You’re planning to move from Thailand to France, for familial, professional purpose or to retreat? For short or long term? You need to relocate your office in a French city? No matter what your situation is, this page was built to help you in your process. We know how hard it is to find valuable information about this topic on the web, so we put several hours into research and analyse on this subject. Our decade of experience on the Thai relocation market, our unique expertise on France enables us to put all you need to know, on this page.
Here, you will find information about the customs clearing process in France, then we’ll talk about the different freight methods between the two countries and finally we will detail you the different moving services that exists. Also, we put several personal advices through this page, that will serve your situation.
Summary (Click on the subject you are looking for):
- 1.1 Customs process
- 1.2 Taxes exemption
- 1.3 Vehicle importation
- 1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?
Clearing your goods in Thailand is not an easy duty. Our great relationship with the Thai customs makes us the ideal partner to handle your goods in Thailand. France customs process is very simple and clear for an import of personal belongings. Your goods can be easily exempted of tax by following these simple steps.
Without regarding if you are a French citizen or not, your goods will be exempted of taxes when entering in France. The difference resides in the fact that you will have different documents to provide to customs.
If you’re not a French citizen, here is the further documents you need to provide to customs:
- The change of residence certificate (provided by your French Embassy or Consulate)
- Immigration card
- Residency card
- Visa (if any)
- Work permit (if any)
- Proof of residence in France
- Letter of transfer
- Proof of employment from a registered company
For your goods to be tax-free, here is what is required:
- Your personal goods must have no professional purpose at all
- Your personal goods must be acquired at least 6 months before you move
- You must have lived out of the European Union for at least 12 months before your move
- You’re transferring your principal residence to France
- You’re importing your belongings within 12 months after your settlement in France
What should I do to be tax exempted for my relocation to France?
To be not dutiable of any taxes when moving to France, you must provide these documents to customs:
- A detailed packing list dated and signed in two copies, that indicates all the goods and furniture you will transfer to France
- All documents proving that you were living out of the EU and that you’re now settling in France
- Before you leave, you can ask to the embassy or consulate you depend on the certificate of change of residence
- The cerfa form n°10070*33 declaring personal belongings for entrance in France, well completed and signed for all your precious goods and vehicle
You can benefit of a tax exemption on your vehicle if you’re fitting the following requirements:
- You are fixing your main residence to France
- Your vehicle is listed on the two copies of the detailed moving packing list quoted above
- You resided at least 12 months out of the European Union
- You’re using your vehicle since at least six months before the change of residence
- You’ve paid all the necessaries duties and taxes in Thailand
- You’re importing your vehicle in France within 12 months after your change of residence
- You’re still owning the vehicle for at least 12 months after the import
You will have to provide at the competent customs desk the following documents:
- The detailed packing list in two copies with the vehicle mentioned on it
- The cerfa form n°10070*02, well-fulfilled in two copies
- All documents testifying of your principal residence in a country out of the EU and of the definitive transfer of residence to France. You can ask a change of residence certificate to the French Embassy or Consulate, prior to your relocation
- The registration certificate in Thailand or all equivalent document. A translation of this document can be asked. The vehicle must be equipped with valid plate numbers
- The invoice of the vehicle, a translation of this document can also be asked
After this, French customs will provide you with a stamped copy of your packing list, a n° 846 A certificate, that you should present to the prefecture for a French registration within 4 months.
You will be dutiable for the registration of your vehicle for a private use in the following situations:
- If a requirement above is missing
- If you bought the vehicle outside of the European Union
After the custom clearance, customs will provide you a duplicate of the customs statement, a document testifying of the duties and taxes payment and a n° 846 A certificate, that you should present to the prefecture for a French registration within 4 months.
All the goods that have a professional or trade purpose because of their nature or quantity. Although they are authorized to import, you will have duties to pay on them.
Here is the list of the goods that are not free of duty:
- Goods for a secondary residence (duties + 20% VAT)
- Raw materials + semi-finished products
- Alcohol and cellar provisions
As detailed above, for goods destined for a secondary residence, you will have to transmit to customs:
- A certificate from the regional customs directorate of the secondary residence area and its duplicate
- The detailed packing list with the value prices of the goods in €, this signed and dated
- Documents testifying of the ownership or renting
- Documents testifying of the normal residence
- Insurance of the transferred goods
- Bill of Lading
- A well completed cerfa form n°14727*01, supported by any valuable documents
- The dutiable amount in cash or bank check
Customs contact in Thailand
Customs contact in France
Our customs broker inform you
Prohibited & restricted items
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To move to Thailand from France, there isn’t a lot of solution because of the distance separating the two countries. There is sea and air freight. We can couple those solutions with a trucking between the ports/airports and your two residences. Here we’re detailing what you should know about those methods, what can be a benefit or a drawback.
