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Shipping To… France

Posted On 29th June 2016


With France being so quick and easy for Brits to get to – in some cases easier than many places in the UK – it’s no wonder it’s become such a popular place to live, work and trade with. Whether you’re sending a parcel to a loved one living abroad or shipping goods to an eBay customer, you want to make sure your parcel arrives as its destination safely, so, before you send, familiarise yourself with the following guidelines and restrictions.

Delivery timings

The time it takes for your parcel to reach its destination will depend on the shipping service you use and your requirements. For those who require urgent delivery, paying a little more could see their package arrive after as little as three or four days, while more budget options could add a little more time.

Tracking your package while it’s in transit will give you a clearer idea of where it is in its journey. Something to bear in mind is that in France, there are 11 national public holidays throughout the year, so if your delivery collides with one of these then it could affect how quickly your parcel

Dos and don’ts of preparing your parcels

Parcels that are too heavy or in poor condition may take longer to deliver – or may not get delivered at all. Always check your courier service’s weight limits and pack your goods in a sturdy box.

When it comes to preparing your parcel, make sure any fragile items are carefully wrapped and secured with padding. The parcel itself should be sealed at the top and bottom with reinforced tape. The addressee’s name should be clearly written, with the surname in capital letters, while the address should be clear and mustn’t exceed seven lines – the last line should read ‘FRANCE’ (in capitals). Providing the recipient’s mobile number on the parcel could help with delivery.

Shipping restrictions

As with any international delivery, you’ll need to check your package complies with the country’s guidelines and restrictions. Because the UK and France are both members of the EU, there are fewer prohibitions than with other countries, but they exist nonetheless. Items forbidden from entering France include: newspapers and other printed products; precious metals; fabrics; glassware; toys; flammable substances; and money (both banknotes and coins). Certain foodstuffs, beverages and medication are also restricted.

Check to make sure your courier service doesn’t have any other prohibitions in place before you send your parcel, as failing to pay attention to these could mean your parcel is rejected and consequently doesn’t get delivered.

Things you need to know about France

Another benefit of moving goods within the EU is that no customs documentation will be required for your parcel to make it across the French border. However, if you’re a business, you will need to consider things such as VAT and whether the goods you’re sending require a licence.

The EU is a single market, which means fewer trade restrictions and a simpler shipping process. This also makes life easier for people sending gifts and personal belongings to friends or family.