News Digest: UK-France Customs Confusion & France Media is Hiring!



News Digest: UK-France Customs Confusion & France Media is Hiring!

Summer temperatures are heating up across the country, France celebrates its National Day, and it’s the last chance to sign up for our latest free webinar. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Summer heats up the southeast

Ten départements in eastern and southeastern France have been put on orange alert for heatwaves (canicule) this week, with yellow alerts also issued for the entire southeast region. Highs of between 35°C and 40°C are expected by the end of the week, with some of the highest temperatures predicted along the French Riviera coast.

Soaring temperatures are predicted for the rest of the summer in France, along with frequent storms (last weekend, for example, saw much of the southwest and west coast hit by hail and thunderstorms). As of this week, 42 départements across France are also on Code 3 and 4 alert levels for drought, meaning that strict water restrictions are in place. Rules often vary depending on the commune, so it’s best to check locally (your local Mairie will be able to advise you), but you can also check the map detailing all the different alert levels here.

2. Clarification over UK-France customs allowances

Since Brexit, travellers and second-home owners arriving in France from the UK have been subject to new non-EU laws regarding duty-free allowances when bringing newly purchased items into the country. Our articles French Customs/VAT When Bringing Items to Your Second Home and Post-Brexit Customs Restrictions & Allowances Between France and the UK cover all the details, but it seems that there has been some confusion over the allowance amounts.

Specifically, items bought in the UK and imported to the EU/France are free from customs duties and TVA (VAT) as long as they fall within a personal allowance of €430 per person if arriving by plane or ship or €300 by car or train. However, we’ve heard of readers getting caught out when travelling to France, by ferry – in a car. Unfortunately, although the wording is a bit unclear, in this instance, the applicable allowance is that for travel by car, not by ship. So, if you are driving over on the ferry, be aware that the lower limit will apply.

3. Bastille Day

This Friday, July 14th, is France’s Fête Nationale (National Day), or Bastille Day as it’s commonly known to anglophones (don’t call it this in France, though, as locals will be unlikely to know what you’re talking about!), and it’s a bank holiday or jour férié throughout the country.

July 14th marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the symbolic start of the French Revolution, and today it’s celebrated by parades (most notably the grand military parade along the Champs-Elysées in Paris), public fireworks displays, fireman’s balls (bals des pompiers), and other celebrations.

Due to the recent riots (which thankfully now seem to have died down), the French government has extended its ban on the sale of fireworks until July 15th, so there will likely be fewer private fireworks displays taking place than usual. However, don’t worry, public displays will still be going ahead, and most towns and villages around France organise some kind of public celebration.

4. France Media Group is hiring!

FrenchEntrée’s parent company, France Media Group (which also includes France Today, Bonjour Paris, Complete France, Taste of France, and French Property News magazine) is hiring!

We’re looking for a new French-speaking sales consultant who will be responsible for pitching our products and services to French businesses, specifically targeting estate agents and property services. The position is based remotely and operates on a commission-based model.

We need someone who is motivated, results-driven and can identify and prospect potential clients in the French market. If you are passionate about sales, have a strong network in the French real estate industry, and thrive in a commission-only based environment, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

P.S. Don’t miss our retiring to France webinar!

Our next FrenchEntrée webinar is THIS WEEK on Thursday, 13th July 2023, at 11am London (BST), when I’ll be joined by a panel of experts from Blevins Franks, Agence Axa International, and Moneycorp to answer all your questions on retiring to France.

This is the second of our series of free Moving to France webinars, and we’ll be taking a look at pensions, the French healthcare system, managing your international finances, and French inheritance law and estate planning.

Sign up now for free here (and if you can’t attend, sign up anyway so we can send you the free replay), and I’ll look forward to seeing you all there!

See you there!

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  • Peter Duff
    2023-07-11 06:51:06
    Peter Duff


    • Dina Junkermann
      2023-07-12 08:42:32
      Dina Junkermann
      I agree. La Fête Nationale, or Le Quatorze Juillet. Not Bastille Day, despite what you might have learned at school.