There are two major ports in France. If you need to receive your goods in the southern half of France, we will ship your belongings to the port of Fos-sur-Mer (Marseille), If you need them in the Northern half, we’ll ship them to the port of Le Havre.
We can propose you a full container to these destinations. If you have less than a container to ship, your goods may go to Hong Kong or Singapore first, to be grouped in a container with other goods in destination to France.
*As the transit times are about a month, ocean freight will be a good solution if you can wait for your goods to arrive, or if you’re leaving Thailand after them.
To go to France, your goods will use this very famous sea route that links Europe to SE Asia. First, they will go south to join Singapore. Afterwards, they will cross the Malacca Strait to reach the Indian Ocean. Then, they will attain and pass across the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, to enter in the Mediterranean Sea. If the Port of Arrival is Marseille, they will aim the city directly. If it’s Le Havre your goods will go to the Atlantic Sea by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar and go to Le Havre by going along the Portuguese, Spanish and French Seashore.
Here is a table detailing the transit times between the major ports of Thailand and France:
|Bangkok / Laem Chabang||33 days||30 days|
Sea freight rates
It is difficult to give you a precise price because numerous parameters are required to determine how much you will pay. Regarding your volume, you will have different container possibilities. Above 15 CBM, an FCL (full container) shipment will be more attractive. Below 15 CBM you might consider LCL (groupage) shipment.
*According to your needs, we can provide you with a packaging and/or loading service which also has consequences on the total price.
Why choose us?
A moving consultant will handle your case from A to Z, keeping you up to date on every progress of your relocation. He will find precisely what you need and how we can completely respond to it. Our multicultural and polyglot staff will make communication easy between you and us.
Air freight from Thailand to France will be a good option only on particular occasions. As you might know, an air freight for great shipments is usually a lot more expensive than a sea freight because of the short space available in cargo planes, but also the timeliness of the service.
As France and Thailand have numerous international airports, and direct flights linking the two countries, no matter where you’re moving from in Thailand, and where you’re moving to in France, it will be a feasible solution.
France has 40 international airports covering its territory, and Thailand have 10. As said above, it only depends on two parameters, the dimensions of your goods, and your deadline for your goods to be transferred. We usually recommend air freight for goods smaller than 2 CBM and if you need to receive them in less than two weeks.
For an air freight you should consider about 15 hours for your goods to be transferred from Thailand to France if it’s direct flight, otherwise, you can count 24h to 48h. The complete shipping might take around a week in total if we add the steps above and before the air freight.
*Note that the flight does not include the whole logistics process, some parcel could be stuck in customs for X or Y reason.
Air freight rates
As every air freight is unique, it’s hard to give you a valuable estimation of your freight instantly. Depending on the weight and dimensions of your goods, their estimated value, the filling rate of the cargo planes, the market prices of the kerosene… All of this can have a great influence on your moving price. We will determine as fast as possible all the different costs if you contact us now.
Let’s see together how air freight are calculated. The most important aspect that you have to understand is the difference between actual weight and volumetric weight. Once you get it, you can understand your air freight quotations.
*If the volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight of your box, the carrier will quote based on this weight. You can use online chargeable weight calculators to make it easier, now that you understand how it works.
Why choose us?
Because we spent a lot of time to negotiate our partnerships with the international airlines between Thailand and France, we’re able to provide you a complete range of services and combination at very competitive prices. If you need an Air freight + Trucking, or Air freight + Warehousing + Trucking… The possibilities are huge with SIAM Relocation, and without breaking the bank!
Because your personal belongings are invaluable in your heart, SIAM Relocation always had and still have the same motto: SAFETY FIRST. This explains why we decided to implement extra services, aiming to guarantee an optimal security of the transfer.
International freight is always confronted to chance. A bad weather, a breakage, a theft, a loss, an over frequented terminal are events that can delay or deteriorate your personal belongings. Therefore, we recommend you subscribe to our insurance program called SiamCare.
Depending on the type of insurance you choose, your goods can be covered in case of damages caused by bad handling by the cargo company, bad weather, fumigation operation. Some covers theft also.
*Our consultants are here to make sure you choose the service you need. feel free to contact him!
Your pets must satisfy the obligations below to enter the French territory:
- Being identified by transponder (microchip) implanted under the skin (ISO norm 11784 or annex A of the ISO norm 11785). If the microchip isn’t in conformity with these norms, you need to provide the corresponding scanning system also.
- Being up to date with their rabies vaccination
- To undergo a serum titration of anti-rabies antibodies carried out in a laboratory approved by the EU at least 30 days after vaccination of the animal. The result of the serum titration should be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU / ml.
*Special note Animal lover: You can only import 5 pets to France at the most. It is considered as being on trade purposes if it’s more.
