11 April 2006

What can I bring? -- Clearing customs in France is easy, if you're not packing contraband

Ever wonder what you can bring into the country when visiting France? Here is a short list of items (and quantities) that can be brought into the country. (Although I don't know who would want to bring wine INTO France -- maybe a Californian.)

Visitors may bring:
200 cigarettes (or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars)
2 litres of wine
1 litre of spirits
50g of perfume
one-quarter-liter of eau de toilette
100g of tea
500g of coffee
As you can see from the information below, starting your own little war or becoming a drug salesman is ill-advised for tourists travelling to France. Customs agents frown upon such things. I noticed there is a form that one can fill out to get the guns permanently imported. But, for your short trip with the wife and kids...you're just plain out of luck, Rambo.

Here are a few items you'll clearly want to leave at home:
machine guns and submachineguns; all automatic, semiautomatic and repeating rifles intended for use as military weapons; all semiautomatic rifles firing more than 3 shots, repeating rifles firing more than 10 shots and air or gas rifles whose magazines hold more than 5 cartridges; practically all handguns (pistols and revolvers), except starter guns and alarm pistols - provided they are not intended to fire bullets or shot; the ammunition thereof. In addition: narcotics such as opium, morphine, codeine, thebaine, heroin, methadone and related drugs and substances; depressants such as barbiturates, methaqualone, meprobamate, benzodiazepines; stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines, anorectic drugs, and related substances; cannabis (marijuana, herbal cannabis, cannabis resin, hashish, or hashish oil); hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline and peyote, STP, DOB, MDA, MDMA, phencyclidine (PCP) and related drugs. (If you have a prescription, some of these items are allowed.)

(sources: parisinfo.com and embassy of france)

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