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Ordering British products for delivery in France

March 18, 2022

As a consequence of Brexit, when you order products to be sent from a supplier in Great Britain (or indeed any other country outside the EU) for delivery to France, you become liable for French TVA and customs duty, depending on the value and nature of the product.

So it is quite possible that instead of receiving your parcel as before, you will receive from the post office or the transport company a demand for payment of TVA and customs duty, plus a fee for presentation to the customs authorities (la Douane Française), with a warning that no delivery can be made until you have paid. Although customs duty is not theoretically due on shipments worthless than 150 euros, TVA is due from the first euro and the fee for presentation to the customs authorities is likely to be payable in most cases.

How can one avoid these extra charges?

  1. Certain non-EU suppliers have signed up to France's IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) scheme for purchases up to 50 euros in value. This allows those suppliers to add charges for French TVA to the purchase price at the time of ordering. So purchasers under this scheme should not be asked to pay TVA as a condition for delivering their parcel, although the transport company may still make a charge for customs duty where applicable, plus a fee for presentation to the customs authorities.
  1. Check whether the shipper is based in the EU
  1. Some well-known retailers operating on the internet offer you a choice of suppliers and of country of shipment for the product you want to buy. When comparing the various offers suggested by such sites for your desired product, in many cases you can click on the name of each supplier listed to find out whether they are located within the EU.


There is more information (in French) on ordering goods on the internet from non-EU countries from the Douane Française website here and a useful flow chart (in French) here [Achats-en-ligne-Dois-je-payer-des-frais-supplementaires-a-la-livraison-de-mon-colis.pdf] or by clicking on "Download 1" below.

As a further warning, a number of spammers and hackers try to make out that you have tax and duty to pay on a shipment on its way to you. These will be sent by text or email. Please ignore any of these as genuine transporters will contact you by letter or, for La Poste, your postman may call at your door to explain there are delivery charges to be paid.