Art logistics Guide: Shipping to and from France

We are pleased to present our shipping guide to and from France! Below you will find everything you need to know about how to ship your beautiful art pieces and design pieces to and from France with Convelio.

I- France - A Dynamic Economy in terms of trade

France is a renowned travel destination, ranking 1st as the most visited destination in the world. Its history and culture make it a hub for art, luxury and gourmet cuisine. As the 6th largest export economy in the world, France exported $516B of goods and imported $595B in 2017. According to the OEC, France’s top export destinations are Germany ($69.1B), Belgium-Luxembourg($39.7B), Italy ($39.7B), Spain ($37.6B) and the United States ($36B). The top import origins are Germany ($103B), China ($52.9B), Italy($48B), Belgium-Luxembourg ($44.6B) and Spain ($40.5B). Shipping and receiving art pieces in France will never be an issue starting from the moment you have the right partner, the necessary documentation and an understanding of the ecosystem. 

II- Convelio - Made in France 

Create your account and request quotes via our instant quoting tool or through our Operations team,  and manage all your shipments directly on our platform! 

We take care of the whole value chain, from arranging collection and soft packing to crating, insurance and white glove delivery. Whether you are shipping pieces to or from France, our custom agents will be here to assist you with all the importation and exportation formalities. Thanks to our specialised team we are able to assist you at each stage of the fine art exports formalities. 

For instance, we can provide cultural property certificates for cultural goods that are subject to some regulation due to their technique, value or seniority - to note this certificate to leave France has a maximum validation period of 4 months. We also provide export permits to ship outside Europe, which have a shorter validation period of 2 months. Furthermore, another service that we can provide is CITES formalities for works consisting of elements from species protected by the Washington Convention or by community regulation. The application of re-export permits is valid for a period of 2 months and is offered at a fixed price of €50.  

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III- Tips & Information about Art shipping

Below you will find key practical information about shipping in France! 

A- Customs & Taxes in France for art shipping

Taxation depends on many different considerations. It is unique for each country since it is established by the government, so the taxes and duties will change according to the typology and commercial value of the merchandise, and the VAT imposed by the country.

In France, customs are calculated based on the CIF method - in other words, the import duty and taxes are calculated depending on the value of the piece, as well as the shipping costs. 

CIF = Total cost of a product right up to delivery Duty = duty % x (product price + cost of shipping + cost of insurance) CIF is a pricing term that means that the cost of the goods, insurance and freight (shipping charge) are included in the quoted price.

Tax has a minimum threshold of €22 and VAT is about 20%. More information can be found in the official website of French customs here. Be careful, each country has its own restrictions in terms of importation, so please be sure to check the restricted items list here.

B-  Fine art Shipping documents

As mentioned in our previous article, in order to organise international shipments you will need the following documents: commercial invoice, tax documents, shipping labels and relevant certificates if they apply. At Convelio we try to make your life easier by providing you with a dashboard where you can access all the information about your shipments. 

C-  Holiday and non-working public day in France: 

It is always important to know the holidays and the non-working public days as this can really disrupt your shipment’s ETA. Please find here a list of non-working public days for 2019-2021 that needs to be taken into account whilst organising your transport: 

  • Christmas - Wednesday, December 25, 2019
  • New Year’s Day- Wednesday, January 1, 2020
  • Easter Monday- Monday, April 13, 2020
  • Labour Day- Friday, May 1, 2020
  • Victory 1945- Friday, May 8, 2020
  • Ascension- Thursday, May 21, 2020
  • Pentecost Monday- Monday, June 1, 2020
  • National Holiday- Tuesday, July 14, 2020
  • Assumption- Saturday, August 15, 2020
  • Toussaint- Sunday, November 1, 2020
  • Armistice 1918- Wednesday, November 11, 2020
  • Christmas- Friday, December 25, 2020
  • New Year’s Day- Friday, January 1, 2021
  • Easter Monday- Monday, April 5, 2021
  • Labour Day- Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Victory 1945- Saturday, May 8, 2021
  • Ascension- Thursday, May 13, 2021
  • Pentecost Monday- Monday, May 24, 2021
  • National Holiday- Wednesday, July 14, 2021
  • Assumption- Sunday, August 15, 2021
  • Toussaint- Monday, November 1, 2021
  • Armistice 1918- Thursday, November 11, 2021


We hope that this article was informative, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or need clarifications! 

November 19, 2019