Customs and tax-free shopping

When you take a plane,you also cross national borders. In this section, we help you to understand the customs formalities in force at Bordeaux Airport

Arrivals from a European Union member country

Purchases you have made for your personal use in another European Union member state don’t need to be declared at customs and you don’t need to pay any tariffs or extra taxes for them. 

Important: Certain quantities of tobacco products and alcohol may be subject to customs control.

Arrivals from a country outside the European Union (a third-country) or a French overseas region

You do not need to declare goods brought in from a third-country or pay tariffs or taxes on them if their value or (in the case of tobacco products and alcohol) quantity is below a certain level.

If you go over the limit, you must declare your goods to customs so that you can pay the relevant taxes and tariffs.

To make it easier to go through customs, you can get a travel document (known as a “carte de libre circulation” in France) for personal items such as jewellery, computers and cameras.

Formalities for all travellers entering or leaving France

This must be for your personal use only.

Formalities depend on whether you are entering from a third-country or a member state of the European Union.

If you are leaving or entering France with €10,000 or more on your person, you must make a customs declaration.

Depending on the category they fall into, you must get prior import consent and an import or export licence for firearms, shotguns and ammunition for hunting or other purposes and for antique guns. 

There are specific limits for the amounts of different categories of animal product (other than meat, meat-based products and dairy produce) that each traveller can carry across national borders.

If you are in possession of or transporting specimens of species protected by the Washington Convention or EU regulations, or any products which contain such specimens, you must be prepared to prove you have obtained permission to do so.

As part of efforts to protect national cultural heritage, some artworks and cultural artefacts are subject to specific export regulations.

Duty free

Duty free

Passengers travelling to third-countries can buy from duty free at the airport.

There is no limit to the number of items you can buy, or their value – however, they might be taxed when you arrive at your destination.

Tax free forms

Travellers who habitually reside outside the European Union can have VAT taken off the price they pay for goods bought in France from outlets that provide tax-free shopping and electronic tax free forms. 

Who can shop tax-free?

You must:

  • Be a resident of a third-country when you buy your items; 
  • Spend less than six months in France;
  • Be aged 16 or over.

How do you shop tax-free?

VAT is only exempted from items you buy in your capacity as a tourist. To be eligible, you must purchase more than €175 worth of items (VAT included) in a single store, on a single day.

When you make your purchase, the vendor will give you a tax free form, which you and the vendor must both sign. By signing this form, you are agreeing to carry out certain formalities.

Within three months of the end of the month when you made your purchase, you must leave the country with your purchases and have your tax free forms signed as you leave the local customs area.

What you need to do at Bordeaux Airport

To get your tax free forms signed, go to the VAT exemptions desk (“guichet détaxe”) in the customs area in Hall A of Departures (1st floor). It is essential that you do this before you go through security screening and enter the departure lounge.

Customs information on BREXIT

To follow the latest news and customs conditions, find all the information relating to BREXIT on the government website.