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France

Goods

Updated 07/2009

Legal requirements

Restrictions

Imports and exports of certain goods, due to their sensitive nature, are subject to movement restrictions or complete bans.

Appealing against trade barriers

In France, exporters and importers of European goods must complete a trade of goods declaration (DEB). This allows the French customs authorities to:

  • compile statistics on foreign trade;    
  • ensure compliance with fiscal rules on value added tax (VAT);    
  • combat smuggling.
 

Administrative procedures

International VAT number

Any business trading with another business located in a Member State must have its own tax identification number. This number is issued by the respective tax authorities. It must appear on all invoices, goods trade documentation and business VAT returns.

VAT refund

If your business is not established in France and does not conduct operations there that are subject to French VAT, you can still, in certain circumstances, be refunded the VAT charged in France.

Tax-free sales

Tax-free sales correspond to a VAT exemption applied to goods and the provision of services directly linked to exports, purchased to be transported or shipped outside the European Union.

Invoicing requirements

An invoice must include several elements, including the seller's intra-Community number, the purchaser's VAT identification number and the payment due date.

Trade of goods declaration

Every month, you must complete a trade of goods declaration (D.E.B.), listing all your intra-Community trade.

The website Prodouane gives professionals access to online customs services.

Resources

The national export portal provides information to business owners on exporting formalities and procedures. The information is provided per country and per sector.

In France, the chambers of commerce and industry offer a list of local, regional, national and European organisations that provide support for exporting goods or expanding business overseas.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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