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Discussion Starter #1
While in France for a year on a company project beginning in January, I intend to ship my motorcycle over for some much desired European touring. It has been suggested I may be assessed customs and duties of up to 30% and must register the vehicle and license it in France.
Does anyone have any knowledge of the importation and licensing laws? Usually, temporary visitors are not required to pay such duties as long as they ship the vehicle out when they leave.
Regards,
Min
 

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It's fairly common to see the special license plates for cars imported to France under those "temporary" import schemes. Can't say I've ever seen a similar plate on a motorcycle, though.

Technically, you're allowed to import your personal possessions (including vehicles, as long as they are for professional use) tax and duty free only if you are transferring your permanent residence to France. And, in that case, you must have been using your possessions (including vehicles) for at least 6 months prior to the move.

The issue with the motorcycle (or any other vehicle) is that you also have to present documentation that you have paid all the appropriate taxes, including VAT, on the purchase of the vehicle. The US doesn't have VAT, so there's a chance you may get hit for that.

If you're over on an admittedly limited stay, that may not qualify you for the duty-free entry of personal possessions into France.

They've recently reorganized the Service Public website, so this was the best info I could find: Douane à l'entrée en France depuis un pays hors Union européenne : déménagement - Service-public.fr You may be able to find more by hunting around on Service-Public, if your French is up to it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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How do you intend insuring your mororcycle?

If you're going to be bringing it to France on US plates with US insurance, then you should have no problem. I can't point you to the relevant authorative website but France is likely to be like the UK where you'd have no problem bringing your vehicle in on foreign plates and insurance. Most likely you'd be required to sign a customs waiver form pledging not to sell the vehicle within 12 months (no French would look at it anyway unless it was French registered).

You won't be able to get insurance from the French for a non-French-registered motorcycle, and you'll not be able to register it without paying customs and French VAT. Unless, of course, as Bev says, you bring the bike in as part of your belongings as moving to France, in which case it should be exempt. But that's isn't your intention, and if it was, you'd still have the nightmare of trying to register it in France.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your inputs. I'm going to have to provide insurance from a US company, I think. Insofar as the duties and customs are concerned there is supposed to be other special clearance procedures available to students, interns, and "individuals sent on secondment." Supposedly, I can import the vehicle tax and duty-free for up to one year as long as I don't try to sell it over there. A bond may be required.
Given motorcycle rental costs, and the amount of riding I plan, I will just pay the VAT if it is required, but I'm not going to like it. Not my first experience with "not liking" something, though.
 

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If you do decide to officially import it depending on what it is you may find it takes you a year to successfully register it in France :eek:
 
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