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International Auto Shipping to France

May 29, 2008
When shipping an automobile into a foreign country for temporary or permanent use and storage there are a number of factors to take under consideration. The most important of these is cost. International auto shipping can be expensive to begin with and it gets even pricier if you don't do your homework beforehand. For your convenience we have compiled a list of things you should be aware of before you embark on a shipping endeavor.

The first item that you need to investigate is whether your vehicle needs any modifications in order for it to enter the country. France actually allows you to do what is called a temporary import of up to four months which does not require you to meet environmental standards. If you are staying any longer than that you will need to modify your car's emissions.

The second item of concern for international auto shipping is getting together all of the necessary documentation for customs and registration on the other end. In France you will be required to produce a valid registration from the country of origin or an invoice if it is a new vehicle. If the car has come through another European country you will also need a T1 declaration and possibly a movement certificate EUR.1 if the country where the car was manufactured has a trade agreement with France. It is best when making these arrangements to consult with your shipping company to make sure all your papers are in order.

The third item on your list is taxes and fees imposed by customs. As a European Union member country, France assesses a 10% import tax and a value added tax (VAT) of 19.6%. If your car is being imported in from another EU member country the VAT tax will be waived since you have already paid it in the country of origin.

The fourth and final item on the list is to prepare the vehicle itself for transport. Clean out all personal belongings and make sure that there aren't any loose pieces or parts hanging off that you might lose in transit. Make sure that you remove anything that might be a taxable item from the vehicle and search thoroughly through the trunk and under the seats to ensure that there's nothing that could be construed as contraband. Sometimes the presence of something as simple as a carton of cigarettes can create a long delay at customs.

Once you have prepared yourself by examining all of the items on this checklist you need to find a reputable international auto shipping company to handle the transaction for you. When planning and executing something as complex and important as the transport of an automobile it is best to work with an established company that has knowledge and experience in the field.
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