What are the procedures for importing a car into France from America? J.D.

IMPORTING a vehicle into France can be costly unless you are simply visiting temporarily for up to six months.

Under normal circumstances, bringing one in will involve paying customs duties calculated on the value of the car, at 10%, as well as paying VAT at 20%. If you bought it recently and have the invoice, this will be used as the basis of the calculation.

If not, an estimate will be made based on second hand values. You will need to submit to customs the US registration document and an invoice if applicable.

Once in France you apply to your prefecture to re-register the car with French plates and this is likely to require some modifications for French roads (check with the
manufacturer in the US before considering bringing it to France).

For the latter you will need to have it checked by the local DRIRE.

However, if you move house to France and have been living in the US for more than a year, you can bring the car in free of duty and VAT if you have owned it for at least six months, have paid all applicable US taxes on it and it is mentioned in the list of belongings you are importing.

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