United States to France
Country or Territory Regulations Topics:
Commodity Specific Stipulations
There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to France. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.
- Products Of Animal Origin are goods which contain at least partly material derived from the body of an animal. These products can be divided in food or non-food.
Food means any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption, but does not include cosmetics or substances used only as pharmaceuticals.
Non-Food (not intended for human consumption) includes animal by-products, animal feed, samples for testing or research purposes (food-grade or non-food grade), and in vitro diagnostics (IVD).
Animal products and animal by-products are often subject to a veterinary inspection. These products can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC). In addition those products must undergo veterinary checks at an approved Veterinary Border Inspection Post (BIP) when entering the EU & EFTA countries or territories (EU regulations are aligned for EU countries or territories and NO; IS; CH; LI).
For UPS shipments arriving in the EU by air, Cologne is the first point of arrival /BIP. Inspections will be processed at Cologne but final customs clearance process will be issued in the destination country or territory.
Additional charges for Vet-inspection will be applicable see Brokerage Services and Charges.
Generally, each type of Product of Animal Origin has specific import requirements that must be met. Food which is subject to veterinary inspections must:
Come from an EU listed Third Country or Territory (no safeguard measures in place)
Come from an EU approved establishment . Registered producers are listed under the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/food/international/trade/third_en.htm
Be accompanied by appropriate Health Certificate(s), signed by a veterinarian of the competent authority of country or territory of export. Photocopies of the Health Certificate will not be accepted.
Be appropriately packaged and labelled, indicating the nature, ingredients, quantity/ weight, the country or territory of origin and manufacturer.
Any foodstuff coming from non-approved establishments, sent as samples for testing purposes, can only be imported with a permit/license from a respective national veterinary authority. The permit/license must be send to the border inspection point responsible for the veterinary inspection. Delays may occur as the license needs to be provided already at the time of inspection.
Any non-compliant shipment must be returned at shippers expense immediately. The following exemptions apply to non-commercial shipments / gift shipments or purchased by private individuals for private consumption):
Meat, meat products, animal fat - max. 10 kg from Faroe Island and Greenland.
Fish and fish products (with intestines and organs removed) - max. 20 kg from all third countries or territories; no limitation from Faroe Islands.
Other animal products (for example, honey, egg, frog, live mussels - max. 10 kg from Faroe Islands and Greenland, and max. 2 kg from all other third countries or territories).
- Antiques can be cleared with a duty rate of 0% and a reduced VAT rate if they are proven to be older than 100 years.
- Original artwork (for example, paintings, drawings, sculptures) can be imported with a duty rate of 0% and a reduced VAT rate.
Printings are accepted as artwork if they are made from a handmade plate or block and if the number of printings is limited to a very low number. The sequential number should be visible on the print.
- The invoice must include the dimensions in square meters and the composition of the material.
- All audiovisual commodities must list the following information on the invoice: duration, a concise synopsis of the contents, whether the film is black and white or color, the length and width of the film, and the reason for importation.
- Please see "Animal Products".
- Based on the EU regulation 2009/669/EC certain foodstuffs (for example tea with origin China)imported from certain third countries or territories are subject to increased level of official controls due to contamination risks of these products by aflatoxinson and pathogens. These controls are carried out at Designated Point of Entries (DPE) defined by each member state.
The import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station and not subject to vet inspection can only be imported into the EU through Designated Point of Entries (DPE). They must be accompanied by a declaration attesting that the goods are either harvested or processed before March 11, 2011, originated from a prefecture other than the ones affected by higher levels of radiation or if originated from an affected prefecture have been subjected to laboratory analysis determining the level of certain radionuclides (regulation 2011/297/EC).
The customs offices responsible for our import sites are not all defined as DPE. Commodities subject to import controls at a DPE can only be imported via UPS import ports where the responsible customs office is defined as DPE. Only site can be imported through is Paris CDG.
- Depending on the ingredients of food supplements, nutrial or diet supplements may be classified as medicine. A complete list of ingredients and their amounts must accompany the invoice to allow a correct classification by customs and avoid delays and additional costs. Please see additional information for 'Medicine'.
- The European Union (EU) has placed an import ban on Honey from certain countries or territories.
