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Customs guide step by step

The procedure for import differs from country to country, depending upon the policy, the statutory requirements and rules in place. These documents are required by French customs authorities and are therefore mandatory

In france to import your household goods and personal effets duty-free you must fulfill 3 main criteria :

  • You must be moving to France to take up primary residence.
  • You must have lived outside of France for the 12 months preceding the arrival of your goods.
  • You must have owned the goods for at least 6 months (12 months for a vehicle) and they must be destined for your own use (not for re-sale).

Completing the Inventory for French Customs

During your move you will be asked for and will use various ‘inventories’ however you must not confuse the valued inventory for French customs with the inventory that will be required for insurance purposes. The main difference between the two is  that the insurance inventory should state the full replacement values of your goods and needs to be very detailed because it will be referred to in the case of an insurance claim being made, whereas the valued inventory requested by French customs is designed to give an overall view of what you are shipping as well as their resale value i.e. what the goods are worth in their used condition

Please keep in mind that the valued inventory for customs purposes must be in French (this applies to all the customs documents) and show values in Euros. We strongly recommend that you submit your inventory in the format provided by us and if you choose to make any additions to the standard format, they will need to be in French. Don’t forget to sign and date the form

You can download the document here :

Non-cession certificate

This form is simply a sworn statement by you that the goods are yours and are not destined for resale. You need to complete the following at the top of the form:

  • Je soussigné (I, the undersigned) : Your first and last names. 
  • Profession: Your profession. 
  • Domicile: Your full French address

And at the bottom:

  • Fait à (Completed in): The town you are in when completing the form. 

Again, don’t forget to date and sign it!

You can download the document here :

Proof of residence

French customs require proof that you actually have a domicile in France and the easiest way to do that is to provide a utility bill from either the electricity or gas company, a copy of the lease or purchase agreement for your house or something similar that is in your name and shows your French address.

Employer’s Letter

If you are moving for professional reasons we will require a short letter in French from your employer stating that you are moving to take up a new position. It is important that this letter states the period you have lived outside of France and that France will become your primary residence.

Change of residence certificate

If you are not moving for professional reasons then you will need to obtain a change of residence certificate from the French consulate in the country you are moving from. This is required for all nationalities (even French) and without it the importation process will become very complicated you it is very likely that you will end up paying taxes and duties on your goods. The customs documents are obligatory regardless of your nationality and without them we will be unable to arrange duty-free entry for your goods. You should provide all the documents as early as possible otherwise the customs clearance of your goods will be delayed and costly port storage and shipping line retention fees will be applied and your container will not be released until you pay them.

Certificate(s) of title

If you are shipping a vehicle (car or motorcycle) we will require the original certificate of title for each vehicle as well as a copy of the purchase invoice in the name of the person is whose name the goods are being shipped. Please note that, other than the certificate(s) of title, we do not require originals of the documents so you can scan them and send them by email. Please also note that French authorities will not accept photographs of these documents.

Customs guide step by step

The procedure for import differs from country to country, depending upon the policy, the statutory requirements and rules in place. These documents are required by French customs authorities and are therefore mandatory.

In france to import your household goods and personal effets duty-free you must fulfill 3 main criteria :

  • You must be moving to France to take up primary residence.
  • You must have lived outside of France for the 12 months preceding the arrival of your goods.
  • You must have owned the goods for at least 6 months (12 months for a vehicle) and they must be destined for your own use (not for re-sale).

Valued Inventory for customs

During your move you will be asked for and will use various ‘inventories’.

  • The insurance inventory should state the full replacement values of your goods and needs to be very detailed because it will be referred to in the case of an insurance claim being made.
  • The valued inventory requested by French customs is designed to give an overall view of what you are shipping as well as their resale value i.e. what the goods are worth in their used condition

Please keep in mind that the valued inventory for customs purposes must be in French (this applies to all the customs documents) and show values in Euros. We strongly recommend that you submit your inventory in the format provided by us and if you choose to make any additions to the standard format, they will need to be in French. Don’t forget to sign and date the form.

You can download the document here :

Non-cession certificate

This form is simply a sworn statement by you that the goods are yours and are not destined for resale. You need to complete the following at the top of the form: Je soussigné (I, the undersigned) : Your first and last names. Profession: Your profession. Domicile: Your full French address and at the bottom: Fait à (Completed in): The town you are in when completing the form. Again, don’t forget to date and sign it!

You can download the document here :

Proof of residence

French customs require proof that you actually have a domicile in France and the easiest way to do that is to provide a utility bill from either the electricity or gas company, a copy of the lease or purchase agreement for your house or something similar that is in your name and shows your French address.

Employer’s Letter

If you are moving for professional reasons we will require a short letter in French from your employer stating that you are moving to take up a new position. It is important that this letter states the period you have lived outside of France and that France will become your primary residence.

Change of residence certificate

If you are not moving for professional reasons then you will need to obtain a change of residence certificate from the French consulate in the country you are moving from. This is required for all nationalities (even French) and without it the importation process will become very complicated you it is very likely that you will end up paying taxes and duties on your goods. The customs documents are obligatory regardless of your nationality and without them we will be unable to arrange duty-free entry for your goods. You should provide all the documents as early as possible otherwise the customs clearance of your goods will be delayed and costly port storage and shipping line retention fees will be applied and your container will not be released until you pay them.

Certificate(s) of title

If you are shipping a vehicle (car or motorcycle) we will require the original certificate of title for each vehicle as well as a copy of the purchase invoice in the name of the person is whose name the goods are being shipped. Please note that, other than the certificate(s) of title, we do not require originals of the documents so you can scan them and send them by email. Please also note that French authorities will not accept photographs of these documents.