As one of our closest neighbours geographically, there is a huge amount of trade between the UK and France each year. It offers British e-commerce retailers a significant opportunity for growth into the European market, but what are postage costs to France, and what do UK retailers need to be aware of?
Standard international letter tariffs
For mass mailing, we are able to optimise the process to deliver the best price and return on investment. Asendia is jointly owned by La Poste, the national postal operator of France, so we are perfectly positioned to help you deliver to this important destination. There is more information on the services we can offer e-commerce retailers delivering to France at the end of this article.
Do I need to complete a customs label for postage to France?
At present, there is no requirement for attaching a customs label to goods being sent to any EU country, including France. However, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit at the end of this year (2020), you will need to complete a customs declaration form CN22 (for items with a value up to £270) or a CN23 (for items with a value over £270).
French address format and postal codes
To ensure your letters or parcels arrive at their destination on time and without any problems, it is of course essential that you understand French postal codes and use the correct address format.
There are a maximum of seven lines to a French address, although only some of them are required:
- Line 1: Name and title of the recipient*
- Line 2: Secondary address information, for example apartment number
- Line 3: Access information, for example building name, entrance number
- Line 4: Street name and number*
- Line 5: Any other additional information to help with delivery, for example PO box
- Line 6: Postal code and city/town name*
- Line 7: Country of destination**
** Required for international delivery
A couple of tips for writing addresses for mail bound for France: you can shorten Madame, Monsieur and Mademoiselle to Mme, M and Mlle; write the addressee’s surname in capital letters.
French postal codes are five digits long and include only numbers, similar to US ZIP codes. The first two numbers indicate the city or town, while the other three numbers indicate which post office will deliver the letter or parcel
An exception to consider is a system called Courier d’Entreprise à Distribution Exceptionnelle, or CEDEX. This system is used for categories of non-standardised mail, including recipients receiving large numbers of post, as well as PO boxes.
How Asendia can help
We offer a wide range of solutions that can be tailored to your needs, including:
- Premium Goods by Colissimo - Colissimo is the leading delivery service in France and are trusted by French consumers. This service is for parcels weighing up to 30kg.
- Fully Tracked Goods - full tracking of your parcels, ideal for customers wanting to monitor each stage of the fulfilment journey.
- Standard Goods - designed to deliver your small goods in the most cost effective way possible, minimising customs and VAT charges.
- Direct Mail and Business Mail - tailored solutions to help you grow your business more quickly.
- Premium Catalogues - a dedicated solution for distributing catalogues to France. This service allows you to adapt your catalogue to your brand, not postal criteria, increase the number of products you can promote and include inserts, offers and free gifts.
Want to find out more about how Asendia can help your business with mail fulfillment to France? Get in touch with us below.