Shipping From France to USA: A Complete Guide

Do you own a business and have plans for shipping from France to USA? Confused about where to start? Shipping to the United States may look more complicated, but the case is not the same.

Learning the fundamentals of international shipping is crucial, whether you’re a company owner or just someone shipping from France to USA. When shipping internationally, there is a lot you need to learn about. Choosing the correct method according to your products is the most important part. 

In this post, you will find all the information you require to successfully learn about how to ship from France to USA.

guide to shipping from france to usa
Source: freepic

Considerations Before Shipping from France to the USA

The procedure of international shipping is not an easy one. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Doing so will make sure that your shipment is secure and meets all of the requirements for shipping from France to the USA. 

Before sending the package out, you need to ensure that the following things are all clear:

1. Check to See if the Items can be Shipped

To make sure your cargo goes through without a hitch, double-check that the item is not on the banned items list for the USA. If you want to avoid getting caught by customs officials and having your goods confiscated, don’t send any illegal items to the US.

You need to learn about what items can be shipped as many dangerous or illegal items are banned. For example, shipping liquids is forbidden. In case you do not follow the protocol of banned or restricted items, your delivery might get in trouble or detained by the custom.

Some other banned items are:

  1. Animal Feed
  2. Aerosols
  3. Flammables
  4. Oxidizers
  5. Furniture
  6. Weapons and explosives
  7. Cash, credit cards, and debit cards
  8. Tableware and knives
  9. Cannabis Oil
  10. Plants
  11. Prescription medication and drugs
  12. Gold and silver jewelry
  13. Alcohol

The U.S. exporter and foreign importer will need import paperwork and other requirements for the smooth delivery of your product such as:

  • The Single Administrative Document (SAD)
  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)
  • Agricultural Documentation (Phytosanitary Certificates, Sanitary Certificates, Sanitary Certificates (Fisheries)

You can read more on France Import Requirements and Documentation.

2. Timing Considerations

Timely delivery of products is critical for any business, especially for some short-shelf food products. Once the delivery delays, they may be expired which causes an expensive drain on the purse. Besides, if your goods are late in arriving, you risk losing customer trust, which may leave a bad influence on your business.

You need to learn about all the possible reasons that might delay the shipment to the US. Some common reasons for shipping delays may include: 

  • Schedule changes, such as unexpected delays in the departure. Or sudden timing change due to any technical issues.
  • Bad weather like stormy or rainy weather without any forecast. Or freezing conditions on the road.
  • Customs issues such as HTC code errors, customs invoices errors, etc. 
  • Inadequate or poor technology such as delivery vehicle breakdown or major technical issues in the cargo ship.
  • Holidays such as labor day or any other public holiday, plus peak season which is usually from mid-August until Thanksgiving

Try to avoid these factors as much as you can.

3. Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs

Your company will benefit greatly from these tips for reducing shipping costs. The amount spent on transportation has a major impact on your company’s bottom line.  

With a variety of smart methods, you can cut down on shipping expenses. So, here’s the deal:

  • You can use economical options by choosing reusable packaging material. Wherever feasible, using poly mailers or other lightweight packaging is recommended when shipping from France to USA.
  • Do not waste money on shipping from France to the USA price by using overly large boxes. Instead, choose boxes that snugly suit your products to minimize their volume and weight. Some lighter-weight options include packing paper, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc.
  • Negotiate with more carriers to assess prices and pick one you like. If you can work with these carriers on a long-term basis, ask for a discount or free parcel pickup. Use the size, weight, origin, and location of your package to negotiate a better price.

It is not easy to transport goods from France to the USA without assistance, so it is recommended to choose a reliable logistics partner like FBABEE. To enjoy successful transport internationally, you must first understand the basic process of international shipping, just as you would for any cross-country shipment. 

prepare your package for shipping from france to usa
Source: freepic

How to Ship from France to the USA

Keep the above shipping tips in mind, your next crucial question is, how to ship from France to USA. In short, first, you need to prepare your shipping; second, you need to estimate shipping cost; third, select the proper shipping method; the final process is customs clearance and delivery. We’ll outline the four key phases of shipping from France to USA below:

Step 1: Prepare Shipping  to USA

To get all set for shipping from France to USA, you start by packaging your products. Next, you will label your packages following all the rules. This is because you need to keep in mind that Amazon FBA is very strict when it comes to labels. For a better understanding, you can read more on Amazon FBA Label Requirements

In the upcoming steps, you will need to prepare a lot of important documents. To carry out things smoothly, you can pick a reliable prep service that will help you with all the preparations. You can read more on the guide for Amazon FBA prep service to learn things even better. 

Step 2: Estimate Shipping Cost from France to USA

High shipping costs may damage the profits of your business, so estimating shipping costs is necessary for a lower cost. But how to calculate your shipping cost? Actually, shipping cost includes several factors. The basic factor is what type of products you are sending and the dimensions of your packages, along with the destination. 

Secondly, the shipping cost from France is also deeply affected by available shipping options. Besides, shipping insurance, tax and duty in customs clearance play another major role in shipping from France to US cost. 

Step 3: Select Your Shipping Method to USA

If you’re not sure how to organize your shipping method, think about the type of product you’re shipping from France to the USA. For example, if you sell any kind of perishable food, it needs to be sent quickly.

At the same time, the package’s dimensions and contents, the final location, the estimated time of arrival, and the cost of each shipping option, are also some important considerations.

Below we have discussed some key shipping methods to choose from when shipping from France to USA:

Sea Freight from France to USA

Due to the relative locations, France and the USA, both benefit from the efficiency of sea freight. Even more so, this mode of transport is the most common one when it comes to foreign trade. It’s the cheapest mode of transport and it also enables containers to get into the action for shipping. 

