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I am a German citizen and fly to Switzerland from the US with a layover in Paris, where I need to retrieve my baggage and check it in again. Do I need to go through customs in Paris and if so do I need to pay taxes on items I bought in the US even though I am not really staying in the EU?

  • Did you purchase two separate airline tickets? If you bought one ticket, your bags will normally be checked through to Switzerland and you won't see them in Paris or take them through customs in Paris. If you bought separate tickets, that's a different story. – Zach Lipton Sep 14 '17 at 5:52
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    I did buy two separate tickets yes – PKuhn Sep 14 '17 at 5:54
  • Where are you resident? – Peter Green Sep 14 '17 at 11:54
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Depending on the airlines you're flying with, you might be able to check your luggage in all the way. Call the airlines to check.

If you have to pick up your luggage, then you will have to go through Customs. They might or might not ask you anything. French Customs officers in CDG are notoriously both lazy and aggressive. If they go through your luggage – an improbable but not impossible event – telling them you're just transferring might help, but it's not a very strong argument. Since you're entering the country, there's no way to prove you're not handing over some of your belongings in Paris. Especially not to a grumpy Customs officer.

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