Importing a German camper into France

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Floozie2, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Floozie2

    Floozie2 Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    Anyone here any experience of importing a German camper into France? I'm particularly interested in the gas side of thins as I have a 1990 Hymer Camp 57 running 50mb and will have to change the system to 30mb. I have the rest of the required documentation, so far so good!
    Cheers
    Richard
    Limousin/Charente/Dordogne borders
     
  2. olivier

    olivier Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    I'm french and I have tried to Import a german motorhome in france for a few years.If the vehicle is earlier to 2000 it's not easy, I think you have to ask a CEE conformity certificate to the builder to register it in france. Then I think you have to go to "les mines" administration.
    Sorry for my aproximativ English! :) Don't hesit to ask me if you need more information about the vehicle registration in France.
    I'm in a similar cituation And I project to register an american RV in UK.
    Olivier
     
  3. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    I just completed registration of my 1992 Hymer in France. I am in Morbihan, Brittany - 56.

    It is not too much of a problem. The costs can be higher than you might imagine, but not too bad. I recently posted all the information about this in a post.

    Much of this you probably already know, but in Summary:

    First you must go to your local Hotel des Impots to obtain a "Quittas Fiscal" This will be a signed confirmation that you have paid any VAT or duties on the imported vehicle. When you go to the office, take the vehicle registration document, your passport and a utility bill showing proof of your residential address.

    Contact Hymer France and FIAT France and request Certificates of Conformity. They will each want a cheque from you. They will then each issue a "Partial" Certificate of Conformity. You must then contact Bureau Veritas (there may be other acceptable inspection agencies) to arrange an inspection of your gas and electrical installation. They will want to see that you have a 30mbar regulator fitted to the gas supply. I decided to fit a bulkhead mounted butane/propane regulator with a hose tail that simply then screws onto the gas tank. The gas tank compartment must be ventilated. The leisure battery compartment must be completely sealed from the accommodation OR the battery must be of the fully sealed type. You must also ensure that there is a ventilator fitted at low level in the vehicle. Either a floor vent, or (as I did) a small vent in the lower part of the accommodation door. The vent need only have a free area of 20 sq cm. This means a vent 10cm by 2cm. Vents of this type are sold in France by caravan dealers and are small and neat, with a rain shield fitted on the outside.

    You must also print a sticker that tells you not to clean the plastic windows with alcohol, and stick it near one of the windows!

    After completing this inspection, contact the DRIRE in your department and complete their paperwork (best to go in person to the office after making an appointment with a technician).

    He will want to see all the above paperwork, plus the certificate from Bureau Veritas. After your meeting with DRIRE you will also be told to make and fit an additional plate on the engine bay bulkhead (next to the FIAT VIN plate). It must be riveted there. (I got one made up by the number plate maker at E. LeClerc supermarket).

    When you have all this done, and the DRIRE chap has checked that you have completed all the work, he will issue you with the final Attestation. This will enable you to go to your local Sous Prefecture to obtain your Carte Grise. You will first be issued with a temporary paper with your registration number on it which will enable you to get the plates made up. A day or two later the Carte Grise will arrive in the post. This is the new procedure, which, as you know, is now centralised, doing away with numbers that have the department number as the final two digits. New numbers are in the format AA 1234 AA. But you can buy plates with the right hand section containing your dept number and flag!

    PM me if you would like further details, phone numbers, addresses etc.
     
  4. olivier

    olivier Read Only Funster

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    Buy a vehicle in germany is not an importation, (it's CEE!) the "quitus fuscal" is not necessary. But the french administration do no apply the rules in a similar ways in all the territory!! So be also carreful with the "DRIRE" that I call "les mines". The conformity rules are not apply in the same way on all the french territory. The DRIRE ingeneers are very independant. (...) (it's a regional administration) The best it's to ask us before (...)
    But really the best is to buy a RV year 2000 posterior motorhome. In this case a simple meet on "prefecture" to register it.
    Or a more than 30 years coach in this case it's an other way of registration without any kind of conformity certificate.
    O
     
  5. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    Sorry, Olivier, but bringing a vehicle into France from any country is an importation. Whether it is Germany, England or any other country. My vehicle was German built, imported into England and then imported into France by me.

    Everything that I said is valid. Other than the complications of the gas and electric inspection, everything was the same for my two cars and my motorbike.

    It is not true that vehicles registered after 2000 do not have to have this paperwork. My motorbike was first registered in 2007 in the UK and my car was first registered in 2004. I needed certificates of conformity for both. That is because the French computer databases are badly out of date (like most things French!:cry:).

