I will fly into France from the U.S. with my personal laptop. I also want to take a new one as a gift for my hostess.

Will I have to pay a tax duty on it?

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    Probably. How much is the laptop worth? – JoErNanO Jun 22 '15 at 6:23

Yes, you'll be liable to pay 20% VAT on a new laptop if its value is greater than €430 euro in to France from outside the EU customs area. On the plus side, there's no specific duty to pay (see "Ordinateur portable" on this page)

You could try and just walk through the "nothing to declare" aisle anyway - but you'd then be smuggling and at some risk of facing penalties.

  • Just VAT? Is there no import duty specific to electronics? – JoErNanO Jun 22 '15 at 11:38
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    No duty for Laptops into the EU (I looked into this a ~18 months ago when buying a laptop - and the US had cheaper options than the UK. But once the 20% VAT was added...) – CMaster Jun 22 '15 at 11:45
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    You are indeed right. Here's an authoritative reference for you: douane.gouv.fr/articles/… (scroll down for an informative table). – JoErNanO Jun 22 '15 at 11:50
  • Thanks, just been looking for a good reference, and bouncing around lots of offical pages tellin you what you need to do for goods to declare, but nothing about what items are effected by said decleration. – CMaster Jun 22 '15 at 11:52
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Oops, confused the limit on having something shipped to you without paying import VAT with the limit on what you can carry. – CMaster Jun 22 '15 at 13:59

Before bringing a laptop from the USA as a present, consider that it has the wrong keyboard, the wrong power plug, you need to make sure that it works with 220 Volt, the receiver may have a hard time getting warranty repairs, and the receiver will not have any EU consumer rights.

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    All good points but perhaps more appropriate for a comment? Also, it might actually be precisely the right keyboard and one reason why the recipient would appreciate the present. I order them myself within the EU but I have used strange keyboards in foreign countries to be able to write my native language and some other languages more easily ;-) – Relaxed Jun 23 '15 at 12:00
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    The wrong plug can also be rectified for <€5. You can buy a cable with the right plugs on both ends from lots of places. – CMaster Jun 23 '15 at 12:44
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    In addition some vendors offer worldwide warranty. – JoErNanO Jun 23 '15 at 22:11
  • And, like the keyboard, it could be the case that it is the right power brick, not the wrong one. For instance, if you buy a Thinkpad in Europe, you get it with a 3-prong, grounded power brick, which is more cumbersome to use in different countries than a US-bought 2-prong power brick + a 5€ Europlug cable. – Federico Poloni Aug 24 '16 at 19:34
  • It's particulally worth noting that US keyboards are not just printed differently from the various EU ones, they also have one less key. – Peter Green Jan 24 '18 at 16:03

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