Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos
When shipping packages or goods from the United States into France, the biggest unknown is typically the cost associated with the duties and taxes. Every country has different regulations and policies to follow, France is no different. But as a general rule, most goods imported into France are required to pay for:
To determine which one of these two fees is applicable to your shipments, you can follow the following threshold guideline:
below €22; no duty and no VAT are collected.
between €22 and €150; no duty is collected, but VAT is collected.
over €150; both duty and VAT are collected.
If you fall in the first bracket, that’s great! You do not have to worry about duties fees. But if you fall under the second bracket it is important to know how these fees are calculated to avoid potential surprises.
Duties are based on the value of the product plus its freight and insurance (if any). The Duty rates applied to goods imported into France typically range
between 0% and 17%. Products, such as: Books, Laptops, Mobile Phones, Digital cameras and Video Game consoles, are Duty free. The table below summarizes the duty rate for the most common commodities:
|Video Game Consoles||0%|
|Clothing and Apparel||12%|
The VAT rate is based on the value of the good, plus the shipping cost, the insurance and the duty amount payable. The French standard rate of VAT is
20%. Although, there are super-reduced rates of
5.5% for agricultural and food products and of
2.1% for medicine.
1) Product: Shirt, value €25
–VAT: (25*.20) = €5
–Total Cost: €30
2) Product: Mobile Phone, value €300
–VAT: (300*.20) = €60
–Total Cost: €360
3) Product: Shoes, value €180
–Duties: (180*.168) = €30.24
–VAT: (180+30.24)*.20 = €42.05
–Total Cost: €252.29