top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Can you bring paint into France from the UK for personal use?

Items which are not meant for commercial use can be brought into France without VAT or customs duties but only up to a certain limit

You may bring paint into France from the UK without paying VAT and customs duties up to a certain limit Pic: TAKAZAWA / Shutterstock

Reader Question: Am I permitted to take paint from the UK to France to use for renovations on my second home? I will be travelling via car and ferry.

You should not encounter problems when taking paint from the UK to France, as long as it is being used for your own home renovations rather than a commercial purpose. 

The value of the paint must also be inferior to €300 if you are coming by car (including a car on a ferry) or train. The threshold is €430 if you are travelling by air or sea.

If the paint was worth more than €300 you would be subject to VAT at 20% on the total value of the items transported.

You may also have to pay customs duties of between 0 and 22%, unless the paint was mostly or fully made in the UK. If proof of UK origin is required, it can be in the form of a receipt or invoice from the seller, with information as to where it was manufactured.

Some UK paint companies will also ship to France, but as this would be a commercial delivery it would be subject to VAT at 20% as well as customs duties if the paint was worth more than €150 and not made wholly or mostly in the UK or the EU.

Ferry restrictions on painting products

If you are driving to France and taking the ferry, you should be aware that limits are often placed on the amount of paint and related products that you can carry with you.

Brittany Ferries states that: “If travelling with a vehicle, you are permitted to carry any amount of water-based paint in the vehicle, and up to a maximum of 10 litres of flammable paint. 

“However, accompanying items such as methylated or white spirit are not permitted.

“Foot passengers are not allowed to carry any kind of paint.”

Irish Ferries told The Connexion that: “We allow flammable paint and paint-related material (maximum 10 litres combined).”

A DFDS spokesperson said that: “Paint is classed as hazardous goods so would not be able to travel in a tourist vehicle.”

We have also contacted P&O Ferries for further information on their policies regarding paint and related items.

Related articles

Brexit: What you can (and cannot) bring into France from UK

Customs declarations needed to bring many items into France

Why was I charged for customs and VAT on an Amazon delivery in France?

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now