What is the best method to ship your goods from China to France?

France is Europe’s second-largest exporter and importer after Germany. At Freight Solution, we can offer you appropriate type of shipping depends on the nature of your goods, their volume and weight. We can do airfreight, sea freight and rail freight. Our freight expert will analyze and provide the most suitable solution for your goods.

Let’s move to sea freight from China to France

Generally, sea freight is the most popular choice for international cargo transfers that are over 500kgs. Tens of thousands of tons of cargo are transported daily by sea due to its flexibility and affordability. The ocean freight is your best choice when your suppliers are located near the main seaports in China, your shipment is over 3 cubic meters and you are not hurry to received the cargo.

Regarding sea ports, there are two busiest and largest in France, Marseille – Fos / Mer and Le Havre.

FOS / Marseille is France’s largest port, the second-largest Mediterranean port, and the fourth-largest European port. Covering an area as large as the city of Paris, it offers spaces and infrastructure that is able to accommodate maritime, logistics and industrial activities. It handles all types of goods: hydrocarbons and liquid bulk (oil, gas, and chemicals), general cargo (containers and other packaging) and dry bulk (ore and grain).

Le Havre is the second-largest commercial port in France in terms of overall tonnage, and the largest container port, with three sets of terminals. It can accommodate all sizes of world cruise liners, and a major new marina is being planned.

FCL or LCL for your ocean freight to France

LCL is adapted when you do not have enough goods to fill one full container. Moreover, it allows you to pay only for the space you use thus cutting your shipping costs, because your goods are loaded in with other customers items. We recommend it for shipment which volume is from 0 to 15 cubic meters.

FCL is also a good choice if you do not wish your goods to come in contact with those of other exporters. we provide weekly shipments to the main ports around the world. For every single shipment, we offer four types of full containers:

  • The 20 feet which has an internal capacity of 28 cubic meters;
  • The 40 feet which is able to carry up to 58 cubic meters;
  • The 40 feet HQ, which has an internal capacity of 68 cubic meters.
  • The 45 feet HQ, which has an internal capacity of 78 cubic meters.

How long does it take to ship from China to France by sea freight?

We created below table to give you an estimation of the transit times of a cargo shipping from different Chinese loading ports to French delivery ports. Of course, those transit times are just indicative timing between China and France.

Loading ports in China Marseille Fos Le Havre
Tianjin 38 days 35 days
Dalian 35 days 47 days
Shanghai/Ningbo 31 days 27 days
Guangzhou/Shenzhen/Hong Kong 31 days 29 days
Qingdao 37 days 31 days

What should I know about the airfreight from China to France?

When we comes air freight, and normally it refers air cargo with door or airport to airport service by air craft, and on the other hand, it will be door to door service by courier service by air. Of course, airfreight will be the best solutions for your shipment which is under 300kgs or 3 cubic meters and you need them in hurry and time sensitive items. Regarding the chargeable weight of air freight and courier service, and you can check our blog, our expert had detailed in one article and you can learn it clearly.

Generally speaking,the gross weight represents the total weight of a shipment of goods, including its packaging. On the other side, the volumetric weight is calculated for bulky goods sent by air, you can calculate it with the general statement of 167 kg = 1 cbm; And express services the volumetric weight will be calculated with 1 CBM = 200 kgs.

Major airports in France

Roissy Charles De Gaulle (CDG) Airport

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the second largest airport hub in Europe, after London Heathrow Airport in the UK, and the tenth largest airport in 2017 for passenger traffic with 69.5 million passengers. and is thus economically significant for France.

Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport

With 10,300,000 passengers in 2017, it ranks as the fourth largest airport in France behind Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Nice Côte d’Azur. It is managed by Aéroports de Lyon.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport is a French international airport located in Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes and on the Côte d’Azur. Commercial traffic in 2017 reached 13.3 million passengers. It sets a new annual record for the platform for the seventh consecutive year. International commercial traffic accounts for 65% of the commercial traffic of the platform in 2017.

