Moving Guide for Customs
Upon reserving your international move, your freight forwarder will ask you to complete and submit certain documents needed to clear customs. It’s important to know what these documents are for and how to fill them out properly. Pay extra attention to this section as even the smallest oversights could make the difference between a smooth shipping experience and delays which can really inflate your total international moving cost.
Import documents (France)
Export documents (France)
Import documents (Switzerland)
Export documents (Switzerland)
In case of import to France, we truly advise you to read the delivery procedure explained in detail →
Need some extra help?
Watch our tutorials
Moving home features at number 7 on the list of the top 10 most stressful life events. Packing, organising, transporting — the whole process can seem daunting, but if you use these tips and tricks, moving day will be a lot less stressful. Happy move!
Plan your move well in advance. The period between 15 June and 1 September is the busiest of the year and demand far outweighs the moving industry’s capacity
Don’t box valuables or important documents
Get rid of anything you don’t use or want
Keep your pets confined to one room while packing is going on
Clean and prep your house
Find information about the town you are moving to
Change address with following: post office, bank, insurance company, magazine subscriptions, etc
Keep all basic necessities you’ll need together. Let the movers load them last so they are the first items they’ll deliver and unpack
Don’t leave anything to the last minute! If you delay in making your arrangements, you may be left with no other choice than to use a substandard mover and they could cost you up to 50% more.
Eat out to allow the movers to pack all the plates, cups and kitchenware
I want to ship my vehicle, what are the implications?
Various rules and duties apply concerning the import of vehicles depending on which country or continent you want to import to, the make, year and model of your vehicle. For example it is not always viable to import an older vehicle due to the different levels of admissible carbon-dioxide emissions. Your local vehicle authority can carry out a basic-emissions test for you.
Do I have to put the same address in each document for customs?
Yes, and when moving to France you must have a French address. French customs require a proof that you actually have a domicile in France
I don't have a residence yet but my goods were already shipped. What should I do?
If you have not found your own residence it won’t be an issue, you can put the address where you will stay temporarily in France (e.g. the residence of a family member). In this case you will need to provide :
- Attestation d’herbergement (see attached, you can also use your own format)
- ID of the person who will host you
- A recent electricity/water bill, etc. in that person’s name
To import my household goods duty-free into France, will I need a change of residence certificate even though I am not a French national?
Yes. This will prove that you have lived outside of French territory for the twelve months before your move and are therefore entitled to import your goods free of duty. You can get this form from your local French embassy or consulate.
Do I have to pay duty if I import my goods for a secondary residence?
While the import of household goods to a primary residence is duty-free, the duty on household goods imported to secondary residences varies from country to country. If your secondary residence is in France, you can import household goods duty-free to furnish it. (Your goods will still be liable to a VAT charge of 20%.) This is a one-time-only procedure. Should you wish to make a second shipment, you will have to pay 20% VAT of the declared value of your goods as well as a further 10% (approximate estimation) in duties.
I will move to France not for a professional reason and I can't not obtain a change of residence certificate. What can I do?
You can provide a letter to customs explaining your situation and your plans. It is important that this letter states the period you have lived outside of France and that France will become your primary residence(if it the case of course). French customs authorities may then request further documentation to confirm your status
Inventory for customs and inventory for insurance purposes. What's the difference?
The valued inventory for French customs is designed to give an overall view of what you are shipping as well as the resale value, i.e. what the goods are worth in their used condition. We strongly recommend that you submit your inventory in the format provided by us.