Members of Diplomatic Missions may benefit from an exemption from taxation as well as a relief from customs duty on some goods. The extent of these advantages may vary depending on the status of agents.
Relief from customs duty is granted for goods imported from non- European Union (EU) countries, directly or after having been subjected to a customs procedure with economic impact (customs warehouse, temporary admission, etc.).
On arrival in france
Articles for personal use constituting the removal of items belonging to diplomatic and consular staff are relieved from duties and taxes when imported into France from non-EU countries for the first time. This also applies to new articles included in the removal in reasonable quantities.
Importation must take place in one go within six months from the date of commencement of functions. This period may be extended to twelve months solely for articles currently in use coming either from the diplomatic agent’s country of origin or from the country in which he is exercising his functions.
Relief does not cover warehousing, transport and other expenses relating to similar services. It is subject to the following import formalities:
submission of a detailed inventory (in 2 copies) countersigned by Customs,
presentation of a document justifying commencement of functions in France.
Please note that worked and unworked ivory of elephants is subject to the provisions of the Washington Convention. It must be entered in the inventory and accompanied by a CITES import permit issued by the competent regional directorate of the Ministère de l’Aménagement du territoire et de l’Environnement, Direction de la Nature et des paysages (Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment, Department of nature and landscapes - DNP).
Other goods may be subjected to import restrictions. Full information on this subject is available from regional Customs directorates.
Diplomats and career consular officers are relieved within certain limits from the payment of duties and taxes on articles for personal use imported from non-EU countries during the entire duration of their mission.
Compliance with rules on various bans and restrictions
The formalities provided for by regulations on, inter alia, the book trade, the movement of firearms, ammunition and related materiel, health inspections and plant health inspections (including as part of the protection of endangered species of wild fauna and flora) and control of medicines are still enforceable.
The importation of sums of money, securities or assets (banknotes, coins, traveller’s cheques, letters of credit, etc.) must be declared to Customs on crossing the border when the amount carried is equal to or exceeds 50,000 francs or 7,600 euros (or the equivalent in foreign currency).
Additional formalities to be carried out for the entry into France of certain goods
For further information please contact
Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Sous-Direction de la Santé et de la protection animale, bureau de la protection animale (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Protection Department),
telephone 01 49 55 84 70
Cats and dogs:
valid rabies vaccination certificate issued by a veterinarian in the country of origin
or document certifying that the animal comes from a country that has been without rabies for over three years and that it has stayed in that country for more than six months or since its birth. Importation is limited to three animals including one only aged from 3 to 6 months.
Other authorized animals (pet birds, rodents, etc.)
Certificate issued by an official veterinarian in the country of origin.
As all species of parakeets and parrots excepting the Melopsittacus undulatus (Budgerigar) and the Nymphicus hollandicus (Cockatiel) are protected under the Washington Convention, their importation is subject to the submission of a CITES permit issued by the competent regional directorate of the Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment, Department of nature and landscapes.
Foods for animals or of animal origin
For further information please contact
Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Sous-Direction de la Santé et de la protection animale, Mission de la coordination sanitaire internationale (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mission for international health coordination),
telephone 01 49 55 81 19
Only small quantities of authorized foods can be imported without formalities (1kg or 2 kg as the case may be)
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, as well as any parts or derivatives
For further information please contact
Ministère de l’Aménagement du territoire et de l’Environnement, Direction de la Nature et des paysages, Bureau de la Convention de Washington (Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment, Department of nature and landscapes - DNP, Washington Convention Office), 20, avenue de Ségur, 75302 PARIS 07 SP,
telephone 01 42 19 18 93 / 19 13
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permit issued by the Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment’s Washington Convention Office. The CITES import permit is granted on presentation of a CITES export permit issued by a Management Authority of the State of export.
Medicines, except those for personal use and carried personally. For further information please contact Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé - AFSSAPS (French Health Products Safety Agency), 143-147, Bd Anatole France, 93285 SAINT-DENIS CEDEX, telephone 01 55 87 36 31
Authorization from the French Health Products Safety Agency
On departure from france
Transfer abroad of main residence
When you are moving, special controls are required in addition to the usual formalities (inventory and document justifying your change of residence).
General derogation from external trade control formalities - excepting restrictive measures applicable in respect of cultural heritage or environmental protection and which are still effective - is available for goods exported by the foreign staff of Missions in the exercise of their functions or on their own account.
The exportation of specimens of species subject to the provisions of the Washington Convention requires the presentation of a CITES permit issued by the competent directorate of the Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment, Department of nature and landscapes - DNP.
The exportation of sums of money, securities or assets is subject to the same conditions and formalities as for their importation.
Exemption from customs duties on new goods purchased in France before departure may be applied for by means of an export declaration form such as the Single Administrative Document (SAD) drawn up directly by the provider.
- To be able to export cultural property, an export licence is required. This is issued by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (in most cases by the Direction des Musées de France, Bureau du mouvement des oeuvres et de l’inventaire (French Museums Directorate, Department of the Movement of artworks and of the Artworks Inventory).
When cultural property is exported to a non-EU country it must, in addition, be accompanied by a licence issued by the Service des titres du commerce extérieur - SETICE (French Customs foreign trade licencing department). This document is to be presented together with the customs entry when carrying out Customs export formalities.
Lastly, the export declaration must be filed with a Customs office specializing in this area.
Other goods may be the subject of export restrictions. Full information on this question is available from regional Customs directorates.
For further information please contact Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Direction des Musées de France, Bureau du mouvement des oeuvres et de l’inventaire, 6, rue des Pyramides, 75001 PARIS - Telephone: 01 40 15 34 66
and Service des titres du commerce extérieur (SETICE), 8, rue de la Tour-des-Dames, 75436 PARIS CEDEX 09 - Telephone: 01 55 07 49 93 / 01 55 07 46 35
Updated : July 2012