British e-commerce retailers are frequently sending parcels to France, but there are some rules that dictate how and when you can send packages into the country.
We've put together this very brief guide for retailers looking to sell into France. You'll get more of a feel for restricted items, required paperwork, and pricing structures that will impact your experience selling to France .
Make Sure It's None of the Following Restricted Items
You can only send certain items into France. There are some restrictions that dictate what is allowed. These restrictions include:
- Drinks or other liquids over 1L or containing alcohol over 24% ABV (vodka, whisky, rum).
- There are restrictions on some foods like vegetables, fruit, seeds, meat, fish, and dairy.
- Toiletries including aerosols, perfumes, aftershave, nail varnish (or polish or gel), or liquids over 1l are not allowed.
- Tobacco or manufactured tobacco substitutes, along with e-cigarettes, are prohibited and restricted at various levels.
- Medicines, vaccines, and medical and surgical instruments may all be restricted.
- Valuable items may not be eligible for posting; check restrictions of coins, banknotes, jewellery, precious metals, pearls, stones, etc.
The Correct Paperwork
Certain things need to be in order before you can send mail into France. You'll need to meet these guidelines (and have some paperwork) in order to post your items.
You don't need a customs label to send mail to France right now, but it will likely be required after December once the UK’s current Withdrawal Agreement with the EU comes to an end.
It's important to use the proper address format when you want to send something to France. The Royal Mail says:
- You may shorten Madame, Monsieur and Mademoiselle to Mme, M, and Mlle.
- Write the addressee's surname in capitals to avoid confusion
- The five-digit postcode is written before the city, on the same line
- Write 'FRANCE' in capital letters on the last line of the address
- Write the addressee's mobile telephone number on your parcel
Packaging a parcel for posting to France does require some specific steps. This helps ensure the package arrives in one piece and helps keep you in compliance with our own postal rules and France's post guidelines.
Pick a strong, decent box -- choose a double-lined one if you're sending more than 10kg in weight. Use packing like styrofoam or bubble wrap and then tape it up with high-quality packing tape.
If you have questions about safely packing goods to mail, always err on the side of caution. The safer and more specific your protection is, the more likely your parcel is to remain intact through transit.
Consider the Type of Service You Want
You can select from different levels of service when you send mail to France. For example:
- Do you want it tracked and signed?
- Do you want low cost?
- Next-day delivery?
The type of service you choose will influence the price of sending a package to France. Simpler service is cheaper; tracking, signature requirements, and expedited delivery all usually make posting cost more.
The price of sending a parcel to France depends on your parcel's size and weight. Also, if the item (or items) inside are gifts that total over a certain amount, you may also need to pay more to send the package.
Asendia UK specialise in e-commerce fulfilment for British retailers. For any and all of your e-commerce mailing needs, contact us at Asendia today. We'll help you determine the best way for your business to send parcels to France, and ensure that your parcels are delivered with confidence.