New customs regulations from January 1st, 2014


If you are a traveler whose habitual place of residence is outside the European Union (EU), or in a third country, you may deduct value
added tax (VAT)
from the price of goods bought in France.

From January 1st, 2014, you can skip the long queues at airport customs and present their new voucher to the automated PABLO customs terminals.

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VAT refund
(PDF - 462.2 kb)


Value added tax refund
PABLO - Frequently Q & A

I’m leaving France from an airport in Paris. Where can I find a PABLO reader?

At Orly, South Terminal, Gate G, Departure level

At Roissy-Charles de Gaulle :
- Terminal 1: CDGVAL level, Hall 6
- Terminal 2A: near the arrivals, exit door 5
- Terminal 2C: near the arrivals, exit door 12
- Terminal 2D: near the arrivals, exit door 6
- Terminal 2E: Departure level, exit door 4
- Terminal 2F: Arrival level
- Terminal 3: Departure level

Generally speaking, readers are located near the customs window.

How do I complete the VAT refund process using a PABLO reader before my departure?

- Go up to a PABLO reader. If you are leaving from an airport, you must have your form approved before you check in your luggage. You must have your passport, your ticket, the PABLO form and the items you purchased.
- Slide the barcode on the form under the barcode reader to validate it
- A message will appear ("OK bordereau confirmé", which means "OK form approved"). This electronic approval is exactly the same as a customs stamp.
- An electronic confirmation will be sent to the store owner as soon as you stamp the form. He or she will then immediately launch the reimbursement process.

A note about the VAT refund process:

To qualify for exemption from VAT on purchases made in France, your clients (provided they have been in France for less than six months, and are in possession of their passport, their ticket and the items purchased) must have French Customs approve the sales export form that was issued by the store where they made their purchases.

As a reminder, the purchases in question must have been bought at the same shop on the same day, and their total value must exceed €175, including tax. In addition, the purchases must have been made in a retail outlet, and must be goods that tourists would be likely to purchase. Certain categories of goods are not eligible for a tax refund, such as tobacco, weapons, cultural goods, means of transport, etc.

Note: the amount of the VAT refund may take account of handling fees. Not all retailers offer the VAT exemption service.

Need more information?

The Infos Douane Service (IDS) call centre can answer your questions. They are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 6 PM, at 0 811 20 44 44 (billed at local rates when calling from a landline). If you are dialling from outside of France, please call +33 1 72 40 78 50.

Information is also available on the French Customs website ( The site features a short video in English that shows visitors leaving from an airport how to use the PABLO readers.

We would appreciate it if you would pass this information on to people who are planning to travel to France.

Sincerely yours,

Directorate General of Customs and Excise
Information and Communication Unit

Last modified on 04/10/2013

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