You’ve found your dream home in France and you can’t wait to move your stuff out and start a new life or enjoy delicious French holidays. Before Brexit, it was pretty easy to fill your car, hire a van, stuff everything into a trailer and drive it out yourself. Or you could just hire someone to do it for you. They’d pack it into the back of their lorry, drive to your new home and unload. After Brexit – it’s not quite so easy. And there are a few restrictions on what you can take that weren’t there before, plus possible tax to pay. Get the paperwork right and you should be home and dry. The problem we’ve found with that is the amount of conflicting advice on the internet doesn’t always make it easy
Removals to France
For British Expats moving to France, French customs will want more paperwork than before.
- Proof of residency in the UK for more than 12 months such as a council tax statement or bank statement.
- Proof that France is your “residence primaire” – your primary residence. Ask your notaire or estate agent for a copy of the sales details for the house, or if you’re renting, get a lease agreement. Or a copy of your employment contract if that’s relevant. If you don’t have any of these, for instance if you’re staying with friends of family, you’ll need a letter from the person you’re staying with confirming the details and they’ll need to attach a utility bill as proof of their residency.
- You’ll need to complete a French customs form. It is only in French.
And you’ll need to create a detailed inventory of the goods you’re moving including values. Some things are now prohibited from being moved from the UK to France, for instance plants, cuttings and seedlings. You can still take seeds and bulbs but you’ll need to have them tested – at a cost of course. You’ll find more details and official forms for removals on the French customs website.
Some companies will organise the inventory for you and they’ll tell you if there’s an issue with anything you want to take. There should be no tax or import duties as long as your goods are moved within 12 months of your permanent arrival.
Removals from UK for second homeowners in France
Brexit means that there may be customs and import charges when you take items from the UK to France for your second home. If any item has a total value of Euros 300 or more, a declaration has to be made to the French Customs and French VAT may be charged. However, you are not required to provide proof below a value of Euros 1200. Ask your removals company to complete any specialised paperwork you require. And bon voyages!