weeks of age, certain young ones like puppies, kittens, and ferrets are not permitted to enter the country from within or outside of the EU. Pets relocating from countries with high-risk of rabies should be seven months before you can bring them to France. Your young pet will not be allowed to enter France if not vaccinated.

Pets from outside of the EU
Pets entering France from outside the EU should have:
– A ticket to a France airport which has approved BIPs: namely Paris (CGD), Toulouse (TLS), Reunion (RUN), Nice (NCE), Marseille (MRS) and Lyon (LYS)
– A non-commercial EU health certificate from a licensed vet within 10 days of entering the country.
– A bilingual version of the commercial EU health certificate for France by a vet within 48 hours of entry (when you are not traveling with your pet and your pet is coming from a country where rabies is not present or is controlled)
– A non-commercial EU health certificate issued and endorsed by accredited USDA and CFIA veterinarians, if coming from the US or Canada.
For more information, visit the European Commission website.

Guard Dogs in France
If your pet is a guard dog specifically, you should first check if the breed is allowed in France. While Mastiffs and Boerboels are completely prohibited, only mixed breeds of Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Tosas are banned.
You should be above 18 years to be able to travel with a guard dog. Your guard dog should always have a muzzle on and on a leash when in public areas. It is advisable to have pedigree documentation, detention permit, behavioral evaluations and insurance approved by the local town council.

If your pet bird is accompanied by its owner and coming from Andorra, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or Vatican City State, they will not be subject to major health requirements. Otherwise, birds entering France need a health certificate and should be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days before travel. They are required to have a vaccination against the H5 avian influenza virus or negative H5N1 antigen titration test.

Other Animals
Domestic rabbits, reptiles, rodents, amphibians, ornamental tropical fish, and invertebrates (except for crustaceans and bees), from EU and non-EU, requires a veterinary certificate of good health issued a few days before departure. Mammals would require getting a parasite treatment before entering the country.

The costs of traveling along with your pet would depend on the type of animal, its weight, and the mode of transportation. There would be different charges to keep your pet in the hold and different in the cabin. You would also require buying a travel container. Consult your airline for total costs involved.

Pet care
A veterinarian can be found in all the big cities. A blue cross is what you would look for to find one. Most of the veterinarians speak in French so it would be advisable to take along someone who knows to communicate in French.
Certain illnesses in animals are common in France:
– Babesiosis, also caused by ticks
– Leishmaniasis, common in the south of France
– Ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks
– Heartworm, prevalent also in the south and can affect both cats and dogs
– Keep the health and vaccination booklet as a passport in case you are traveling with your pet regularly. Also, it has to be kept updated with all the treatments and medications at all times.

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