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Holiday home in France and customs


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Hi all,

I'm considering buying a holiday home in France and using it for six months of the year (taking into account the annoying 90/180 days rolling rule) but I'm a little confused about customs declarations when moving between countries. What exactly am I allowed to take? I believe there's a customs threshold of 300 euros - but an average person's luggage could contain that much value in one item - a watch for instance. Can I take a few tins of paint and some cleaning wipes as long as they don't cost more than 300 euros? It's quite confusing. What is and isn't counted towards this limit?

Many thanks!
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Thanks for that. It says: "If the value of the products contained in your personal baggage

exceeds € 1,200:

• you can justify the «United Kingdom» origin of your

products by presenting a certificate (see trade and

cooperation agreement): no tax is due

• you cannot justify the «United Kingdom» origin: your

products will be taxed at the applicable rate."

So as long as the items in my luggage are worth under 1200 euros it's fine (how they will determine the value of a bag full of shirts and trousers I have no idea). BUT, even if the value exceeds 1200 euros, as long as I can demonstrate that the items are of UK origin then there is also no duty to pay. Now need to work out what the mysterious "certificate" is...
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Before the EU I often travelled between Europe and the UK plus other countries, no customs officer ever asked the value of personal clothes or items, OK if you had a very expensive Camera it was wise to carry a receipt to show that it was bought in your country of origin. There is a lot of nonsense advice on some forums and social media sites. Mainly they are looking for goods that you might sell on or certain food items. Just use common sense.
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We spent up to 6 months a year in France at our apartment, with the justification given by a British law company offering help of various types for those buying/moving to France, at a cost, of course. The advice was that if your main source of income and main centre of life was in the UK, the time we spent in France was allowed.

Taking the 90/180 days, we believe that we can no longer stay for that amount of time and should apply for a visa to be able to do so.

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That's what I would have expected certainly, but you read such bizarre stories of customs officers being overly officious. All I'd really want to do is take over (for personal use) certain items that are noticeably cheaper in the UK, and more readily available. Farrow and Ball paint, for instance, is often on 3 for 2 offers in the UK where you can get a tin for around £30. It costs nearly 100 euros for the same tin in France. I suppose if I take them in batches, never exceeding the 1200 euro limit, then there shouldn't be a problem (if I have receipts etc). I just don't want to be caught out and slapped with a bill for random items unexpectedly.
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And don't think that it may just be french officials who act in such a fasion.

In 1984 my parents visited and my mother remained for a further week or so, my Dad had to get home for work.

My mother had seen a porcelain double  kitchen sink and bought it and my Dad was taking it back in the car.

He was stopped at Dover, how much was it, etc etc. He had not a clue and
said that it was just something left over from my having the house built.......  no phones etc then  they asked if it cost over £100 said that I was a cheapskate and it wouldn't have been.

It had been a lot more than that, and I am sure that IF he had had the bill would have been billed with import taxes.

So just be cautious with what you take in either direction.

I have had other things happen with customs in both countries, never charged any money, but stopped and questioned never the less.

AND that's just the way it will be.

If you are really worried, do what I did prior to our move to France, contact the French Embassy in London.

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A lot of my school friends joined the merchant navy. They often signed off in exotic places like Hong Kong or Singapore and regularly brought expensive electrical gear from there back with them. Upon entering the U.K. the customs officers would casually suggest that these items would no doubt be leaving the country when they did and no duty would be charged.
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  • 8 months later...
On 22/03/2021 at 15:40, Gardengirl said:

We spent up to 6 months a year in France at our apartment, with the justification given by a British law company offering help of various types for those buying/moving to France, at a cost, of course. The advice was that if your main source of income and main centre of life was in the UK, the time we spent in France was allowed.

 

 

 

 

Taking the 90/180 days, we believe that we can no longer stay for that amount of time and should apply for a visa to be able to do so.

 

 

 

 

I had some troubles to get  new visa to extend my holidays. I'll try your tips. Thank you. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello fellow redditors! So I'll be travelling to France pretty soon for a week-long stay, and I would like to know what sort of customs, cultural practices, behaviors, mannerisms, etc. I should be aware of. I have been trying to learn the French language, but I want to be sure I am at least partially acquainted with the culture and societal norms insofar as they differ from my own (American). Anything I should know before my trip?  http://www.kitchensinn.com

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