Transportation of personal effects abroad: formalities

Depending on which country you leave and which country you join, the formalities you will have to follow will not be the same.

If you stay in the Schengen area

You will not have to pay customs duties. However, border controls are not excluded. You must ensure that you do not carry dangerous or prohibited goods by customs. In addition, a certificate of change of residence may be required to authorize the transit of your personal effects in customs. This document is obtained from the local authorities or from the French consulate.

If you move out of the Schengen area

Again, a certificate of change of residence may be required. Concerning the transport of your personal effects towards the international one, a franchise can be granted to you if you fulfill the following conditions:
  • residence abroad for more than 12 months;
  • use and possession of property for more than six months prior to transfer of residence.
This deductible allows you to not pay the duties and taxes related to the importation of your goods. Note that goods admitted duty-free can not be assigned, rented or lent during the 12 months following their importation.
In all cases, you will have to provide the customs service with a number of documents to authorize the transport of your goods:
  • an inventory of all your property detailed, estimated, dated and signed, in two copies;
  • any document proving that you reside in a third country;
  • any document proving that you are moving abroad.
In return, the customs service will give you a signed copy of the inventory and a free circulation card, at your request.

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