Bringing hi fi equipment into France

I live in Charente Maritime and am currently in the UK. Richer Sounds currently have a very tempting AV receiver and speaker package on offer which I’m keen on buying and bringing back with me.
Does anyone know what the duty/import regulations are? I don’t want to bring the whole lot back and then get whacked for a few hundred euros on top, but I can’t find out details anywhere. Has anyone done this?
Many thanks

For personal use goods up to 430€ if arriving by air or sea, 300€ otherwise. Each traveller over the age of 15 gets the same allowance (under 15 - 150€). Two people travelling together can bring in goods to the value of 860€ but the allowance cannot be combined to cover a single item > 430€


A reply of no use whatsoever to me, except it demonstrates how well the SF community functions!

Regularly use eurotunnel in a car. Never been stopped, nor have we ever seen another car stopped, for a search of vehicle contents.

Different for vans though, which are ‘often’ searched.

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I think that’s unusual, because we regularly see cars being diverted and have been ourselves a few times, including for a search.

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I must admit not only have I never been stopped coming into France on the ferry, I’ve never seen a hint of the Douanes even looking like they might be thinking of checking anyone.

I must look well shifty then. Or maybe it’s 'er indoors.

For me, it varies from time to time but when I was doing 20-25 crossings a year, I’d get checked on about 1 in 3 transits. They probably interpreted the frequency of movement as suspicious.

Often diverted for drugs and explosive swabs, but never for a contents search.

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I was definitely searched more often at Dover on the way back to France by the UK enforcement agency when driving the Trafic van than the car. If the car was searched, it tended to be the once over, open boot, open windows, and peer in. The van would have the contents of the space behind the seats emptied and inspected. Can’t recall the French ever doing that though, the last time I had a full car inspection (absent the occasional drug/explosive swab testing) would have been back in the early 90’s crossing into France at Strasbourg from Germany at midnight. They put the sniffer dog in the car as well !

OH and/or I must look particularly dodgy… as we often (but not always) get checked… sometimes it’s just the wipe-over and under… sometimes it’s the full whammy, although not had to dig right through a bootful of stuff for some years now… but they always ask for the boot to be opened…

I would not assume that we could sail through… and if we do, it’s a nice surprise…

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Hi Tim - If you live in France, therefore have a carte de séjour, and presumably drive on French plates, you will not be waved into the ‘non-EU’ lane.

If the package exceeds that will Richer Sounds give separate invoices for the amp and the speakers? I’ve done that successfully in the distant past.

Well you could always buy one, walk out of the shop, walk back in and buy the other if necessary.

Is an amp and speakers not two separate items in hifi terms. (Not including all in one units that are not really hifi)

Snob! :joy:

I still have a NAD 7120 in working order, so I’m at the opposite end of the hifi spectrum!


Indeed that are, the thing is that as it’s a package Richer Sounds may want to invoice it as one. Though in the good old days they’d write anything you liked on a receipt. I still have a NAD 3020 amp I bought from them in 1979. Despite having had many other much more expensive amps over the years the NAD still sounds best to me. Thank goodness I never got ride of it. I still have my Micro-Seiki turntable from that era too. Who would have guessed it’s all come back into fashion :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


NAD 2200 and NAD 1155 pre here.:grinning:


Had the choice between that and a Luxman, chose the Luxman wish I hadnt

Now we are talking posh :slightly_smiling_face: Lovely.