Keep in mind that while sea freight might be the cheapest option, it also takes the longest when it comes to shipping from France to USA. As a result, it’s not a good choice for businesses looking to ship perishable items to the USA.

shipping containers from france to usa
Source: pexel


The two options for shipping cargo via sea are:

  • Full container loads (FCL)
  • Less than container loads (LCL). 

Familiarity with their meanings plays an important part in the overall process. 

Full Container Load refers to when a single exporter or importer utilizes an entire container. However, LCL  means that only a portion of the container is being used, with the remaining room being available for another shipper or receiver.

For your better understanding, here are some pros and cons of FLC:


  • Relative security of your goods
  • Optimal method for the shipment of delicate items or those that cannot be tampered with in any way
  • Faster in nature
  • Great for shipping bulk goods


  • A bit on the expensive side

Here are pros and cons of LCL:


  • Best choice for young companies and small enterprises
  • Offers a customizable cost structure
  • Good for sending out in small batches
  • Best for spillover goods
  • Value for money


  • Not for urgent deliveries

Main Seaports in France and USA

Here lists some seaports in France and USA, you can choose the one near your products and destinations.

Below are the main seaports in France:


  • Port of Lyon
  • Port of Marseille 
  • Port of Le Havre
  • Port of Paris

Below are the main seaports in the US:


  • Port of Long Beach
  • Port of Newark
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Port of Oakland
  • Port of Los Angeles

How Long Does it Take by Sea Freight to USA?

The time it takes to ship products by sea can range anywhere from 20 to 45 days, or even longer. For instance, during busy shipping seasons (or when unforeseen events occur in the shipping industry) this process may take significantly longer than you casually expected.

Air Freight from France to USA

You can also use airplanes for shipping from France to US. It is the quickest as well as the best method of transporting goods if your goods are below 100 kg. But at the same time, airfreight is the priciest shipping option at the moment. 

This choice could be ideal if you have some delicate cargo to transport to the USA. Some top examples include jewelry or a vehicle. Due to the time-sensitive nature of their deliveries, this is also the ideal option for sending perishable goods like food, flowers, and medicines.

Below are the pros and cons of air freight for your better understanding:


  • Speedy delivery
  • Lower risk of damage to the goods
  • Ideal for sending perishable goods
  • Better overview when it comes to shipment tracking


  • Expensive
  • Offers limited space
  • Not an environmental-friendly option
how to ship from france to usa
Source: pexel

Main airports in France and USA 

Here lists some main airports in France and USA for you.

Below are the main airports in France:


  • Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS)


Here are the famous and main airports in the US:

  • Louisville International Airport (SDF)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Memphis International Airport (MEM)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

How Long Does it Take by Air Freight?

Distance, shipping method, shipping route, and season are all important elements that affect the total time it takes for shipping from France to USA. Air shipping transit times are roughly 5-10 days.

Step 4: Customs Clearance and Shipping

After you are done and dusted with all of the necessary preparations for shipment, you will need to choose the delivery service provider. You need to send your package to the location of your choice to have it delivered and pay for it there. 

You can escape the hassle of learning how to ship from France to USA along with other factors. All you need to do is work with a company that offers a free pickup service.

In addition to that, you will need to get the necessary paperwork ready for customs clearance. When this step of the procedure is finished, your shipping will be nearly done without any issues. 

Here is everything you need to know about customs clearance when shipping from France to USA:

Customs Clearance in France and the USA

When entering or leaving a nation, your products must be declared to Customs officials. This is something that can be done by either individuals or companies. Customs clearance may be required for a variety of different types of shipments, including those that contain personal belongings or those that are sent on behalf of a business. 

It is essential to go through the process of clearing products through customs to ensure that all appropriate taxes and duties are paid. Also, the products are under all applicable laws for shipping from France to the USA. Information about the shipment’s worth, origin, destination, and contents are all important parts of customs clearance. 

Invoices or bills of lading, among other forms of documentation, may also be needed in this same case. Shipping from France to USA price will be determined and permitted after customs has processed the cargo and given the all-clear.

customs clearance in france and usa
Source: freepic

Customer Clearance takes place in the following manner:

  • Inspection of your documents – Shipments entering the United States are subject to examination by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (CBP).
  • Tax & Duty Payment – Before Customs releases your cargo, you must pay any taxes or duties right after the inspection of the required documents.
  • Shipment Release -When Customs has finished its examination and evaluation of the products, they are taken away from the storage facility where they were being kept.

What Documents Are Required When Shipping from France to USA?

These are the most common documents you will need to pass the inspection step when shipping from France to USA:

  • Documentation proof of insurance
  • Invoice
  • Pre-shipment inspection certificate (when applicable)
  • Funding for Ports (when applicable)
  • Invoice for Transportation
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of origin (when applicable) 
  • Arrival notice

The good news is, most shipping companies offer help with clearing customs. As a result, you will remain out of the challenge and have trouble when it comes to customs clearance. They’ll give you an inventory of the documents that you’ll need to bring and next, you can follow that list easily!

To smoothly pass customs without delayed delivery, you can follow some of these expert tips:

  • Ensure you comply with all applicable foreign trade laws
  • Be prepared for multiple customs clearance checks 
  • Ensure that your paperwork is in order 
  • Ensure that your products are taxed and duty-paid appropriately


Shipping from France to USA without the right knowledge is tricky. Without vital information, you might skip some important steps. As with cross-country shipping, you must grasp international shipping basics to ship products internationally. 

Shipping from France to USA requires proper paperwork, customs duties, and a trusted, affordable shipping service.

Moreover, you can ship from France to USA by sea and air. Sea freight is best if you have concerns about the cost and container shipping. If time and safety are critical, consider airfreight.

As mentioned above, make sure to have all the required documents and understand the customs clearance process.

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