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International Freight to France

France may be one of the UK’s closest continental locations for freight services, but shipping can be a minefield, especially with the addition of post-Brexit customs requirements. At Barrington Freight, we will help to ensure shipping is easy notwithstanding all of the regulatory changes that kicked in following the UK’s departure from the initial post-Brexit transitory period. Despite the deal that was struck between the UK and the European Union, road freight from France to Britain and vice versa now needs to be handled with the full customs regulations that are imposed on any third-party country. 

This is because the UK is no longer part of the EU’s customs union as well as laying outside of its political sphere. Despite these arrangements for the passing of goods to and from continental Europe, much of which passes through France, we can ensure a seamless service from start to finish. This will mean complying with all of the Brexit customs requirements and regulations so that your consignments – whichever direction they are travelling in – are not unduly delayed.

Please note that our services mean that importers and exporters can operate both ways between France and the UK. Whether you intend on moving business freight and cargo via pallets, shipping containers or bespoke packages of various sizes and weights, we are here to ensure that the likelihood of any potential hold ups at the border are minimised.

Road Freight Transit Times to France from the UK

From our extensive experience in international road freight forwarding, France is among the most highly requested locations for road haulage deliveries. As such, we are in the enviable position of being able to offer express freight for same-day delivery so long as all of the necessary customs declarations for the numerous regulations now in place have been met. Typically, express freight will take either one or two days depending on where exactly in France the consignment will be picked up or delivered to.

Obviously, suppliers and customers in southern France take a bit longer to reach than those operating in Paris, Rouen or Lille, for example. Road freight to France is still easy with Barrington Freight, regardless of the location the shipment needs to get to even with the additional customs requirements British firms face today. We strive to provide fast and efficient service in all circumstances. For example, it currently takes three to five days for groupage shipments, a very cost-effective option, while full load shipments will take just one or two days to complete.

Part of the reason that full load and express shipments to and from France are so quick is down to the country’s road network. This also accounts for why groupage consignments are faster in France than in many other European Union states. Of course, it helps that France can be reached directly by road hauliers with multiple routes from the south of England, too, but the roads in France help to ensure that once lorries are on French soil they tend to keep going unhindered on their onward journeys. The major arterial routes from the port of Calais include the A28 which heads southwest in the direction of Rouen and Le Mans while the A16 and A1 both serve Paris. Calais can also be reached with relative ease from the east of France via the A26. Travel to the southern regions of France will typically be conducted via the A6 and A7 in the east or via the A20 or the A63 in the west to reach places like Bordeaux and Toulouse.

It is also worth noting that the UK is well served by ferry routes capable of handling roll-on/roll-off vans, lorries and other commercial vehicles. Perhaps the best-known of these is the busy Dover to Calais route but there are also frequent services from Poole in Dorset to Cherbourg in Normandy, an ideal location for shipments destined for the West of England or Wales, for example. There again, Portsmouth also connects to Cherbourg whilst also serving the French ports of Caen and Le Havre. Newhaven in East Sussex also has commercial traffic passing through its port on its way to Dieppe while Dover also offers connecting services to the port of Dunkirk, not just Calais. All this is available plus the option of sending road freight to France via the Channel Tunnel, of course! As such, there are numerous ways that road freight between the two countries can be arranged with something to suit every time schedule and budgetary consideration.

Customs Post-Brexit

Post-Brexit, you need to look at more customs considerations for an easy conveyance. Primarily, you need an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) for both the UK and the EU. There are a host of other customs requirements too so it’s best to use a reputable shipping company or customs agent to take the guesswork out for you. See our blog on What is an EORI Number if you are unsure if you have or need one.

Remember, too, that simply registering with HMRC as an importer of goods from France will not be sufficient – on its own – to be able to use French suppliers. You will also need to deal with customs declarations that include things like VAT notices, commodity codes and excise duty, too. Helpfully, Barrington Freight operates as a customs clearance agency as well as a team of expert freight forwarders, so we can help you with all of these matters if you need us to. 

The same goes for firms that are exporting goods to France, of course. We have the necessary licensing arrangements in place to oversee exported goods from the UK to France which has the same regulations in place as every other EU state. As such, we can help with multiple consignment deliveries that might include some in France and some further afield, such as those in Italy, Spain or Belgium, for instance.

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For more information about our services or if you have an unusual load request, reach out to our sales team on 01268 978660 or email [email protected].

Where is France Located?

France is in Western Europe, stretching from the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea. Lying to the south-east of the UK, it is situated between Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

Where is France Located?

France is in Western Europe, stretching from the Bay of Biscay and English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea, lying south-east of the UK between Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.