Moving to or from France

France overview

The following information outlines the documentation required for importing household goods moves to France, to the best of current knowledge and belief. This is a summary of the documents required for household goods moves from the UK to France on a transfer of residence basis. It does not cover cars, secondary homes, inheritances, or any other exceptional circumstances and for any moves falling into these categories, it is essential that you advise us of your circumstances so that we can check requirements with a local agent in the destination country. An additional useful source of information can be found at the UK Government’s site – www.gov.uk – living in France.

Customs protocols for moves from the UK to EU countries

For a move from the UK (UK refers to England, Scotland and Wales) to any EU country, you will need to provide information and documents to the Customs authority in the destination country to enable your household goods to be cleared through Customs.

Most EU customs regimes have several factors in common:

  • People moving to an EU country on a transfer of residence basis (i.e. moving their main place of residence from the UK to that EU country for work or personal reasons) are generally permitted to import their household and personal belongings free of duty and tax.
  • There is usually a requirement to prove that the person moving has previously resided in the UK for a specified qualifying period, by means of presenting documents such as Council Tax bills, bank statements, utility bills etc.
  • There is usually a requirement to prove that permission for residency or employment in the destination country has been granted.
  • There is usually a requirement to prove identity by providing a passport copy.
  • New items (usually less than 6 months old) may be subject to tax.
  • Certain item are usually prohibited e.g. guns, animal skins or products, etc.
  • Certain items are usually restricted e.g. alcohol, tobacco etc.

You will need to be able to supply any required information or documentation before the move is packed, to allow the moving company to have it checked by their agent in the destination country for confirmation that everything is in order. This is essential to ensure that there are no delays at the destination border due to missing or incorrect documentation. For a move to an EU country being made for any reason other than a transfer of residence, then you should ask your moving company to check the specific Customs requirements for your circumstances and this should be done as early in the process as tpossible. If, for example, your circumstances were such that carrying-out the move would incur a significant duty or tax liability then that may influence your decision to move altogether. It is essential therefore, that such issues are raised as early as possible. If you are furnishing a holiday or secondary home in an EU country (that is a home other than your main place of residence), then usually you will have to pay duty or tax on the items that you are moving.

Customs regulations and document requirements for France:

  • Detailed inventory with values in euros.
  • Signed “certificat de non cession” – France – non-resale attestation.
  • Proof of residence in France (lease document or utility bill).
  • Copy of photo page of passport.
  • Company letter of transfer or change of residence provided by the French Consulate in the UK (proving more than one year stay outside the EU required and more than one year expected stay in France required).
  • Personal effects need to arrive within 1 year of a person’s arrival in France otherwise duty will be applied.
  • Import of alcohol into France: Duties and tax will apply regardless of whether the transferee is a French returning citizen, diplomat, etc.

Documents required for export clearance out of France (for UK bound moves):

  • Detailed inventory with values.
  • Copy of photo page of passport.
  • Letter of transfer or change of residence (provided by the city hall in France).
  • Completion of UK transfer of residence application and generation of a URN number provided to us by you. Please see or moving to the UK page for more information on how to obtain a URN.

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