How long will take from China to France by air freight?

It is hard to estimate as it mainly depends of the budget and your requirement, a direct flight available within a day is possible, but will probably be more expensive. Please note that the transit time doesn’t not include the whole process, like pick up & delivery, customs clearance and so on. In average, you can expect 6-9 days for export/import process included by air freight.

If your shipment is small. Especially for items, which do not exceed 50 kg and which length, width and height of the outer packaging do not exceed 60 cm and 90 cm. Its price is very competitive, in particular for international shipment. The shipment is easy to do from any post office. But it can also be used for large parcels (50 to 120 kgs).You can choose to ship by courier or express service with door to door service, normally, it will take around 3-5 days for priority service and 5-7 days for economic service by FedEx, DHL or UPS etc.

Same to airfreight, the prices highly depend on different factors such as the nature of the goods, the dimensions, the weight etc. We have very competitive rates(50% discount reduce than their public rate) to offer thanks to our close relation with Courier Company such as TNT, DHL, Fedex & UPS.

Customs and Customs Formalities in France

France is a member of the European Union (EU) the OECD and the WTO, along with the World Customs Organization. The EU has signed a large number of customs agreements with other countries and parts of the world. The 28 countries of the EU apply common taxation rules upon entry of their territory. There are no customs duties or formalities for interchange among EU countries. When your goods arrive at the EU customs office, they are placed into temporary storage under customs monitoring (no longer than 90 days) until they are set aside for release for free circulation or special procedures.

Documents required for customs clearance

Commercial invoice is the common one, provided directly by the supplier it indicates the goods, quantity and prices but also the buyer and supplier details.

Packing list is a essential paper to make it properly with all information, usually we detail the HS code(Harmonized System of Tariff Nomenclature) even in the packing list with weight, dimensions.

Transportation documents ( The Bill of lading or the airway bill in case of Air freight) represents the basic contact between the importer and the shipper. It allows the shipping line to transport goods (or “container”) to your port/airport of destination and also serve as a receipt and proof for the importer. It could be considered as an official title of purchasing goods.

Shipper’s export/import declaration refers to the contact information of the exporter and buyer, which contains a full description, declared value, and destination of the products being shipped.

Please noted that some documents are not mentioned above as it is just an indicative list, please feel free to check what will be the requirements with our experts.

Import customs formalities in France

Customs declaration of imported goods

The goods shall be declared by the customs within 3 days after the arrival. If the goods are overdue, they shall be taken over by the customs and stored in other warehouses, and then confiscated over two months. If the goods are not cleared by the customs, the importer may declare the return to the shipper or re-export the exporter. If the goods are not re-exported after the expiration of the storage period, they shall be subject to customs duties and taxation or auction of the goods. According to the law of semi-laws of the law, the tariffs that have been levied cannot be refunded, and the tax levies that have been levied may be refunded if the original taxpayer submits a declaration and presents the original tax payment certificate.

Declaration of temporarily imported goods

France does not implement a tax refund system for goods processed for the manufacture of export goods can be allowed to enter France without tax according to the provisional import system. Usually, the importer should pay a deposit equivalent to the tariff as a guarantee. The above method is generally limited to 6 months but can be extended to 2 years. Temporary import declarations must be filled in by the importer.

Customs declaration of transshipment goods

France is a signatory convention for the Convention on the Import of Customs for the Administration of Goods by Goods, which allows bulk shipments to cross the international borders of member states without the need to unload goods from land vehicles or containers at border locations for customs inspection. The international transshipment business is undertaken by government-licensed companies such as railways and inland water transport companies. Under certain circumstances, when the bulk cargo is completely transported by air and rail, it is undertaken by the airline company.

Customs clearance of goods

Customs regulations apply to undecided or unidentified goods. There is no tariff on the goods that are stored on the stack and exited from the stack. For the goods that are exported from the customs, the same tariffs should be paid according to the same procedure for directly importing the goods.