When I entered with my Polish passport through Saint-Georges, I was told by the border police I'm not supposed to get any stamp cause we're in France, the same was told when leaving in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. But then I was stopped twice inside the country by the gandarmerie, twice they complained that I don't have the stamp and I should have gotten one. In both cases they took my passport for good 15 minutes, made some calls, asked a lot of questions, and finally let me go, but I could see they weren't sure what to do. I talked with a Latvian guy in my hotel and he got a stamp when he arrived in Cayenne.


As far as I can tell from Article 355(1) of the consolidated TEU/TFEU, French Guiana is part of the EU:

  1. The provisions of the Treaties shall apply to Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands in accordance with Article 349.

Free movement therefore applies, and you could have entered with your ID card instead of a passport. If that is correct, then the gendarmerie needs better training, since one element of free movement is a policy of not stamping passports of EU citizens when they cross EU borders.

  • Can you point to (non-Schengen) EU legislation that explicitly says passports of EU citizens should not be stamped? The freedom-of-movement directive (2004/38) specifically exempts family members, which I'd agree only really makes sense if there's already a broader duty not to stamp citizens, but I can't find the latter. Jan 30 '19 at 21:17
  • 1
    heck, I've had my Dutch passport stamped at times coming back to Amsterdam (when using the general lanes at times they're far more quiet than the EU only lanes). It's probably so automatic for them to place a stamp they don't even realise they're doing it in many cases.
    – jwenting
    Jan 31 '19 at 5:50
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    but yeah, the police needs better training (or more recurring training if they got it) so they don't forget the rare cases of dealing with non-French Schengen citizens they apprehend for whatever reasons.
    – jwenting
    Jan 31 '19 at 5:52
  • @HenningMakholm I cannot (which is why I said "policy"). I do recall reading that this arises from the view that a passport stamp represents a grant of permission to enter or leave a territory along with the proposition that EU citizens require no discretionary grant of permission to cross external borders. But I don't see that expressed in any legislation. (The proposition that a stamp is necessarily a discretionary grant of permission is questionable, especially with Schengen stamps, which as you know have no text and look more like a record of border crossing than a grant of permission.)
    – phoog
    Jan 31 '19 at 17:15

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