News Digest: British Buyers on the Decline in France & Another Property Declaration Extension!



News Digest: British Buyers on the Decline in France & Another Property Declaration Extension!

Recent studies show that the Brits no longer make up the market share of foreign buyers in France, a third extension has been issued for the new property tax declaration, and a new website aims to simplify customs declarations on non-EU imports. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Airline tax hike in France

France’s nationwide push to encourage sustainable travel has already seen a number of flight routes cancelled – a bill was passed this year to ban short-haul flights in instances where a train route of less than 2.5 hours exists. Now, transport minister Clément Beaune has announced plans to increase taxes on airline tickets in the 2024 French budget.

There’s no indication of how much the taxes would be or what kind of price bump travellers would see in flight tickets, but the good news is that it could potentially see a corresponding fall in train prices. Beaune insisted that more investment was needed in France’s railways, sympathising with public complaints that “often the plane costs less than the train” and promising that the money from the increased taxes would go to fund railway investments.

During the same interview with RMC, he also talked about plans for an EU-wide tax on airline fuel, as well as a new train travel pass that would allow young people in France access to unlimited low-cost tickets.

2. New customs website for EU imports

Post-Brexit, one of the biggest bugbears of British travellers is the new requirement to declare any new purchases or large items being brought into the EU area – a rule that already applies to travellers arriving in France from other non-EU countries. Strict allowances on the value (in the case of electronics, clothes, furniture, and other items) or amount (in the case of alcohol and cigarettes) are in place, and anything exceeding the value will potentially be subject to VAT and customs duties.

Our articles Removals to France After Brexit: What You Need to Know About VAT & Customs Duties and French Customs/VAT When Bringing Items to Your Second Home will talk you through the rules, but there is inevitably still a lot of confusion over the customs declaration forms required and the amount of taxes and duties owed when bringing items into the EU.

To help simplify the process, a new website DéclareDouane has been set up to help travellers to make their declarations online and print or save the relevant declaration form (which you will need to present at the border) prior to travel. Thewebsite is currently in its testing phase (so you will need to click ‘ignore’ or ‘ignorer’ in the top right corner to access the site), but you can use the simulator to work out whether you owe any VAT or customs duties and generate your import declaration. When the website is fully up and running, it will then be possible to pay your taxes and duties up-front via the online portal, saving time (and any unexpected fees) at the border.

3. Third extension for France’s property tax declaration

Another week, another extended deadline for France’s property tax declaration – the ‘declaration d’occupation’! After an initial deadline of June 30th, 2023, the deadline for this new one-off declaration, which is mandatory for all property owners (including non-residents and second-home owners), was first pushed back to July 31st, then last week extended a further 24 hours to August 1st. Now, a further week extension has been announced, with the new deadline this Thursday, August 10th, at midnight.

If you still haven’t completed your declaration, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you out. If you are having problems accessing or completing the form, you can send a message via your personal space online, call the French tax helpline on 0809 401 401, or head into your local tax office or France Services branch to seek assistance.

4. Brits no longer take the lead in foreign property sales

Notaires de France has released its property market report for the second quarter of 2023, and one of the most notable trends among non-resident purchases is the steady decline of British buyers. The graph below shows the breakdown of non-resident buyers from 2012 through 2022, with the Brits (in blue) clearly leading the market up until recent years.

The decline in British buyers started in 2016, unsurprisingly the year that the UK’s Brexit referendum saw the country vote to Leave with a small majority. Since then, sales continued to decline, hitting a new low in 2021 (likely due to Brexit, which finally came into force on January 1st 2021). British buyers started creeping back up in 2022, but the once-dominate Brits now remain in second place behind the Belgians.

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

Previous Article French Property Location Guide: Vichy
Next Article Dossier Facile: Can This Website Make it Easier to Rent in France?

Related Articles

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.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  •  stephanie brett
    2023-08-09 10:24:25
    stephanie brett
    We love and really appreciate this magazine. Especially helpful now as we are finally getting to move to our French home, which I've owned for 12 years. Not easy after Brexit. It's been our dream for so long and now we are finally taking the leap of faith. We love France so much. However, the customs side of things now that UK is no longer a member of the EU (a disasterous decision in my opinion). How detailed does our inventory need to be? France will be our only residence. We don't own a property in England.We aren't bringing anything new into the country. Just our personal belongings and tools to work on our house and garden. We will be moving ourselves with the help of friends in their vans. They will return a week later, whereas we'll be staying . Lucky us . We'd really appreciate your advice if possible please.


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-08-15 13:38:03
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Stephanie, Our article Removals to France After Brexit: What You Need to Know About VAT & Customs Duties is a good place to start, but we do really recommend consulting a professional removals firm as getting the paperwork right really is essential to avoiding charges and each case will be slightly different. These companies will be best placed to advise you whether this is something you can do alone or whether you would be best using a part or full removals service. We'd be happy to put you in touch with one, depending on where you are based in the UK, so you could discuss your options. Best of luck for your move to France! Zoe