Whether you’re arriving in France at a road, a railway station, a port or an airport, there are two separate customs clearance channels.
Customs clearance channels
The one you must choose will depend on the nature and quantity of your goods:
- the “green” channel: you have nothing to declare;
- the “red” channel: you must declare your goods.
Note: for security and health reasons and for the protection of the environment you can be checked by customs authorities anywhere on French national territory, and not just at the French borders.
Declare or not declare
If you are arriving in France from a country that is not a member of the European Union you don’t have to declare your goods or pay any duties and taxes. In fact, you don’t have to declare your goods at all if their total value or quantity does not surpass the authorized allowances.
- travelers over the age of 15 years: 430 euros for air and sea transport; 300 euros for all other transport;
- travelers under the age of 15 years: 150 euros, regardless of the mode of transport.
Goods that must be declared
- Cash and values. You must declare cash, securities and values of an amount equal to or higher than 10,000.
- Cultural goods. Works of art classed as “cultural goods” cannot be removed from French territory in the absence of an accompanying authorization from the Ministry of Culture, which can take the form of a movement certificate or an export license.
- Weapons and ammunition controls. French customs carry out controls on imported and exported war materials, weapons and ammunition, which includes intra-communal relations.
The import and export of the following goods are prohibited
- counterfeit goods;
- products of a pedophilic nature, namely “items of any kind containing images or representations of minors of a pornographic nature”;
- asbestos or products containing asbestos.
The import of the skin and fur of cats and dogs and all products containing these is also prohibited.
Sensitive goods (to be avoided)
- plants, plant products originating from a country outside of the EU subject to a compulsory phytosanitary inspection.
- animals and plants (alive or dead) protected by the Washington Agreement and parts (skin, feathers, teeth, etc.) and products (leathers, handbags, bracelets and watches, etc.) derived therefrom.