Are you also wondering what to consider when travelling to beautiful France? What identity documents do you need and what is the situation when travelling by air to the French overseas territories in the Caribbean, Africa or the South Seas?
Whether you are allowed to take your pet to France and what import and export restrictions you need to comply with? Here you will find out the most important entry requirements for France so that you can have your dream vacation well informed and enjoy it with all your senses.
What identity documents do I break for entry into France and overseas?
Like Germany, France is a Schengen country and a member of the European Union. This allows German citizens and all other citizens of the European Economic Area, the EU and Switzerland to travel to our western neighbour with a visa-free ID card or passport.
If your documents are no longer valid, you can still travel safely, provided that your ID documents have expired for a maximum of one year. This even applies to the provisional passport, but not to the provisional ID card.
You apply for provisional ID documents when the validity date of your current ID is no longer sufficient and an express procedure for issuing a new document is no longer possible. In the citizen’s office of your city, you will receive the provisional passport, valid for one year but not renewable, issued immediately.
Your child needs a separate passport from birth to the age of twelve, followed by an identity card or passport. Immigrant minors who have not reached the age of 16 and travel without a legal guardian should definitely carry a certified permit.
France has various outlying areas that can be reached after a flight of several hours and sometimes also during a cruise. As a German citizen, you travel visa-free to Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, La Réunion and Mayotte with a valid passport or ID card.
This also applies to the so-called COM states New Caledonia, Saint-Barthélemy and St. Martin as well as French Polynesia, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and Wallis-et-Futuna. If your flight route includes a stopover in a third country, a passport valid for at least six months may be required.
Before departure, check-in which country you may have a stopover and what entry requirements apply here. This also applies to the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean, which has not only a French but also a Dutch part with Princess Juliana International Airport. Would you like to stay in one of the heavenly overseas regions for more than three months? Then apply to the French Embassy in Berlin or the French Consulate in Frankfurt for a long-term visa.
Border controls have been reintroduced on mainland France and are being carried out on a random basis at the national borders with Spain, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland.
Until the end of 2019, there may therefore occasionally be waiting times at the border. Checks are also possible by air and sea. Therefore, it is best to always travel with a passport or ID card and remember that the provisional ID card must be valid.
Can I travel to France with my pet?
Look forward to your trip to historic France and go with up to five animals to the land of love, fashion and culinary delights. From six animals, separate regulations apply, as well as for certain animal species, such as poultry.
All important information can be found in the EC regulation 998/2003 of December 29th, 2014. Since July 3, 2011, your animal needs a microchip or a legible tattoo that was created before this date to travel to France.
Both serve the purpose of identification. Also keep in mind the EU pet passport, which documents the required rabies vaccination and all other health precautions for the animal. You can get the pet passport from your local health department or some veterinarians who have an exhibition permit.
Your pet receives the required vaccination against rabies as soon as it is at least twelve weeks old. A refresher should take place at the latest after one year. After the first vaccination, it takes a waiting time of 21 days before you can drive over the Rhine with your little darling. If the animal is less than three months old, vaccination against rabies and therefore entry into France with an animal is not possible.
The entry requirements for France state that certain dog breeds are not allowed to enter the country. These include fighting dogs of the first category. When travelling with dogs of the second category, numerous assessments must be carried out in France, making a short stay practically impossible.
For a long-term vacation, inquire in the town hall of the destination. If you are travelling to France with a horse, you need an EU passport and a sanitary certificate in addition to your identification. In addition, when entering France with any animal by plane, the conditions of each airline should be checked.
What can I bring to France? – Import and customs regulations
The entry requirements for France allow you to import objects and goods into the country in unlimited quantities for your own use within the EU. Some goods are subject to quantity restrictions to ensure private use.
These include both tobacco and alcohol and coffee or caffeinated products. With 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, as well as 200 cigars and 1kg smoking tobacco, the quantities that you can import these goods far exceed your own needs on vacation.
