European customs: calculation, regulations and restrictions

If you are involved in international trade, you need to know about European customs duties. These fees are the taxes and import duties you have to pay when you import goods into the European Union. We will guide you through the different steps to calculate customs fees, how to make customs declarations, the customs verification process, clearing goods through customs, permitted and prohibited products, penalties imposed and how to release a blocked parcel.

How to calculate EU customs fees?

The TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the EU) is a multilingual database containing all the information on applicable customs measures for the European Union. By using the TARIC code for the product you wish to import, you can find the customs tariffs according to your country of origin and destination.

To estimate the customs duties and taxes for an import from outside the EU, it is important to take into account the customs value of the goods, the transport and insurance costs, as well as the customs duty specific to the product and its country of origin. The VAT applicable in France must also be taken into account, being 20%.

For precise information on the processes and tariff calculations, it is recommended to consult the French customs website or to contact a specialist.

How to make customs declarations with European customs?

Before you can submit a customs declaration to Customs, you must first create a user account on their online portal. You can then use the dedicated online service (DSN) to complete and submit your declaration.

You will need to provide detailed information about the goods, such as their country of origin and value, as well as the transport costs, insurance, customs duty and VAT applicable depending on the type of product and country of origin.

There are several types of customs declaration depending on the nature of the goods being imported or exported. For example, the professional customs declaration (PCD) is a collective declaration that can be used when several economic operators wish to make a declaration through an authorised company.


What is the European Customs verification process?

The customs verification process varies according to the type of goods being imported or exported, as well as the customs regulations in force in the country of origin and the country of destination.

In general, the customs verification process involves the examination and verification of DPD documents and information on the declared goods. Customs officers may also carry out physical inspections of the goods to ensure that they match the information provided in the declaration.

Goods may also be subject to safety, health or hygiene checks, depending on the type of product and the regulations in force. Customs officers may also carry out checks for counterfeit, fake, stolen or prohibited goods.

How does the clearance of goods at European customs work?

Customs clearance of goods is the declaration and payment of taxes and duties on goods imported or exported to the EU. This process requires a customs declaration which includes the customs value, country of origin and tariff classification of the goods.

Customs clearance can be carried out by the importer, exporter, a customs representative or a customs broker. Security, health or hygiene checks may also be carried out, as well as physical inspections to ensure that the goods comply with the information provided in the declaration.

Once the declaration has been submitted and the taxes and duties have been paid, the goods can cross the customs border and be traded on the European market.

Products authorised by European customs

Europe Customs allows the import and export of many products, including :

  • Food products: Food products such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, etc., are allowed as long as they comply with EU health and food standards Electronic products: Electronic products such as computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc., are allowed, but they must comply with EU safety and electromagnetic compatibility standards
  • Textile products: Clothing, footwear, fabrics, etc., are allowed, but must comply with EU safety and labelling standards.

Products banned by European customs

Customs prohibits the import and export of certain products for reasons of safety, health and public morality. Prohibited products include:

  • Weapons and explosives: The import and export of arms, ammunition and explosives is strictly prohibited.
  • Dangerous substances: Chemicals, pesticides, medicines, drugs, etc., are prohibited, unless they are used for medical or scientific purposes and are authorised by the competent authorities.
  • Counterfeit products: The import and export of counterfeit products, such as watches, clothes, bags, etc., is prohibited.

The sanctions imposed by European customs

Sanctions can be imposed for non-compliance with EU customs regulations. The severity of the sanctions may vary depending on the nature of the violation. Possible sanctions may include fines, confiscation of goods, prohibition of import or export of goods, and criminal prosecution.

However, it is important to note that customs are responsible for enforcing EU customs regulations, but other EU bodies are responsible for implementing sanctions. These bodies may be the EU Council, the United Nations or other governmental groups.

How do I know if my parcel is blocked at European customs?

If you are concerned about the condition of your parcel and suspect that it may be stuck in customs, there are several steps you can take to determine its location and whether there is a problem. Firstly:

  • Check the delivery status of your package using the tracking number provided or by accessing your account on the carrier's website. You will be able to see if the package has been held up or blocked by customs, or if there are any other delivery problems.
  • If you are still concerned, contact your carrier directly for further information on the location and status of your parcel, and the procedures for retrieving it.
  • If you cannot get a clear answer from your carrier, contact European customs to find out the status of your parcel. It is important to note that the parcel may be blocked for various reasons, such as non-compliance with EU customs rules or non-payment of duties and taxes.

If your parcel has been detained at customs and you have to pay additional charges, it may be wise to consult a customs representative or tax adviser for advice on the best course of action.

How to unblock a parcel at European customs?

To release a parcel held at customs, you will probably have to provide additional information or supporting documents to prove the legality of your goods. If duty and taxes have not been paid, you will also have to pay them to get your parcel back.

Here are some steps you can take to try to unlock your package:

  • Contact customs: If you haven't heard of customs and you think your parcel is stuck, you can contact them directly to get information about the status of your parcel and what you need to do to unblock it.
  • Provide additional information and documents: If customs asks you for additional information or documents to prove the legality of your goods, make sure you provide them with what they ask for in a timely manner.
  • Pay the duty and taxes: If duty and taxes have not been paid, you will need to pay them in order to collect your parcel.
  • Wait for the package to be released: Once you have provided all the necessary information and documents and paid the duty and taxes, you should wait for your package to be released.

It is important to note that the process of releasing a detained parcel can be lengthy and time consuming. If you have specific questions about your parcel or need advice on how to retrieve it, it is recommended that you contact a customs representative or tax advisor for specialist help and advice.