Your personal purchases within the European Union

NB: This information was found on French Customs website (see url at the bottom of this page) and is brought to your attention only as a guidance. It remains your responsability to be aware of regulations and to comply with them


Moving across the European Union member states, you will not be required to fulfill any declaration or to pay of Duties & Taxes when departing or returning to France if your purchases are for personal use only.

You will pay VAT directly in the country where you make your purchases and at the applicable rate within this country.
If you buy alcoholic drinks and tobacco,  indicative thresholds have been stated by the EU regulation.

Beyond the thresholds, (please find information below), and according to other criterias, your purchases can be considered as commercial by French customs. You will then have to pay the applicable Duties & Taxes in France, for each of these products.
These thresholds also apply when departing from France and going to another European Union member state.


In application of articles 575 G and 575 H of Taxes general code, the following regulation apply as from January 1st, 2006 when a private individual purchases Tobacco in another European Union member state, except for ten new member states:

- You can bring along 5 cartons of cigarettes (1 kg of tobacco) without having a movement ticket in your possession.

Attention: the threshold is applied per individual means of transportation (car for instance) or per person aged 17 or more when traveling via a collective transportation mode (above 9 persons including the drivers, bus for instance).

- If you buy from 6 to 10 cartons of cigarettes, you will have to produce a document called DSA. In the absence of this document, the controlled traveler incurs tobacco seizure and a fine.
The private individual can abandon these quantities and in that case, there will be no fine.

To establish this document, you only need to go at the nearest French customs office, after the border.

- It is forbidden to bring more than 10 cartons of cigarettes (or 2 kg of tobacco) in all cases.
The controlled person incurs
tobacco seizure and a fine as stated earlier.

When traveling via collective transportation modes (plane, boat, bus, train), the regulation is applied per passenger.


Alcoholic drinks
Names Quantities
Strong products (whisky, gin, vodka, etc.) 10 liters
Intermediary products (vermouths, portos, madère, etc.) 20 liters
Wines (60 liters of sparkling wines max) 90 liters (60 liters of sparkling wines max)
Beers 110 liters

Attention: the threshold is meant per individual means of transportation (car for instance) or per person aged 17 or more when traveling via a collective transportation mode (above 9 persons including the drivers).


Reminder: some goods remain forbidden or subject to particular formalities:

- The goods with civil and military usage;
- The war materials, weapons and ammunitions;
- The National treasures and cultural possessions;
- Narcotics;
- psychotrops;
- Medicines with human and veterinarian usage;
- Organs, tissues and cells from the human body;

- Gametes from the human body;
- The forgery products;
- The unstable blood products;
- The artificial and natural radionucléides
- Waste, including radioactive waste;

- Objects containing images and/or representations of minors with pornographic character (art. 227-23 of penal code);
- Live animals and animal products subject to veterinarian certificate;
- Plants and plant products subject to phytosanitary passport.

Attention: this list is not exhaustive, the other products can punctually be subject to circulating limitations. Please do get information.

The declarative obligation of Values & currencies

Means of payment, currencies …
In France, values or curencies of certain amount must be declared to the appropriate Customs Office, in order to fight against the laundering of dirty money, notably from narcotics.
Please do consult the information on declarative obligation of money.

Page updated on January 19th, 2010 by Offices(Desks) E2, F1, F3 on French Customs  

                       (Click Here)

Return to the homepage