The import of alcoholic beverages is also generous with 10l of spirits, 10l of alcoholic beverages, 20l of beverages with an alcohol content of up to 22 per cent by volume and 110l of beer. You can also take 90 litres of wine with you on your trip to France, of which 60 litres can be sparkling wine. Coffee or coffee powder,
The import and customs regulations for the French Overseas Territories are subject to different rules. This allows you to comply with EU import and customs regulations after Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte and French Guiana, while in COM countries such as Wallis-et-Futuna, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Saint-Pierre- et Miquelon’s regulations for entry from non-EU countries apply.
These allow the import of 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars and 250g smoking tobacco as well as 1l spirits with over 22 volume per cent, 2l alcoholic beverages up to 22 volume per cent, 4l non-sparkling wines and 16l beer. The import of plants and fruits as well as plagiarism and aniseed spirits into the COM countries is not permitted.
Many travellers are also taking medicines abroad reliant. These can easily be packed in your luggage for the duration of your journey of up to three months. It is only important to know that the medication is imported and that it is intended for personal use only.
If you stay for more than three months, you will receive a medical certificate attesting to the necessity of taking it and informing you about the active substance of the medication. So you are on the safe side and can take the amount of medication you need for a long-term stay. Narcotics are subject to different regulations. They may be imported into France for the duration of the treatment, but for a maximum of one month. You can obtain the necessary approval from your doctor. With this, you go to the state health authority or a body commissioned by it and have the medical approval certified.
Furthermore, weapons, dummy weapons and sharp-edged knives may not be imported into France. Sporting and hunting weapons, as well as their accessories and ammunition, are to be registered at the border crossing. You will receive a special permit for the import from the French border police.
Purchase cultural goods or antiques on holiday. When travelling home, remember that they are under special protection in France and that they must be licensed for travel. The official export license for cultural goods comes from the French licensing authority Ministry of Culture.
Can I be refused entry to France?
In principle, you do not have to worry about refusing entry to France. This applies only to criminals searched internationally and by the database, as well as to people who have been deported from France to their home country.
The deportation is connected with a subsequent entry ban, which can be imposed for different lengths depending on the seriousness and reason for deportation.
Vaccination regulations and health care for France
According to the Robert Koch Institute, there are no vaccination regulations for France, but standard vaccinations are generally recommended. These include immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio as well as mumps, measles and rubella.
Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended on the French Mediterranean coast and on the island of Corsica. TBE vaccination is useful in the Rhine valley as well as in the forested Alsace because it prevents tick-borne early summer meningoencephalitis.
Travel to the French overseas territories is usually very straightforward. The malaria-free islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Reunion Island, French Polynesia and New Caledonia do not require vaccinations coming directly from Germany.
However, if you arrive with a stopover in a yellow fever area, a corresponding vaccination against this disease is required for people over one year. This also applies to Mayotte, where additionally there is a low risk of malaria.
Only in French Guiana is a yellow fever vaccine for people over one-year duty. Furthermore, a recommendation for the hepatitis A vaccine is given, for longer stays depending on the exposure also for the immunization against hepatitis B, typhus and rabies.
The malaria risk is present at the border rivers Maroni and Oiapoque all year round, south of the coastline it is low. In addition to exposure prophylaxis, chemoprophylaxis in tablet form is recommended. Hepatitis A and possibly hepatitis B vaccination is recommended in all French overseas territories.
Protect yourself with enough mosquito repellent and long light clothes from dengue fever and Chikungunya through the Aedes mosquito. With your European Health Insurance Card, you are well served throughout France.
In an emergency, you can use it to receive emergency care or further treatment that makes a chronic illness necessary. In order to be fully secured, you must take out a travel cancellation insurance with medical repatriation before you travel.
Versatile France is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its overseas territories stretching from the Caribbean to the South Seas. Thanks to a passport or identity card you can reach all French territories visa-free.
The entry requirements for France allow you to carry generous amounts of luxury food. Before you start your trip, take out travel insurance and spend a relaxing time – perhaps with your four-legged friend – on the rough Atlantic coast, in the mountainous Massif Central or in sunny Provence.