Reader question: Can I post books from the UK to France?

There appears to be some confusion around the post-Brexit rules on sending books and other printed items between France and the UK - we break down the rules.

Reader question: Can I post books from the UK to France?
Posting books from the UK to France is still allowed. Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP

Question: I’ve been told by relatives in the UK that Royal Mail is saying that books can no longer be posted to France because of Brexit, surely that can’t be right?

Brexit has brought in a host of changes to posting things between France and the UK.

Since the end of the Brexit transition period there are things that can no longer be brought into France without appropriate paperwork, and this includes sending things through the post.

Animal products such as meat, some types of fish and diary products cannot be brought in without veterinary certificates and this also covers postage – so for example posting a box of (milk) chocolates would no longer be allowed.

You can find the full list of banned items HERE.

Then there are certain items that are banned in all parcel types because of safety concerns – they include ammunition, lighters and aerosols. Lithium batteries are allowed provided they are installed in a device such as a mobile phone – full details here.

Also banned from being sent through the mail in all circumstances are counterfeit or pirated items, coins or live animals.

None of these lists, however, include books and these can still be posted from the UK to France.

The confusion appears to have stemmed from the British postal service Royal Mail incorrectly advising customers that books cannot be sent to France.

However, a Royal Mail spokesman confirmed to The Local that this is not the case, books can be sent from the UK to France and the Royal Mail advice page has now been updated accordingly.

You can find the full rules here.

Although books can be posted, there are other considerations to bear in mind – all items that are allowed need to be posted with a filled-out customs declaration detailing the contents of the package and its approximate value.

Customs duty applies in some circumstances, so if the sender has not paid this then you will unfortunately be hit with a bill before you can collect your item.

Member comments

  1. Didn’t think there was any doubt about this. Amazon UK and other UK based suppliers have been dispatching books from the UK to France uninterrupted.

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