    The Quittas Fiscal is needed for any vehicle import.

    You will not need the gas and electricity inspection on an imported motor home first registered after 2003.

    Of course importing an American RV into France is an entirely different matter. Those vehicles do not conform in any sense to European norms. They use Imperial measurements, for one thing. This must be very disturbing for French bureaucracy
     
  6. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    Hi - have been following this with great interest - we think our B564 has a 50MB gas installation. This is based on the user guide which Hymer kindly sent to us...

    We are hoping to register it in France so have sent off for and are awaiting the Certificates of Conformity from Hymer and Citroen, and were planning to Bureau Veritas for the gas inspection.

    Question is - what will they say about our MH being on 50MB? Will a new regulator for 30MB propane be acceptable? Wintonian - have noted that you managed this!!

    Many thanks in advance for your help!
     
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    My last three MHs have been imports and have all been on 50mb. The RMB is still on 50mb and so have the other two I have sold. The German bottle is the same as the Calor blue bottle and the same fitting as the refillable bottles. Am not going into the ins and outs of refilling your German bottle with an ebay adapter as its already been done to death on here. What I do is keep my German bottles and fill them myself, keeping everything on the van as it was intended at 50mb. If you are not happy with filling your German bottles you can always spend loads of money buying a propriety refillable bottle, but in my opinion keep the 50mb regulator. The choice as always is of course yours.
     
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  8. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    Hi Snowbird
    That's good advice (we may keep our Calor gas bottle for emergencies!)

    Thanks very much but really need to hear from anyone who has gone through the palava of trying to register in France, as we have to take the MH for an inspection and not sure what to expect!


    Val
     
  9. Anna

    Anna Read Only Funster

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    We recently completed the French registration of our 1998 Fiat Ducato Swift Kontiki in the Dordogne and I can confirm that the DREAL (used to be called DRIRE!) requirements must be different depending on the department you reside in.

    I would definitely recommend that you start off by going to your local DREAL, armed with your COCs and Quittas Fiscal (which must be obtained from your local Tax Office and incidentally is only valid for 6 months so you have to complete the registration process within the 6 months from that date) where you can ask exactly what other paperwork you will need.

    A cheque also had to be paid to the DREAL of around 84€!

    We did not require the following: After your meeting with DRIRE you will also be told to make and fit an additional plate on the engine bay bulkhead (next to the FIAT VIN plate). It must be riveted there. (I got one made up by the number plate maker at E. LeClerc supermarket)

    We obtained a COC from Fiat for the chassis cab and also from ALKO for the chassis conversion. However, we were told by Swift that because our camper was more than 10 years old, they couldn't give us a COC. That put a spanner in the works and, because of that, we had to go through the same paperwork/forms as if it was a self build, which involved drawing a plan of the layout and taking measurements, etc.

    We changed our UK gas bottle and regulator to French, prior to making an appointment with Veritas (about 300€ for this check).

    The electrical installation is not now checked as was aboliished last summer, although the forms still mentioned that as hadn't been updated. Therefore, Veritas did not look at any electriics or our leisure battery.

    He did check that we had a fire extinguisher fitted with a valid date and correct norm (we had replaced the old UK one with a new French one to make sure it had the correct norm on it).

    We weren't asked to do the following so would wait to find out at the appointment what is asked for. You must also print a sticker that tells you not to clean the plastic windows with alcohol, and stick it near one of the windows! Only thing the Veritas chap asked us to do was to label each of the isolation valves, which are under our sink, to show which was which so the gas one could easily be found in an emergency. This we did and didn't have to make another appointment as he suggested that we e-mailed him a photo of it. He then sent us the certificate.

    We were then required to make an appointment with the DREAL for their final check and were issued with the attestation to get the carte grise.

    By the way, our local Prefecture is displaying a notice saying that a water bill will no longer be acceptable as proof of residence so best take and EDF bill!

    PS Forgot to mention you will of course need a valid CT (equivalent of the MOT)!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  10. Anna

    Anna Read Only Funster

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    Hi Val

    With respect, I think you are worrying unduly and, if you follow above advice, it will all become clear.

    You say you have to take your MH for an inspection, what inspection are you talking about?

    I understand from your previous posts that you've requested COCs from Hymer and Fiat. If you can obtain the COCs from Hymer and Fiat, everything should be straightforward. Just work through the steps as given in the posts above.

    Do you have a Controle Technic for your MH?