Imports of dogs ranged in the first and second categories
Imports of dogs raised to attack (1st category), that belongs to the Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), Mastiff (boer bulls) ou Tosa races is strictly forbidden in France.
Imports of dogs raised to defend or shepherd (2nd category), that belongs to the Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, Tosa races is allowed in France.
Since 2008, you must receive a detention permit by the mayor of your town of residence, in order to own one of these dogs. This is what you must do/show to obtain this permit:
- Your dog must be identified with a microchip
- The antirabies vaccine must be valid
- You must subscribe to an insurance covering damages caused by the animal to a third party
- You must obtain a certificate testifying of your ability to own this type of pets. It is issued at the end of a training, by an approved organism.
When in public places, such dogs must be always muzzled and kept on a leash
The animal should be accompanied by a sanitary certificate and the proprietor’s statement. At the arrival, the pet should be put 30 days in a certified quarantine.
Imports of rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and aquarium fish
To import these animals, you should provide a veterinary certificate testifying of their good health. Mammals must be treated against parasites.
Cartons are still the main item used to pack small and medium goods, even if it’s an old school method. Of course, you can use rigid plastic boxes, if you prefer, to pack fragile goods. We advise you to wrap all your fragile/sensitive goods with Bubble wrap, like glass or porcelain to prevent breakage.
For voluminous and heavy items like furniture… We can use wooden boxes to pack them. This gives them a better protection during the transfer and ease and secure the handling steps. The wooden box will be inevitably fumigated, to avoid transfer of alien living beings to France.
As mentioned before, you can ask us our competitive warehousing services in Thailand and in France also. If you’re leaving Thailand a considerable time after your relocation, if there is an urge or a particular situation, we can store your goods safely for the needed time.
Moving your company/association/government agency offices, is also a domain where we are entirely proficient. We’ve worked numerous time for famous companies or government organizations that are relocating their collaborators out of Thailand.
To suit all the different needs and budget we build three different packages, that enables you to take care of some steps or to let us do absolutely everything.
First, you must know that depending on your country, it will be more or less easy to obtain any type of visa to France. If your country belongs in the Schengen space, you will not need a visa to enter and stay in France. If your country isn’t in the Schengen space, you must consider your passport rank on Passport Index. It will indicate you how difficult it might be to obtain a French visa.
Here is a list of the types of Visa in France you can apply for:
- French Tourist/Visitor Visa
- French Visa for Business Purposes
- France Visa for Medical Purposes
- France Visa for Culture, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purpose
- France Visa for Members of Official Delegations
- France Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other type of Internship Purposes
- France Visa For the Wife/Husband of a French citizen
- French Airport Transit Visa
- France Visa for Underage Children
Doing business in France can be interesting, in various domains.
French infrastructures are very well-developed in general. France has the best road and highway network in the world. There are 40 international airports well distributed in all its territory, ports are also numerous and well-managed. The rail network is in great condition with high speed train linking the major cities.
*The workforce in France is very qualified, and one of the most productive in the world.
France is very attractive and on the edge of tourism, aeronautics and space, energy, environment, pharma industry, luxury, food and agriculture.
To fill in its lack of innovation, France is largely investing in start-ups and entrepreneurship. Projects like Station F, which is the biggest start-up incubator in the world are testifying it. Also, France was the second most represented country in term of number of start-ups at the CES2018, far above other countries.
5.2 Living in France
*France has one of the richest environmental and climate diversity in the world.
This is explained because of its continental climate in the centre and the east, oceanic climate in the west, tempered and Mediterranean climate in the south, without forgetting the tropical climates in its Caribbean, south-American and Asian territories.
If you’re into cities, you might like living in Paris, Lyon or Marseille, the three majors. You will also enjoy the great mountains that France has to give, like the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central or the Jura. Maybe water is very important to live nearby for you, so the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts will be your spots. And if you appreciate quiet and peaceful countryside, there is also plenty of it.
Cost of life
Cost of life depends a lot on where you’re living in France, some places are extremely expensive, and others are absolutely affordable.
Let’s talk first about cities. Paris cost of life is very high for almost everything, on average the square meter price is of 10000 €. In the other major cities that are Lyon and Marseille, the square meter price is less high, being respectively of 3600 € and 2500 € on average.
Some regions are particularly expensive to live in. For example, The Alps (Savoie, Haute-Savoie), The French Riviera, the cities in The Basque Country, some areas of the Atlantic coast and the Corsica Island are places where the cost of living is similar to Paris. Other places that are not mentioned are usually affordable.
Opportunities are present in numerous domains, but most of them are for highly qualified (senior) profiles. You will easily find a job in the industries detailed in the business part above.
Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in France.
Police Emergency: 17
Here are the best real estate companies in France. They can be of a great help to guide you through your relocation.
Here are some visa agencies to help you with your administrative procedure.