Currencies And Taxes
The currency in France is the Euro (€)
For citizens of countries in the Euro zone, the problems of exchanging currency disappeared on 1st January, 2002 and the adoption of the new currency by 12 European countries (the national currencies are no longer in circulation). For the citizens of countries outside the Euro zone, currency can be exchanged in branches of banks (there are several at the resort) or at railway stations and airports.
Even if there is a fixed exchange rate, the percentage of commission can vary from one agency to another and should be clearly indicated and displayed. To find out the exchange rate between the Euro and your currency, you are advised to visit your local exchange Internet sites before your visit.
Three different rates of value added tax (VAT/TVA) are applicable in France:
The normal level of 19.6% is applied to all transactions of sales of goods or services, except those that are legally subject to another level;
The reduced level of 5.5% is applied to essential products and common consumer products (e.g. food products) as well as on certain cultural products (e.g. books)
The much reduced level of 2.1% is applied to very few categories of goods, i.e. medicine that can be reimbursed by social security, press publications or ticket sales of 140 new theatre performances of new works or presented as a new production.
The prices marked in all premises selling food and drink include VAT and this is described as "TTC" (toutes taxes comprises: all taxes included).
If you are traveling within the European Union, there are no restrictions on your purchases for your personal requirements (except for new vehicles and items purchased by mail order). However, certain products are subject to a restriction threshold which must be upheld. These are cigarettes (800 units) and alcohol (spirits: 10 litres, wines: 90 litres).
Visitors from countries outside the European Union must declare any goods they are transporting. Items of a value above 175 € are tax-exempt.
In any event, certain items of merchandise are strictly prohibited or subject to strict regulations: narcotics, forgeries of kind, weapons, plant products, ivory, etc. Any sums above 7,600 € entering or leaving French territory must be declared at customs.
For further information, contact the Customs Department in Paris: (+33) (0) 825 308 263 or visit the Internet site: www.douane.gouv.fr
Bank opening hours and bankers cards
In the holiday season, the banks are generally open from Monday to midday on Saturday, from 9am - 12am and then 3pm - 6pm. However, these opening hours can vary over national holidays.
Bank cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops. Shops often display a minimum purchase amount. In the event of a lost or stolen bank card, you must stop your card as quickly as possible by telephoning your local lost and stolen card centre or by contacting the following, depending on your card:
- (+33) (0)1 45 67 84 84
- (+33) (0)1 42 77 45 45
- (+33) (0)1 47 62 75 75
- (+33) (0)1 47 77 72 00