Before shipping Honey to a European Union country or territory, it is highly recommended to contact your local chamber of commerce or your importer for detailed information.
If the importation is allowed by the European Union, the shipment must be accompanied by an original health certificate provided by the shipper/producer, otherwise, importation will not be possible. Furthermore, a vet inspection at the first point of arrival into the EU is required, even for sample shipments.
Brokerage accessorial charges will apply and an import delay may occur.
If the shipper fails to verify the import regulation of the destination country or territory and sends honey which is prohibited by the European Union, then all charges that may apply for the respective shipment will be billed back to the shipper.
- Please see "Animal Products".
- Shipments of medicine must have an authorization agreement from the National Medicine Agency (NMA). Companies importing medicine on a regular basis must have permanent NMA authorization. The same applies for private importers even if its imported within personal effects.
Medicine for animals requires an authorization agreement from the Veterinary Agency that must be obtained by the importer. Accessorial charges may apply and import delays may occur.
The shipper (company or individual) must provide a detailed invoice with at least the following information per item:
All imports described as only "medicine" are currently being held by customs.
- Brand name
- Product name
- Quantity Type (example: caps, bottle or capsule)
Commodities which are not registered medicine but classified as medicine by the authorized department according to the ingredients must be handled according to the rules for medicine. Food supplements classified as medicine can not be imported by private individuals because of a missing NMA authorization.
- Only private consumers are allowed to import small quantities of mineral water for personal consumption.
Companies are not allowed to import mineral water and sample shipments are also prohibited.
- The invoice must include a description of the part, the type of machine for which the part is used, and a list of the part's components.
- Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.
The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.
Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.
All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:
An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.
Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.
Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.
- Small numbers of samples of negligible value and for non commercial use can be imported free of duty and VAT. Samples are only accepted for duty and VAT free import if mutilated or marked in a way which makes it impossible to sell them. The invoice must clearly state that the samples are mutilated or marked.
- In order to avoid wrong customs declarations at import, it is mandatory that the exporter provide very detailed information about the shoes (for example, what kind of leather, what material used for soles and uppers, what kind of shoes (sport shoes, sandals, boots), who is to wear the shoes (children, women, men).
- Most of modern test reagents for diagnostic research are built on antibodies which are generated from animal tissue. There are two types of antibodies, the monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies are generated in vitro. Tissue from animals are taken (e.g. blood) and infected with certain substances or pathogens. The blood cells react with the production of antibodies which are than harvested and used for the production of the test kits. Due to the in vitro production and the controlled way of production those types of test kits are not subject to veterinarian control if it is a commercial production.
Polyclonal antibodies are gained from living animals like rabbits. They are infected with the substances / pathogens and the animals are producing antibodies. The antibodies are harvested from the blood stream of the animals. Test reagents with polyclonal antibodies are subject to vet inspections.
Shipment documents (commercial invoice or declaration on letterhead) should include:
the place of origin of the material
the quantity of the material, in weight or volume
a description of the material/ animal source
catalogue number and price (if available)
additives (e.g., sodium azide, glycerol), their source (e.g., whole serum, supernatant, ascites), and purification, if any.
protocols the recommended protocol or datasheet indicating any unique fixation, detergent, blocking, or incubation conditions.
the intended use (commercial/ manufacturing; research/ testing)
the name and address of the shipper
the name and address of the receiver
Commercially packaged, ready-to-use In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) containing products of animal of origin, do not require a Vet-inspection, if compliant with Directive 98/79/EC on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. A declaration of conformity (CE-marking) must be provided for each individual commodity (e.g. reagents, test kits, immunosorbent assays such as ELISA kits).
- To import textile shipments as samples, they must be marked or mutilated in a way that ensures the use only as a sample only. The shipment must include only the number of samples necessary for the purpose of testing. The shipper must write "marked/mutilated samples with no commercial value" on all export documentation.
A certificate of origin is not required for the import clearance of textiles. The need of a certificate of origin for the import clearance was reversed on October 24, 2011.
The country or territory of origin must be stated on the invoice for each invoice line. If the customs authorities doubt the correctness of the declared country or territory of origin they may request an additional proof which might be a certificate of origin.
- The importation of all toys into France requires a Certificate of Conformity. This applies to shipments from all countries or territories.
