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Information for private individuals - Settling in France

Published on February 21, 2008

You are moving house to France on a permanent basis (as distinct from a seasonal resident) and you have been living outside the European Union for the last 12 months prior to your arrival in (or your return to ) France.

You may import personal effects (wearing apparel, jewelry, toilet articles, hunting and fishing equipment and similar effects) as well as household effects (furnitures, carpets, dishes, linen, libraries, pictures and similar household furnishings) free of duty and tax, provided you meet the following conditions:

- those articles have been for your use for at least 6 months before the date of your change of residence;

- each of those articles is itemized in a comprehensive list, in duplicate, signed and dated, of the goods you are importing into France as part of your moving (in one or more shipments), with the identification of their value;

- you are in a position to prove, to the satisfaction of Customs, that you have been living outside the European Union for at least 1 year prior to your moving to France and that you are going to settle down in France on a permanent basis, e.g. by producing a French Resident Card ("carte de séjour") or a letter from your French employer;

To meet the last requirement, an attestation (a "certificat de changement de résidence") from a French Consulate General is the most convenient document. You will need to back up your application for the attestation with some documents like the ones mentioned above (i.e. a letter from the employer, etc..).

WARNING:

[*Household goods and personal effects imported free of duty and tax as part of your moving to France may not be sold or otherwise disposed of for a period of 1 year after they have been cleared through Customs, unless duties and taxes are paid at the applicable rate. Duties and taxes must be paid before the sale is completed.*]

If you plan to import a vehicle permanently into France, you should refer to:

Importing a private vehicle into France from Canada or the US

The French Consulates General:
French Consulates General in Canada
French Consulates General in USA

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