    Once you start the process it doesn't have to take long to complete...just have to write a few cheques along the way I'm afraid:cry:

    We found the Veritas inspector very helpful and its not a case of him just failing your MH. If there is something you need to do or change, he will explain that to you so you can do anything he requests, in order to obtain the Veritas cerificate.

    If you need any more help, please ask and let me know what stage you are at.

    Anna
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    >> Anyone here any experience of importing a German camper into France?

    Dead easy, just go north passed the Maginot Line and you're there.
     
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  12. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    If on the other hand you do go down the route of changing your regulator from 50mb to 30mb all the gas jets will have to be changed on everything as nothing will work correctly.
    I bought a new fridge freezer for my FFB and as it was 30mb UK spec I had to buy a reducer at considerable cost to bring it down from the original 50mb. It was still much cheaper than changing all the jets in the heating , cooker and water system.
     
  13. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Hello Anna

    Just taken a quick look for the local Veritas agency for the northern Allier and it didn't leap off of the google page. May I ask how you located your local veritas, was it via the CT?

    Thanks for the latest info above, it's a great help.
     
  14. Anna

    Anna Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    Have you been to your local DREAL yet because when we went to the DREAL with the COCs, etc, we were given a printed sheet with
    their details. Although we had seen it on pagesjaune.

    It's called Bureau Veritas and the chap we got met us half way in a lay by to do the check! So you may not have to travel to their base.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  15. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    No not as yet as we don't intend to start the process until late May or June due to having the time and weather then.
    It's also the point that we renew our UK MoT and will have that as backup to be able to continue using the camper a number of times during June - July, plus the UK insurance doesn't expire until late October.

    We have a 4.6 tonne MH, I assume yours is 3.5 t or under?

    Thank you again, as you say it will all become clear when we start the procedure, here's hoping.
     
  16. Anna

    Anna Read Only Funster

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    Yes, ours is 3.5. You will not be able to go to a normal CT vehicle station if over 3.5 as has to be a place where they do HGVs. Much more expensive and has to have a CT every year.

    In our case, the first thing we did was to get French insurance, the Quittas Fiscal from our local Tax office, change the headlights (luckily found Citroen pair, on the second hand French site: leboncoin.fr at much cheapness!) and got it through its CT.

    However, I would strongly advise you to firstly check that you can obtain the COC for your MH. If your MH is older and you can't get the COC for the complete MH then you will have a paper trail to follow as it would be classed as a self build. More costly and time consuming but certainly in the case of under 3.5t can be done and I can help if needed but you would need to check if there would be any differences for over 3.5

    You would also need to check with your UK insurance to make sure they will continue to cover you once you have a CT as I think you will have to have French insurance. I don't know that for sure but we certainly obtained French insurance for all our vehicles before obtaining the CTs and of course you will have to change headlights before the CT, unless they can be adjusted.

    You can continue to drive on UK reg if you have a CT and French insurance if you have imported your vehicle for a few months (we were allowed 6 months by our French insurers), while you are organising the paperwork for French registration.

    If I were you, I would pop along to your local DREAL, explain that you're thinking of importing your MH and ask what they would require you to do if
    you were to go ahead. If your French isn't up to it, you could ask someone to go with you. You can then probably obtain the necessary forms so you can study them at leisure and would have the correct info from the horse's mouth!

    Here is the main Veritas office details. They will be able to give you the number of your nearest one.

    Bureau Veritas
    * 67/71, boulevard du Château
    * 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine

    Tél: +33 1 55 24 70 00
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  17. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    Thanks Anna and to everyone, we are reassured by your comments - the Veritas people do sound very accommodating.

    We are awaiting the CoCs from Hymer & Citroen at the moment, having got the Quittance Fiscale. Headlights are LHD so will get a Controle Technique before we go to the Prefecture.

    Snowbird (very appropriate name today!) that is very interesting - the adapters from 30-50Mb would be a good solution.... any info on where to obtain would be much appreciated!

    VeeVee - we just looked in the phone book and Allier doesn't seem to have one, so maybe phone the number Anna posted, or there is one at Limoges:

    21 r Columbia
    87280 LIMOGES

    05 55 38 85 85

    Again, thanks for your help, guys!
    Val
     
  18. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Sorry but I dont think you understand. Please reread my original post.
     
  19. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    Hi, its all a lot to take in.... must have misread, thanks Snowbird!!
     
  20. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Wow! This thread is a real eye opener. It's not something that I had ever thought about but I would have assumed you would just drive it over the border and notify the authorities of a change of address. How naive eh? :Doh:
    Wyn
     
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