According to European law (EU Norme), the toy must have a "CE" sign written or stamped on it, certifying that the toy complies with EU standards and safety regulations. Shippers should verify that the consignee has the correct documentation available ("Dossier de Fabrication" / verification of manufacturing) in order to allow proper Customs clearance. Shipments of toys without a "CE" sign or without a Conformity Certificate will be seized and destroyed by Customs, including gift shipments. These toys cannot be returned to the shipper. The consignee may obtain a certificate from the Laboratory National D' Essai to receive a toy sample for analysis.
The Customs limit for samples of toys is four identical pieces. The consignee must send a fax in order to receive approval by the Laboratory National D' Essai. A copy of the certificate must be sent to the shipper and must be attached to the invoice when the shipment is shipped. The shipper or the consignee must provide UPS with a copy of the certificate along with the shipment in order to reduce delays.
- Data shipments require an invoice with the character of the USB stick (storing intercompany data) and the value of the USB Stick.
- A text label must accompany all shipments containing video games (devices as well as software).
The label must appear on the outside of the package and must display precautionary statements warning of the risk of epileptic seizures.
There must be a copy of the label inside the package.
Shipments that do not comply may be detained by Customs.
- Depending on the ingredients,vitamins may be classified as medicine. A complete list of ingredients and their amounts must accompany the invoice to allow a correct classification by customs and avoid delays and additional costs. Please see additional information for 'Medicine'.
Prohibited or Restricted Commodities
In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to France.
- Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service.
A customs clearance of alcohol for free circulation with a subsequent transport of alcohol under the excise duty suspension regime is not possible. The customs clearance in France and the subsequent transport to another EU member state is not part of the service.
The maximum amount of alcoholic beverages per consignee is 10 litres of spirits or liquor, 90 litres of wine, 20 litres of intermediate products, 60 litres for sparkling wine and 110 litres for beer. The clearance of alcoholic beverages is a non-routine entry. Additional charges apply.
Alcoholic beverages are subject to excise duty. Excise duty applies usually on the amount of beverage and the percentage of alcohol. The information must be shown on the invoice. The contractual service covers the customs clearance of alcohol at the border where duty, VAT and excise duty must be paid.
Additional rules apply on the import of wine and wine products. Please check under 'wine'.
- Endangered plants and animals protected by the multilateral treaty of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), must be accompanied by a valid CITES Certificate.
All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
Shipper needs to provide the following documentation:
Invoice with the scientific name and CITES certificate.
Additional charges will be applicable. Products of animals or plants subject to CITES can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC).
- Only licensed casinos are allowed to import gambling devices from certain shippers (manufacturers) into France. For detailed information, please contact your chamber of commerce
- UPS provides International Dangerous Goods service for shipments between the U.S. and certain European countries or territories by contract only.
Accessorial charges may apply for:
- Hazardous Materials Class 9 (HAZ)
- Hazardous Materials
- Precious metal (silver, gold, platinum, etc.) needs quantity and grammas per piece detailed on the invoice. The merchandise description must mention on the invoice if Jewelry is with or without precious stones.
Jewelry cannot be cleared through simplified customs procedure. An import delay of 1 day may occur and brokerage accessorial charges may apply.
UPS Brokerage import site Paris/CDG slic 3419 is not allowed to Customs process jewelry with precious or semi- precious stone. If jewelry contains precious or semi- precious stone, importer must provide alternate broker of his choice who is able to handle it.
- Shipments containing knives which are over 15 cm in length double edged with no safety between the blade and handle and thickness over 4 mm. need authorization from the Ministry of Defense (AIMG authorization form).
- Also includes DHEA. Import is prohibited.
- According to the customs legislation, living plants, parts of plants, fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds are considered to be plants.
A Phytosanitary inspection can only be done at the airport in Paris CDG. If the shipment arrives at another UPS import site, customs there is no one assigned to do a Phytosanitary inspection. The shipment must be forwarded to an alternate broker (assigned by the importer). Import delays may occur and accessorial charges may apply.
Products which are subject to phytosanitary inspection have to be stored in an outside warehouse for cooling purposes and arranging the phytosanitary inspections. The outside storage and the phytosanitary inspection cause additional charges. Delays are most likely.
Certain plants which are also classified as food (for example, fruits, nuts, spices) are subject to additional restrictions. Fur further information please see 'Food'.
Plants can only be shipped on contractual base for Special International Commodities.
- The European Union (EU) has implemented specific conditions and detailed procedures for the import of plastic kitchenware (HS-Code 3924 1000 11) made of polyamide and melamine and originated in or consigned from China or Hong Kong (regulation 284/2011). Tableware (for example, plates, flatware, cups) are excluded from the restrictions. The reason for the new regulation were notifications and alerts by the European 'Rapid Alert System'- kitchen tableware was recognized which exceed the thresholds of aromatic amines and formaldehyde released into food.
Based on the regulation, controls must be performed at the point of introduction into the EU by the competent authorities. They include documentary checks on all consignments and identity or physical checks (including laboratory checks) on 10% of the consignments. All consignments of kitchen tableware (HS code 3924 1000) originated or consigned from China or Hong Kong must be accompanied by a declaration confirming that it meets the requirements concerning the release of primary aromatic amines and formaldehyde. The declaration shall be accompanied by a laboratory report that the consignments fulfill the requirements.
The goods and declaration must be examined at the first point of introduction into the EU.
The consignments shall be notified at the first point of introduction at least two working days in advance.
Our main points of entry (Cologne, Germany and East Midlands, United Kingdom) are not competent to perform the checks and forwarding under bond is prohibited without the checks. Products covered by the new regulation and destined to the EU can't be accepted by UPS. Exporters should clearly state on the invoice the material and the country or territory of origin of plastic kitchenware to avoid holds on commodities not subject to the regulation.
- Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
- The importation into, or exportation from France of any rough diamond is prohibited, from whatever source, unless the rough diamond has been controlled through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Rough diamonds, which have become known as conflict diamonds, are defined as diamonds used by rebel movements to finance military action opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments.
The KPCS is a joint government internationally recognized certification system that imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as conflict-free and prevent conflict diamonds from entering legitimate trade.
- A Phytosanitary inspection can only be done at the airport in Paris CDG. If the shipment arrives at another UPS import site, there is no one assigned to do a Phytosanitary inspection. The shipment must be forwarded to an alternate broker (assigned by the importer) or forwarded under customs bond to UPS at Paris CDG. Import delays may occur and accessorial charges may apply.
- All tobacco products are subject to excise duty.
The import of tobacco products can only be accepted on a contractual base for International Special Commodities.
The exact type and quantity of tobacco products must be stated on the invoice.
Commercial shipments imported for resale can only be imported by a certain licensed importer.
Private persons are allowed to import up to 50 cigarettes as a gift for personal use only from another private person. Private individuals are not allowed to buy tobacco products in third countries or territories. Importation of tobacco products bought by private individuals in a third country or territory is only allowed in personal luggage up to certain amounts but not within shipments. For detailed information, please contact your chamber of commerce.
- Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service. For general service restrictions please see info under alcoholic beverages.
Wine and wine products are subject to excise duty. The excise duty is calculated based on the alcoholic strength by volume. This information must be shown on the invoice.
The import of wine and wine products, is also regulated by a market organization of the European Union with rules on labelling and presentation of wine and additional documentation.
The Importation of wine and wine products are subject to the presentation of:
A certificate showing drawn up by a competent body, included on a list to be made public by the Commission, in the products country or territory of origin.
- And an analysis report drawn up by a body or department designated by the products country or territory of origin, in so far as the product is intended for direct human consumption.
No certificate or analysis report need be presented for products originating in and exported from third countries or territories in labelled containers of not more than five litres fitted with a non-reusable closing device where the total quantity transported, whether or not made up of separate consignments, does not exceed 100 litres.
The labels of wine and wine products have to show some the following compulsory particulars like the category of the product (e.g. wine, sparkling wine, liquor wine), the protected designation or protected geographical indication if the wine has such a protection, the actual alcohol strength by volume, an indication of provenance, an indication of the bottler or an indication of the producer or vendor in case of sparkling wine and other product categories of sparkling wine.
The rules are laid down in EU regulation 2009/491. The regulation can be checked on the EU website http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html.